Saturday, September 1, 2018
Oh, mom guilt. I talk about it a lot on my other blogs. I knew it would be a factor this year so I'm trying to give myself some grace, but it's tough. Schooling at home is tough. One minute I'm on top of the world, feeling as if I'm walking with purpose. The next, I'm locking myself in my room to scour my closet for hidden chocolate and checking every nook and cranny for any patience that might be in there, too. I can't really formulate an answer when people ask me how it's going. I don't really know what to say. Most of the time I feel like this is a good, good thing.
The moments that don't feel as chipper make me question everything. I go back and forth between what exactly I'm focusing my irrational mom guilt on. Some days I think, "My kids are really missing out on making friends with their peers and learning with other adults encouraging them." But don't you know I would have guilt if I had put them in the school system, too because God had already laid this on my heart to do. Have you ever told God no? That's a heavy, heavy guilt that I'll not have, thank you very much.
Have I disclosed here that one of my children is deaf? I'm assuming most of my readers here know me and know all about Abel. But the guilt is really strong for him. He has a cochlear implant, but it wasn't the 'switch on and study really hard' approach that worked for us. He had some other problems and he is definitely behind his peers. When I thought about mainstreaming him (which was always our goal), I realized the extra services he currently requires didn't just affect the teachers but also the other students in the class. He's still learning to hear certain sounds in language. Forget reading. It was a sobering and heavy realization. No one at the school ever made me feel like that. It's just my own crazy. But it felt like my job to take this on instead of ball hogging resources from the rest of the class. I hope one day I'll be able to step away from the situation and see that ALL kids learn differently and at different paces and there are many children who need a few things tweaked in the classroom. I know this, but when I think of applying it, I only feel guilt that I'm not doing what's right for our family or, on the other hand, guilt that the teacher might feel stretched too thin with him in the class. Teachers are saints. I always wanted to be the parent who could make their big job easier. 
I'm crying as I write because these past few weeks have reminded me of where he is from a public school grade level standpoint. He's on the same level as his newly turned four year old brother. With so many milestones that have passed us by in his life I've seen this, his brother and his younger sister even, reaching them before him at times and I get very blue at the thought of it. Perhaps it's not good to want life to be a little easier on my kid, but I do. I just want one thing to come very easily for him. I want him to be the star of something, ya know? 
Last year he played basketball and well, he needs to practice. But there was one game, I will never forget. He got the ball and was running (and not dribbling) down the court to the wrong goal but he had the most amazing smile plastered on his face and he was happy. He looked free. I want to see that more often...and I do here at home. I see it when he makes some backyard discovery that intrigues him. I see it when he's upside down hanging from a tree or when he's running full force, barefoot across the farm. I see how proud he is when he knows a detail about sharks or dinosaurs that his big brothers didn't know. I get to see him more.
That's hard...but it's also really really wonderful, too.