Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Momma Bear

You hear us parents say all the time, "You can mess with me, but don't mess with my family." Someone is about to find out just exactly what that means.

I know that LH is in High School and she needs to be responsible for her own actions. I also know that she needs to learn how to stand up for herself and be her own advocate when it comes to her health. It is very difficult to balance my desire to protect her and keep her safe against my desire that she be a strong and independent person. I really do try to step back and let her deal with confrontations and such on her own because I believe that stepping in every time there is a problem will prevent her from learning how to resolve these issues on her own.

Sometimes, though, people go too far and Momma Bear wakes up. This isn't going to be pretty.

Looking at LH and seeing her interact with other kids her age, you would not know she had only half a heart. You can't tell that the combination of heat and activity can be dangerous - even deadly. Seeing her grades, you might think she is smart but unmotivated  (and you might be right) but you wouldn't think she could ever fall in the category of "Disabled." I have spent hours talking to counselors, principals, and teachers making sure they all understand exactly what differences Little Heart has and what accommodations need to be made for her. I have sent e-mails, letters, scheduled conferences, and even stopped these teachers in the hall to make COMPLETELY sure that they know who my daughter is and that they are aware of her needs. I go these extra steps because I know how hard it can be to believe that there is anything wrong with LH.

This is not my first time around the tricycle track. I know what I am doing.

When I got to meet all of LH's teachers last week, I was very pleased that at least half of them knew my kids from outside of school through church or friends, or they had been working wither her for the past month. It makes it so much easier when they have already gotten to know LH so they understand her personality better. However, it makes it that much harder for me to handle it when one of the teachers drops the ball and doesn't relate the information to their assistants.

She HATES having to take breaks, leave class, and call attention to herself. She would much rather not be singled out as a weird kid and so she does not typically take advantage of the leniency that is due to her. For this reason, when she DOES attempt to use the "Nurse/Bathroom Hall Pass" I know that it is a big deal. You can also understand that if she asks to leave class and is denied  - not once, but twice - and then she is given a guilt trip about taking a break, I am going to be pretty much pissed. However, when my child calls me crying from the bathroom asking me to pick her up and bring a change of clothes because a teacher denied her a bathroom break when she requested it, well... heads will roll.

This happened last night during after school band practice. It was her first day of school, followed by a two hour practice on the field. I got the call about an hour after her practice started. I was so mad, I nearly dropped the transmission out of my car going to pick her up - and I drive and automatic. I did speak directly to the teacher when I came to bring the child some clothes and take her home. His answer was not entirely satisfactory at that time but instead of making a scene in front of his entire band, I left after he assured me that they would apologize directly to her. I decided I would calm down before talking to him again and I took LH home. Unfortunately, when LH came home from school today, not only was there not an apology, but other STUDENTS decided that it was appropriate to call her out for leaving practice early.

He will not get the benefit of me calming down before talking to him again. I hate to be nasty and I certainly don't want to make things harder for my daughter now or in the future. However, he apparently doesn't truly understand the nature of the situation here. I am going to have to explain to him so he will understand just how gravely he has erred.

Deb "Momma Bear" Lollar

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