One Friday afternoon, I was picking Q up from school and on our way out he stopped, hugged his teacher, and told her he loved her and she said “I love you too”. It was such a special moment because I knew they both meant it and I realized how LUCKY Q is to be such great hands everyday. Had it not been for special education, he would have missed out on such a special relationship.
In an effort to be positive, I thought I would put together a list of PROS in regards to QMonster being in Special Education….that’s right…. PROS.
- Detailed Play by Play of Q’s day–When I ask Q about his day I typically get the “I dunno” shoulder shrug and yes/no answers to questions. Come on kid, give me the deets, momma missed you and I wanna know every single detail of what I missed. Since Q is literally hand delivered to me every after noon by his teacher, I get a play by play of his day. I know his wins. I know his struggles. I know the fun. I know the work. I know the funny jokes he told. I know the interesting things he learned. Heck, I am even filled in on trips to the bathroom. I get more than the shoulder shrug “I dunno” when I ask about his day. I really feel “in the know” and don’t feel like I am missing out on as much while Q is at school.
- Friends W/ The Teachers–Because I see and talk to Q’s teachers so much, they have become my friends. We’ve shared tears, laughs, eye rolls, frustrations, unknowns, advice, set backs and victories. Q’s teachers have been positive when I have felt down and out. They have reassured me with texts, hugs, and words more times than I can count. We talk, mainly about Q, but our lives too and I know that if I needed anything, they’re just a text away. Q’s teachers have become my friends, my tribe.
- No Fighting Carpool— Remember when I mentioned walking up and getting Q from the school? (Here is that post to refresh your memory) Well, walking him in and out of school means I don’t sit in that long carpool line waiting on the rest of the kiddos to get in/out of their momma’s van…nope….I park my car in a spot. We get out when we’re good and ready, not when the “Slow” sign turns to “Stop”. We walk in, hand in hand, talking about our upcoming days. We give big hugs and “I love you”s before going our separate ways for the day. We can take our sweet time getting in the car, rifling through Q’s backpack for his daily “treasure” & looking at his daily classwork, rather than rushing to get in and buckled up before the “Stop” turns to “Slow”. No long lines, no rush to hurry before the sign flips, no half hugs through the seats and over the center console.
- Never Forget A Thing–Remember that tribe I mentioned above? They’re well aware of my hot messiness and they keep me on my game. On more than one occasion, I’ve gotten a text on a Sunday night at 8pm reminding me to bring Q more juice the next day or that it is school picture day tomorrow. You’d think with a slew of online calendars, I’d be able to get organized, but nope…those extra reminders help!
- Knowing The School Staff— Unless you work or volunteer at the school, chances are you don’t really know much about the STAFF that takes care of your kiddo each day. SPED mommas, we spend a lot of time at the school, thus getting to know more than our kiddo’s teacher but also the office admins, the principals, the nurse, the school resource officer, etc. They become more than a face. I get to know their personalities, we talk, we share jokes. I’ve gotten to know them on a personal level. I feel reassured that my baby is well taken care of because I know, first hand, the people he is surrounded by genuinely love their job.
- Minimal Sickness–Less kiddos in the classroom = Less germs in the classroom. Of course, Q still gets sick, but with only a few kiddos in the room, he isn’t exposed to as much of the “elementary school ick”. While Q does still go to the common germ breeding grounds such as the gym, library, and playground, the teacher to kid ratio is smaller, so they are able to be more diligent in nagging Q about hand washing.
I don’t mention any of the above pros to brag about #SPEDLife because I can promise you the therapies, IEP meetings, and struggles far outweigh the pros but I do want to throw a little bit of positivity in there and show that our situation is what we make of it. I could choose to dwell on all of the negative (and real talk, some days I do) or I can find some perks and cherish those. No matter how cloudy the situation seems, if you look hard enough, you can always find a ray or two of sunshine!
Any of my fellow SPED mommas have any more perks to add to the list?