Riding the Wave

After all the effort we went through to keep G in camp and make it a positive experience with him, I was exhausted when it was finally over.  The last session, with two para counselors and an aide, went smoothly and ended Thursday.  Monday was the beginning of our last free week of summer before school starts next week.  I woke up, got G settled in with breakfast and the Game Show Network (his current special interest) and sat down to drink my coffee and surf the web.

And found an email from G’s new teacher, responding to a request I’d made about having a pre-school meeting to go over G’s quirks and needs.

It was a perfectly lovely email asking what other staff I’d like to have attend and what time would be best for me.  But I wasn’t ready for it.  I was so tired from fighting all summer, I didn’t have any fight left in me that day.  Not that I needed ‘fight,’ exactly.  I just needed the energy to advocate and it was nowhere to be found.  The amount of work I saw looming ahead of me in the next month was overwhelming and I felt empty.  I couldn’t imagine how I was going to go about creating constructive working relationships with a new teacher and a new sped teacher.  Instead, I was pulled under that now-familiar wave of grief.  The same one that was so sharp the day G got his official ADOS results.  The good news is that the grief wave is gentler and shorter now.  I still had those, “I don’t know if I can do this,” type feelings but this time I also had a stronger, logical voice that said, “Of course you can do this, look what you’ve already done to advocate for G.  This will be easy when you’re ready to deal with it.” 

I consciously set about putting my alanon program to work in this situation.  I stopped myself from looking ahead to the next month, which is traditionally the most difficult time of transition for G.  Instead I focused only on that day, then that hour, then that moment.  I took some deep breaths – the kind we’re teaching G to take when he’s heading toward meltdown.  I left my computer and went to eat a healthy breakfast so I wasn’t operating on coffee-induced hysteria.  Then I decided to invoke the 24 hour rule.  I saved the email to be dealt with the next day, when I had a more rational sense of perspective.  Nothing in this situation was as urgent as I was making it out to be.  I didn’t have to get on the phone and schedule the meeting right that second.  After all, it was barely 7am.

Scheduling the meeting and coordinating who will be there has been easy.  G’s new teacher seems very open to talking with us and says she’s looking forward to working with G.  There was nothing difficult about this situation, it was all in my head.  I got sucked under that wave incredibly fast and it’s effects lingered the rest of the day, making me emotionally touchy, so it was good I decided to postpone responding.  I would have hated for my first impression on G’s teacher to be that of  Hysterical Mom.  So the good thing is that I have experience and the tools to deal with it now.  The grief wave wasn’t as destructive as it has been in the past.  This time I recognized what was happening and didn’t allow it to dictate my reactions.

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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