Jan 10, 2013

Growing Pains

It's midyear. That's code for schedule changes. Which is really code for my life is a living hell if you are a school counselor. On top of it, let's be honest, change is hard. Although the least important of priorities, my change of workplace is probably my biggest stressor. Strange I would say that considering what tumbled out and flew towards me en mass this year. Let's just say it is the most consistent change that stretches my abilities to cope.

Then there's the parenting guilt. Wait. Before I wallow into guilt, I must boast. My oldest daughter applied to seven colleges. She has heard back from six. Acceptance is a given. One college offered her a two year, full tuition scholarship. Today she heard from another university and has been offered full tuition, four year scholarship. I am proud. So very, very proud. But I attribute it to a very strong girl who succeeds in spite of her upbringing. Bless her heart.

There is guilt #1. She needs to take college tours. Yesterday. I've taken her on (count them) one. Yes, just one. Being in northern Utah and it being freaking cold right here in not northern Utah, it doesn't seem to be calling her name. I can't even make myself go to Costco. Worse, we're out of milk and I can't make myself go the grocery store which is .6 miles from my house. Even before the blizzard hit. When can I make it to the colleges? Bad mom.

My boys are doing the best they can with a mother who is overwhelmed and a brain damaged father a father healing from brain surgery. Still, my oldest boy is trying to do everything on his own and really needs some parental input and encouragement. My younger boy is running wild. While I was a particular parent with my girls, teaching my oldest to read at the age of three because I used to believe that whatever I did or said mattered, my last conversation with my youngest child's teacher started with her asking, "What is your feeling on special education?"

What I didn't say was, "I find special education fascinating, myself. So fascinating that I am certified to teach it in any public school in the state." Not that I do. What I did say was, "Do you have a 'Permission to Evaluate' form and a pen?"

I also spent time with him that day showing him how to carry the tens and he was so excited to understand it. I've been doing spelling activities with him and making him write his numbers and letters not backwards. I expect I will finish out this week on a good note and return to my bad habits next week. Because next week is the beginning of a new semester.

Which brings me to Guilt #1.5 and I don't know why this makes me feel guilty. My 15 year old daughter will be transferring to my school at the beginning of next semester. Her school just hasn't been working out. Her social scene is nonexistent and she is ignored. She loves her teachers and they love her even though she doesn't turn in her homework because her mom is such a loser that she doesn't make her turn it in just to be clear on that point.

(Brag #2: She needed to take a state test on computer technology. I want her to take it early so I can check her out of her school and into her new school ASAP. She took it today without having the study session the other students will have. Her teacher proudly told me that, out of approximately 450 9th graders, about 5 score above 90% every year. My daughter is one of them. TADA! Throw confetti! Wish I could take some credit but I can't! But I'm still proud!)

So I'm working on her schedule and talking around to my colleagues and parents because I'm going to be counselor so I'll put her in everything she wants because I love her and I'm biased. Yet every night for the past week, after everybody has gone to bed, I cry because I couldn't help her make it work where she was. And I pray that it will be better. Then I cry some more, wipe off the snot and tell myself I'm too tired to think clearly and go to bed. Get up and repeat.

Just so you know, Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome is very real. We're all suffering from it. Today I went into another office that sports a window and pasted myself against it. One colleague asked me if I was okay. Of course not, I had replied. I'm strung so tight you could play me like a violin.

I stopped a West Texas teacher in the hallway. By the way, West Texas and Texas are different, apparently. Just ask anybody from West Texas. I told her I had another student that I wanted to be her aide one hour. "Is she a straight A student," she asked with her sweet, syrupy southern drawl. It was thick and heavy which is always a bad sign. I was going to get chewed out. "I won't take any more of your projects, you know. I need a person who will actually show up and help me. By the way, that last girl you gave me, you warned me she needed support but she's been just precious! What was wrong with her?" I quickly replied that the student had a case of CMS.

"What's CMS? Is that a psychology term," said with the sweetest drawl and cold, steely look.

"Crazy Mother Syndrome. By the way, this student I want you to take also has CMS but you'll love her. She's pretty amazing in spite of her mother," I clarified.

"What's her name," she demanded. I told her. "I'll look her up," she continued. I explained she'd be new to the school so she's not in the system, yet. "How do you know her, then?"

"I'm her mother." I swallowed. Loud.

"I thought you said she had CM... Ohhh! I see," her Southern drawl softened. "Send the sweet thang to me."

Some of my new colleagues are starting to understand me and taking pity on mine.

Last brag of this post: My darling 17 year old daughter was in a talent show this week. This is one other reason I cry late at night. I can't stand to think of her not living at home. Given, I see her so rarely, anyway. She has a very busy social calendar.

Here she is with some of those friends. It's a Mini-Stomp. They were short a broom or two.

1 comment:

Tonia said...

Gurrrl, don't you know that Texas is actually divided into 5 states? You have the north that no one really talks about, west texas where the oil is, austin (we don't talk about them liberals either), the south where you can catch a disease swimming in the Gulf, the east where the rednecks are, and Dallas, home of the cowboys.