I’ve had my share of trials over the past week or so. Not more stress than I can handle, but more stress dealing with The Boy’s schooling than I’ve had to deal with since he was in preschool. I’m not sure I handled every day and every communication in the best way possible, but I try to remain respectful, even when I am pretty sure the person with whom I’m conversing wouldn’t know an autistic trait if it hit them in the face. I don’t mind being the pain-in-the-ass mom who emails daily, because I wouldn’t have to if my son had more verbal communication skills, but he doesn’t. And if school personnel are not going to offer information, I obviously have to ask for it, respectfully.
I posted the other day on my personal facebook page: “Seriously. Between dealing with the ex and (The Boy’s) school this week, my big-ass Mama Bear is showing – watch out!!” In my world, “Mama Bear” is this walking-a-fine-line-between-angry-and-composed-mother side of me that rises up, out of protection of The Boy when someone or something is repeatedly threatening his happiness and well-being.
Mama Bear does not come out when someone looks at me funny.
Mama Bear does not come out when the teacher “forgets” to tell me that The Boy left his classroom without permission twice in one day.
Mama Bear does not come out when the ex forgets to call, again.
Because I am not Mama Bear. And Mama Bear is less effective if it is the face you wear with the people you deal with on a daily basis. If you ARE Mama Bear, you are being written off as crazy, I guarantee it. “That crazy mom emailed me again, today…” “Crazy Mom is in the main office, watch out!” “Take everything That Crazy Mom says with a grain of salt…”
I follow another autism mom blogger’s facebook page, and she posted about her son’s first day riding the bus today. A little later, there had apparently been a snafu, because her son had been found “wandering the halls”. She said she was livid, and the great majority of the commenters were calling “Off with their heads!” I would never take a situation like this lightly, but I put in my two cents, calling for calm, pointing out that everyone makes mistakes, and got called out for my response by another commenter: “Things should NEVER go wrong with our children.”
Listen, people will make mistakes with our kids. I make mistakes with my kid! That’s how I learn, that’s how he learns. Yes, it’s scary when a little one is wandering the halls of school, not knowing where to go because someone screwed up the procedure for drop-off. And a phone call and/or even a meeting would be in order here to straighten out the situation ASAP. But do you think that little one might be less scared in a similar situation later on because it has already happened to him and everything turned out OK? If this happened two or three times, why yes, I would be livid. But living your life in a constant mode of battle-readiness, expecting perfection from school staff, and wearing that Mama Bear mask whenever you come across someone who looks at you the wrong way is no way to live, and it’s not a good model for our kids.