Yesterday was a doozy of a Monday. I felt like Alexander in the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (a favorite when I was growing up). There was an ant in The Boy’s juice, the cable box went wonky again, a co-worker lied to our boss and threw me under the bus for a mistake that was very clearly hers and hers alone.
And mid-afternoon I get an email from The Boy’s principal saying perhaps he could start on trumpet this week because he doesn’t meet the “criteria” to play the tuba. Yeah, that just happened.
There were no “criteria” to play the tuba even mentioned at our last meeting. That band director is discriminating against my child.
Luckily, I didn’t get the email until about 3 or so, because truthfully, I couldn’t concentrate on work after that. I was extremely preoccupied, and downright pissed off. Heart beating rapidly, I left work right at 5, and drove to pick up The Boy, planning my evening around the big, long response I was going to write.
The Boy was in a great mood, and I faked a good mood for him, as well. I shared the happenings with my parents and strategized about next steps with them.
When we got home, I began to type all of the phrases that had been rolling around in my head for three hours, constructing my three-page response. And I began to shake uncontrollably. Not with rage, but with anxiety. I also made several trips to the bathroom, which I have had to do when stressed since my mid-thirties. When The Man came home an hour later, we talked, and strategized some more, and I continued to write. I spoke with The Boy’s autism teacher on the phone to gain some insight, and then I continued to write. The Man knows that getting all of my thoughts down just right in my response was the key to my calm. Until it was a finished draft ready to send, it would be on my mind.
And of course, I couldn’t sleep last night. I knew it would happen, but there’s nothing I can do about it, so I just roll with it, going over things yet again in my head for several hours.
My draft is now complete, and it is a killer letter. I have a plan in place, no matter the response. He will play the tuba, and will not be switching to anything else. I’m still angry and anxious, but I’m managing it, thanks to my outlets: writing and planning. The key is knowing yourself enough to know how you are going to respond to anger, both physically and mentally, and to have something accessible which calms you… A bit like our kiddos, huh?