So yesterday was Rex’s annual IEP meeting with both of his teachers (classroom and resource) and the school speech therapist.
We’ve been doing this now for the past four years and no matter how good I know it will go, no matter how nonchalantly I walk into the conference room, as soon as we get down to brass taxes and Rex’s teachers start to talk about his performance–good or bad–I need to weep.
Heck, I don’t even know what I got all teary about yesterday. His amazing speech therapist went first, reading her prepared report and gushing about Rex’s wonderfulness. I could barely hold myself together, I used Georgia sitting on my lap to hide most of my face and made some excuse to lean down and mess in my purse so I could rake the tears from my eyes. I’d like to say that they were tears of joy but honestly, joy and sadness had nothing to do with my annual IEP emotional water show.
I feel so…much for this child. My emotions with all of our children obviously run strong, like I-will-emotionally-decapitate-you-if-you-make-her-cry kind of strong, but with Rex my feelings are so raw and exposed that when his teachers talk about him I break into pieces. It’s like I need an emotional root canal.
I got over the initial wall and then it was good. In fact, it was so good that we’ve determined that next year (5th grade) Rex will be full-time in the classroom with only a little possible support on assignments. His reading and writing is up to grade level and so is his math (outside of the testing room). He’s horrified at this news, going to resource is his favorite part of the day.
There was that little piece of concern from his teacher that makes me cringe every time I think of it.
“You know,” she said gently, “I know EVERYTHING about your family…”
“Hahaha, I’m sure you do,” I replied.
“No really,” she said, “If Rex doesn’t tell it to me then your girls tell me when I take them to the bus. You should know, anything you don’t want me to know, they are going to tell me.”
“Oh,” I said, “I’m sure it’s not that bad…”
“Well, sometimes he starts talking about your husband’s job and it really makes me nervous. I really worry about some of the things he knows. Plus, family things…”
At this point I was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable. I couldn’t think of anything she’d need to call CPS over, and besides what do you do? We finished the conversation and I headed home, stewing about what she might be hearing from the kids.
Then it hit me.
We (I) like to warn the children on a regular basis about the apocalypse, you know, casually. I frequently throw it into conversation just to make sure that if the grid does go down they’re mentally prepared for it. I don’t want any pansies who can’t pee in the desert, you know?
In fact, I’m sure she’s heard all about TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it), casually sprinkled into her conversations with my children. Like, “Guess what? My mommy got me new boots for when we gotsta live in the woods,” or “My dad got a new gun for Christmas so he can kill animals when we live in the woods,” or horror of horrors, “Our mom says I’m going to starve in the woods if I don’t learn to eat oatmeal.”
Yep, she knows. We are certifiable and it’s no longer a secret. I don’t even want to think about what ELSE she knows…