Thursday, June 2, 2011

Small Things Are Big Things

A new, small painting, as yet untitled.

Tomorrow is our son's CSE meeting, to go over his progress this year and work on his IEP for next fall.  I didn't think I was nervous about it, but I realized today I may be a little anxious after all.  It's hard not to be nervous when a group of education pros are going to summarize your child's progress for the year, and make recommendations for his first year of junior high school.  (Eeep!  Junior high??  When did THIS happen??)  I'm curious to see what they'll suggest for him academically next year.  I'm not sure how they'll assign him to classes, but we'd like to see if they can make it so that he's not with the same bullies for every class like he was this year.

We had a conversation with Safety Guy a couple nights ago, late, after his sister was in bed.  He came downstairs and approached me and said, "I'm not trying to be mean, but I'm still upset about you putting me back in school."  We talked, and he tried so hard to tell me what he's upset about without getting personal and mean about it to me.  We've heard quite a few diatribes from him over the past 9 months, about how I've given up on teaching him, I'm lazy, I just want time to myself, I just want to go get a real job and make money, I don't care that he's being bullied - all very hurtful comments. 

There is quite a bit of good in this situation.  I'm impressed that he tried to bring up a sensitive, difficult topic without being hurtful.  I mean, his Aspergers has most often in the past meant that he shoots from the hip with his criticism, without regard for how it sounds to the recipient of his comments.  Being careful of someone else's emotions and trying to respect their point of view is totally foreign to him.  I'm equal parts gobsmacked that he's trying to talk about this reasonably, proud of him for making the effort to have an adult conversation, and heartbroken that he is still upset and doesn't fully understand why we had to take the step of having him and his sister return to public school.  We explained our reasons to him again, and included in the explanation the fact that my health issues were really interfering with my ability to teach both kids.  He got a bit upset part way through the conversation, then pulled it back together and listened.  I don't think he really gets it yet, and I'm sure we'll be having this talk again, but I'm still totally impressed that he's even trying to have this discussion, that he initiated it and WANTS to work it out between us.  I'm sure on any EQ (Emotional Quotient) scale he'd still score well below average, but I can see that he's making progress empathizing with others, and it's encouraging.  Hopefully someday he really will understand, and forgive us.

Random Thursday

Random comment 1:  I went to an aquatics store today, one that specializes in ponds and koi, but also carries all sorts of tropical fish as well.  The owner is quite a character.  I spent almost an hour there, looking at his setup and his fish and supplies, and listening to him talk.  And talk.  And talk.  He definitely knows his stuff, and his fish stock were well cared for and reasonably priced, so it wasn't like I didn't enjoy seeing his store, but I could tell he was quite happy to have someone to talk to.  Anyone.  It's a good thing I didn't have to be anywhere else quickly!

Random comment 2:  The weather has been totally schizo this week.  It was around 92 two days ago, and it's in the mid 60s today.  We went from humid and stiflingly still, to so windy the trees looked like they were doing aerobics.  Now we've got a frost advisory for tonight.  Really??  And what's with the ultra-high pollen count?  My car is coated with a greenish-yellow dust, and my sinuses are in full-scale revolt.  I'd welcome a brief rain to wash the air, except that we had 15 inches of rain last month, and it's nice to have dry weather and not sink up to my ankles in the back yard.  I guess I can't have it all.

Random comment 3:  I finished the painting for Union Center Christian Church.  Sometime next week I'll be down there delivering it, bringing the other paintings and ceramics for the show, and getting the mosaic design drawn on the framed board.  That will be a BUSY day, but I'm looking forward to it, as well as to visiting there on June 12th to help with the mosaic project.  My first one-woman art show - I still can hardly believe it!  I hope they like the painting - at least, I hope that more people at UCCC enjoy it and approve of it than dislike it and think the church wasted their money.  I hope they take the blessing of the art in the way it was meant.