Sometimes I can see that Evan has had a bad day before he even says a word. He stomps down the steps of the school bus with a storm cloud on his brow. School problems are not new around here but they always make me wary.
“I HATE Malcom*!” *All names have been changed to protect the innocent and/or guilty.
“Evan, hate is a very strong word. I don’t think you should use it when talking about one of your friends.”
“He is NOT my friend. Today he…..*list of grievances big and small as long as his arm*.”
We walk home while talking about what happened, how Evan played a role, how it could have been handled better and what we could change tomorrow. You know. All those things that we learn we should do as a parent. Unfortunately, I can tell you that I am a card carrying member of the “do as I say, not as I do” club on this particular matter.
You see, I HATE. As much as I would love to say that I don’t. That I know that hate doesn’t help me, it only hurts me. I know that but when the subject of Evan’s last school comes up, I seethe. I can feel my blood pressure go up. I can see my hands shake. Even after 2 years, I am not past my feelings about the whole thing.
I don’t hate a person, I hate the situation.
I hate how we were treated.
I hate being made to feel that Evan was broken.
I hate being made to feel that it was all our/mine/his fault.
I hate knowing how miserable he was.
I hate knowing how he felt that he had to escape there no matter what, even when he knew running was dangerous.
I hate that we were unwelcome at our assigned school (even if they backtracked on their words when it was proven that they couldn’t actually make us leave).
I hate that I put so much work into being an involved parent only to have this situation make me never, ever sit on a board at a school ever again.
See, I told you I still had this all pent up. But I think it is time to let it go. You see, they were right in a teeny little bitty way…..Evan WAS better off at a different school. Not because he was broken but because THEY WERE. So now I have so much to love.
I love that he gets 100% on his math tests.
I love that he has friends and he knows their names.
I love that he doesn’t run from school. Ever.
I love that he loves his teacher. So much so that he is pretty sure he will be a much better teacher than me.
I love that he is in a place with his school work that I feel like I can pull him out and homeschool him while we’re on our road trip. Not because I HAVE to but because I know I can without it hurting him.
That is HUGE. So maybe it is time to listen to my own advice and stop using the word hate. It’s time to let that less than stellar start to school fade from my mind and Evan’s. It’s time to embrace the amazingness of his new truth. That he is an awesome little boy that is thriving.
And that is stronger than any hate. So there.