The alarm rang an hour earlier than it needed to yesterday morning. I made coffee and sat in the living room, alone, listening to the wind swish and the radiator hiss.Time like this is my 'sifting' time, when my brain begins to process all those things it hasn't had time to get around to.
On the dining room table lies a pile of mail that includes an announcement about a 'discharge planning meeting' at Big Guy's school. That's special-ed code for 'high school application process'. So I sat in the quiet and sipped coffee, mentally circling my profound reluctance to deal with high school for Big Guy, poking at it to see what sort of animal it is.
Big Guy is what we call a 2E kid: twice exceptional. He's extremely bright, and has extremely challenging problems. Ability combines with disability, and the combination doesn't fit in any of the usual boxes. His anxiety disorder is severe enough that he cannot attend a regular school, much less a school for gifted kids. And yet most schools for kids with emotional disabilities are geared toward those who underperform academically. So there's that: the choices are few.
Another problem is that many schools designed for kids with emotional disabilities are now packed with conduct disorder kids. Not a good mix for a kid who swims in anxiety. That makes the choices fewer.
But these aren't the reasons I was balking at beginning a high school search. The reason -- as it so often is -- is fear. I figured this out when I pulled up the web site of a school someone mentioned might be a good fit for Big Guy, and suddenly began to cry. It looked lovely, and like a place he would love. And yet for a variety of legitimate reasons I do not think they will accept my child.
I'm afraid that someone who might be able to save my child will turn him down.
I'm afraid that I will hunt and hunt for a solution, and there won't be a good one.
I am a person of hope, who sometimes stumbles on despair. For a minute I let myself fall, let my fears surge and wash over me. Being in the midst of them is the only way I know to truly see them, recognize them for what they are, and gauge their strength.
The wind swished soothingly outside the window, and my coffee was still warm. I held on to those not-insignificant comforts, sent up a little prayer, and decided it was time to move on. I can feel the fear, but start making phone calls, anyway.