~"Sometimes the lights all shining on me,other times I can barely see..."~Jerry Garcia
"Yes, I will..errrr *cough, SHE will be starting at a new school next week.." That was me thirty five years ago..speaking to the superintendents office...pretending to be my mother..because I had absolutely no intention of ever going back to school..legally I could not drop out until I was sixteen...and since that was only a few months away...I thought that I could stall things. put them off until it was too late for them to do anything..My current school..well..we had come to an understanding..a mutual agreement of sorts...a meeting of the minds if you will...we just couldn't see eye to eye..they thought it best that we part ways..We were breaking up. "It's not you-it's me.." Right...I was kicked out..expelled-I would not pass go-would not collect two hundred dollars..The fat lady had sung-I was done.
I wasn't a bad kid! I didn't fight, or wreak any sort of havoc..I just didn't always make the best of choices-one of them being- actually showing up to school. For one reason or another-I can't really remember...I just stopped going. To this day-I do not know how I got away with it for so long. I'd get up, get dressed...walk to school...but somehow..I never quite made it in to the building. I intended to go in...I would get there, books in hand..bright eyed and ready to be educated...and then- someone would call out to me..and before I knew it..I'd be sitting in a friends basement..or on the way to the beach..or Burger King..*sigh* My intentions were....good-ish...Oh that damn road to hell....
So, there I was, pretending to be my mother..."Yes, I will send you the information so that we can have her transcripts sent.." I used my best "Mom" voice...and it worked. They bought it...or, they just didn't bother to look into it. Either way, I successfully became a high school drop out at fifteen. Go me! not. Although in hind-site, it was probably one of the best of the worst decisions that I have ever made..or the worst of the best?..Either way, it did help me to figure some things out..even though that figuring out took about ten years, Sometimes *sigh* I'm a slow learner..
One thing that I have always thought was that if I had kids-it would be different for them. They don't know too much about my early years because....honestly? I never want to hear "Well-YOU did it!" I honestly dread that. Besides, they have to make their own mistakes-not live vicariously through mine. They are doing a good job of it.
Thirty five years ago, I would never have imagined myself sitting in a principals office-as a parent! Yet, there I was this past Monday...along with Omar, the principal, the assistant principal and one very very remorseful child. Talk about surreal! I hardly knew what to do with myself.I admit, I was a bit tense-I thought that I was going to have to fight-but not in the way you may think.
All of my kids have I.E.P.'s. If we believe that they require a support or a service, I will not give up until they get it. I am a dog with a bone. No apologies. But I also believe that although my children (via I.E.P'sand otherwise) have specific rights-they also have responsibilities. Yes, my kids all have disabilities-and sometimes those disabilities affect their behavior. But in this case-my child made a mistake-a mistake they were capable of not making-and they needed to deal with the consequences. I was afraid that the opposite would happen. It didn't.
I am probably one of a group of very few parents who rejoice in their child being suspended for two days. I rejoice because he was treated as a capable human being, because they were given the opportunity to discuss what happened-in their way and in their time, that they were listened to and not rushed, spoken to and not at, understood and not vilified, given support in the moment and in the future. My child walked out of that office feeling better than when they walked in. That is a gift. Not one that I particularly wish to ever be bestowed on them again-but a gift nonetheless...
I did eventually graduate from high school. (I had to make up a full year and then some-yuck) I even managed to go on to college and get my degree. My mother never found out that I impersonated her. That's probably for the best.