We'll start with the good stuff.
* The other day in (go figure!) second period, my student-- the loud one, the one I've sent to the office but who is always trying, walked up to the board and write a quote. "Ms. Lane, Ms. Lane-- lookit this-- it's a quote from music... what do you think?"
It said, "No ceilings."
I walked up and wrote, "No roofs?"
And he responded with another quote.
We played this game for ten minutes while the rest of the class watched and cheered us on. I'm not sure who won, but it was a nice moment. I want another one.
* And then, in the next class, a kid was showing me her poster assignment. It was really lame. For the record, you know your project is lame when the kid with an 8% in the class who is universally acknowledged to be dumber than a box of toasters in a swimming pool walks by your project and says, "What's that? An F-minus?"
She didn't take it gracefully. I had to send her out for calling me names under her breath.
But really... if THAT kid tells you your project is lame, just suck it up and take the D-minus-minus as a gift, right?
* Zoom boy. *shakes head* Zoom boy's teacher and I had a long conversation, and it turns out that Zoom boy is every bit the piece of work I've been telling you about for three years. (Yeah-- I know you believed me, but now I've got proof in a public file.)
See-- turns out that Zoom Boy has a text book 'attending problem'. Not hyperactivity--he can sit still. Not bad manners or acting out--his behavior is outstanding--he never gets into trouble and he's always trying his best. Nope. This is honest-to-Bob Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD.
The problem is, they can't prove a learning disability unless a kid is working two years under his capability. And Zoom Boy is approaching grade level or grade level in almost everything. (It's first grade--how behind can he be?) But by the time it becomes really noticeable (I said a little anxiously) he might hate school. I don't want him to hate school. I want his intervention NOW dammit so he can continue feeling really positive about what he's doing.
"Oh," said his wonderful teacher, "don't worry too much. The GATE (gifted and talented) assessments will happen in February. I'm fully expecting him to turn out to be a GATE student-- in which case, although he's performing at grade level, he'll be performing two years under his potential, and so he can get intervention both as a GATE student (super smart kid) and as an ADD child."
So my kid is a genius with a learning disability. Jaysus. I mean... shit on toast. I'm honestly at a loss for words.
* I came home and told this story to Mate and Chicken, and then I came in to write while Chicken did her homework.
"Hey, Chicken," I said thoughtfully, "if Zoom Boy is GATE, what does that make Ladybug?"
Chicken looked at me and said--with no self-consciousness whatsoever-- "Fucking scary. It makes her fucking scary, mom. Run away. Run away now."
And now (drum roll please...)
It's Big T's birthday.
For perspective, I've got a picture of him almost four years ago, when his little sister was born.
And here's the contrast picture, for when we were at the beach after the Renaissance Faire.
*sniff* That's my boy-- about grown up.
And it's almost hard to write about him now. So much of who he is had gone beyond the 'cute' and into the 'these are the core beliefs that make my child almost an adult'. Some of them are hard to deal with. He doesn't believe in a higher power--I do. I want him to--even if it's Jeff God of Biscuits, Jeff is benevolent and can give you some comfort when life gets hard. Thinking of the bad things that can befall a young man in the world, when mom isn't there, makes me really want to give him at least the idea of comfort. He's my baby, and even if I don't have the pictures in the computer, I still remember him as my baby, and dammit, I want him to have a security blanket as his shoulders grow big enough to hold a man's burden in a hard world.
But he's going to be a wonderful young man.
He does what's right and not what's easy. Every goddamned time. Even when his peers make fun of him. Even if he knows it's going to lose him friends. And he stays with his friends, even when he knows the kids he met in grade school, when he was fully in special education, are difficult friends to have. He wants to be their good example. He wants to be someone in their lives who doesn't desert them. He wants to be true and loyal and fine.
He is true and loyal and fine.
He took his little brother to a play last night--partly (he admits) because he wanted the girl he likes to meet his little brother. But she didn't show, and he was still just proud to be at school with Kewyn--and proud that I trusted him. (I did trust him. But my nails are now torn to the quick. SSShhhhh... Don't tell him.) He plays with Ladybug and with Zoomboy and tries to be a good big brother to Chicken, even though they fight constantly, like cats and dogs.
He makes me take him places so that he can sit in the front seat and we can talk.
He's always trying to say funny things, or ironic things, or wise things.
Sometimes he succeeds.
And I haven't been able to really get into the enormity of seventeen, and how close it is to eighteen, because I can't quite get into the idea that he's not the chubby baby the pushed into my arms after they made him breathe when he was too lazy to start on his own. (Little bastard. One of my five worst moments ever.) I remember looking at him, as he focussed his goopy, bad-tempered eyes on me, and telling him out loud. "It's going to be a quick eighteen years."
I hate being right.