Sunday, August 26, 2012

Being on the Outside

I'm feeling it more and more these days - how some of our experiences have shifted me to the "outside" looking in at where I once comfortably sat.  How disconnected and different I feel from lots of other moms...I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.

This weekend was difficult, bothersome, tear-invoking.

We had a meet-up at our local park for the incoming Kindergartners - and I felt so out of place.  The topic shifted from thing to thing, it seemed like each one was pulling me further and further outside.

Talk of dual-language kinder programs and where the zones will be for middle school (middle school?? they aren't even Kindergartners yet?!), and other academic accolades and things to strive for, etc.  Dual language?  I've fought so hard just for my boys to learn to speak English (and still am fighting that battle with Corbin).  I definitely want my boys to do as well as they can academically (and they ARE smart cookies!) but my heart won't be crushed if skills aren't mastered perfectly.  With Corbin's childhood apraxia of speech it is very likely he will also struggle learning to read and even dyslexia - we will cross that bridge when we get there.  I fought very hard to put that type of striving in it's place over the past few years.  My heart no longer struggles to have my kids compete with the Jones kids.  Corbin and Hayden are wonderfully made souls and I know God has unique plans for them!  And I can't wait to see them unfold. 

Topic then switched to Pegasus - the program Corbin is in.  Pegasus has dual function: 1.) For children with disabilities 2.) Typically developing children populate the class for modeling purposes.  My understanding is that the program is so well-liked that it can be difficult to get in for kids not needing services.  I briefly mentioned Corbin would be in Pegasus again this year.  The moms quickly jumped on the bandwagon about what a great PreK it was and how they knew someone that drove all over to sign up and get in, etc.  In other words, I don't think they realize that Pegasus services kids with disabilities and that my son has disabilities.  When I mentioned later that he had a speech disability (among other things, but who wants to bring all that up at a playdate) they literally were speechless.  I got a few "oh"s I think. 

And finally - because I'm just lucky like this - the topic changed to PEANUTS!  Argh, can't we just talk about the weather.  They went on and on about how they couldn't imagine packing a lunch without peanut butter and glad they could etc etc.  So I mentioned that yes, I have even more shocking news, my son is allergic to peanuts.  Seriously allergic.  I've never seen faces drop so quickly.

My biggest fear for Tuesday, is not the fact that my son is starting Kindergarten, it's that somehow, someone is going to feed him peanuts and something horrible could happen.  It makes my heart stop just thinking about how I can't control if some kid gives Hayden a piece of candy with peanuts in it, or if some mom brings cupcakes for the class and they have nuts, or there is some special event and they "forget" that Hayden is allergic...My biggest fear is that I could drop my kid off at school that morning and he could die. 

There.  I said it.  I don't have the luxury of worrying about if he adjusts to school or not, or the typically first day mommy fears.  What am I thinking about?  Is he going to get hurt?  Or even, is he going to feel like a freak or be "that kid with the allergies"?  It's not his fault his little body swells up with one bite of peanut butter.  I'm not an overreacting mom, or making a big deal out of nothing.  Anyone who knows me, knows this about me.  But this is a serious issues that a lot of people don't take seriously or make light of.  I would give anything not to have to deal with this.

Anyway, I left that conversation feeling like a bit of a freak myself, but mostly, just feeling different.  I've lost my ability to get overly passionate about some of those things, and find myself fighting for my boys in other ways - their health mainly.  Really, just surviving childhood is my goal these days! ;)

If you have any stories of your own allergy/disabilities kids that came through the school system in one piece I would appreciate them.  I could use some positive stories and I know they are out there.  Just the first day jitters! :D


Andrea said...

Since I'm behind you instead of ahead of you, I want to tell you that you are an encouragement to me as another mother of a kid with peanut allergies. D is getting skin tested Tuesday for eggs and peanuts. L is getting tested for eggs to see if she's outgrown it. I'm totally there with you, fighting for our kids' health. L has shockingly learned to spell the first 5 letters of her name. Certainly, not because I'm teaching her. It's all I can do to keep up with their meds and appointments.

bcsbethany said...

We've got nut allergies in our family too. I think the schools should just ban nuts altogether. Our school forbids it during snack but it's permitted at lunch. I worry as kids get older, they'll be testing to see if there is an allergy or bullying with the allergens. Until then I'm worried about accidents. We want to travel internationally next summer but after our last trip to the ER I'm not as comfortable leaving the country with our guy. You'll meet other moms to can relate better with as you go on. {{Hugs}}

Amanda said...

I can't relate to the allergy thing...but there are plenty of other scenarios where I feel your pain about being on the outside. It sucks.

Praying for peace for you with the start of school and all the worries that inevitably come with that. God is in control...