Sunday, August 26, 2012

A New Year's Eve hike

On a rainy Sunday morning I was thinking of a post about how commitment means everyday, even when pulling the cover over your head seems like a better idea.

Then I stepped outside and I realized it wasn't raining all that hard anymore. By the time I made it to the park it had turned into an awesome hike. The stream was the highest I had ever seen. There were the winding parts with standing waves that looked like something from the Colorado River. At the straight-always the stream was smooth, but the speed, sound, and level was incredible.

Admittedly there were puddles across the path that had to be forded.
But that's why I wear butt-ugly crocs on morning walks.
On this day before starting year number 14 with Baltimore's public schools I think about how sometimes those challenges that seem like something to be endured turn out to be surprising opportunities. Opportunities for growth that those with simpler paths, or options to quit, never get to experience. I know that this year will be challenging for the two kids that are still in City Schools, but we'll hit the ground running and with enthusiasm.

The pictures above are from an afternoon walk with msk along. He was skeptical about going for a walk in the rain, but once he saw, and heard, the stream he was all smiles and enthralled. Below he's enjoying another soggy walk stim - walking through the dripping leaves and getting his hair soaking. Pure joy.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

The summer of our discontent is 2012

Hard, hard, hard.

Being 13 is testing boundaries and butting heads. Especially with the other male in the household.

Going away to college is figuring out how to deal with a bureaucracy on your own. Especially if you go to a fairly large state school. Having dealt with many different bureaucracies in my adulthood, I feel like screaming about what you need to do to get to the head of the line and get what you need. Not my job, at 18 the college kid needs to figure it out.

When the City School lawyer asks a a professional "Who's interests are you representing?" at an IEP how can you not shake your head? Aren't we all trying to serve the student's interest? No, I forgot, it's about making each demand for an educational setting that actually is fair and appropriate, but costs money, painful and difficult.

When yet again the ESY setting is shameful. No matter how much msk needs structure and continuity in the summer, he's not going to be left in a situation that is unsafe. So once again we have a difficult and unproductive summer.

When meeting after meetings drains my soul and my savings, and it's nothing but pure stubbornness that keeps you going...And then you remember that the School of Hard Knocks doesn't give diplomas easily and that's the school that special needs parents attend.

Quitting's not an option, so this summer will be endured. Maybe we don't survive the system, but we will survive this summer.

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