High school, here we are. One quarter in, and I am exhausted. I want to laugh at the me from last year, when I thought I was busy. Ha! You dummy! Just wait until he’s a freshman…
I want to be clear about the fact that I do not wear busy-ness like a badge of honor. In fact, I hate it. I have wanted a pause button for my life for a while now, but I can’t find one. Actually, maybe I pushed the fast forward button.
Let’s break it down, shall we? I work full time and feel like I can’t go more than a few days or less without managing another IEP meeting. My own son, who no longer has an IEP because the school determined a 504 Plan will meet his needs, requires extra parenting at home to make sure he stays on task (I’m guessing it takes him twice the time it takes typical kids to finish homework– HOURS every night) and turns in this homework. Perhaps I should be fired. He has already botched his high school GPA by not turning in the easiest assignments of all– the ones where he signs a piece of paper saying he agrees with the class policies and turns it in? Yep… not turned in. In at least two classes… I’m already watching colleges slip from his grasp and it’s only first quarter of freshman year. (For the record, I don’t truly believe these colleges are in his best interest; he was the one who said he wanted to go to the college with the reputation as “hardest to get into in the state”).
But wait! There’s more! He just finished up his cross country season, which was amazing for him socially, but that’s for another time. While he was doing cross country, he was also swimming for swim club. I was adamantly opposed to this idea, but I lost this battle, and have since been saying, “I told you so,” in my head so hard!
Also there was Homecoming, with the game and the decorating and the dances– two dances two weeks in a row because his date was from a different school. And then there’s the monthly volunteering he wants to do, which I can’t deny him because he loves it and I’m so proud of him.
And while I know he is so tired from all of this, as his mom… well, there are no words for the overwhelmed exhaustion that pours out of me via irritability, tears, overreactions, etc. I am working so hard to help him with homework, to keep the house clean (I mean, kind of), to keep him as social as he can be, to make sure his sister isn’t lost in the shuffle (she usually is), to go to his cross country meets, to parent meetings, to band concerts, to volunteer to bring food to pasta parties or work the band fundraiser, to be a wife, to cook healthy foods, to go shopping, to figure out what is going on with his sister and her issues (another story for another time), to keep all the plates spinning, that I feel like I am about to explode at any given moment.
Thank you for letting me vent.
There are many positives here. He doesn’t usually need help completing his homework, just the staying on task and remembering to turn it in parts. He truly is maturing, too. He’s learning to react more appropriately most of the time, he’s working on growing his social skills, he’s admitting to his mistakes more often than before, and he’s becoming easier to talk to. He even argues much less than he used to. When he was handed consequences for the grades, he agreed. He did not argue! Miracle. He’s incredible in so many ways. I’m so grateful for his emotional intelligence, which was in question for a long time. I’m grateful for his empathy, compassion, and kindness. With all this, though, he still has needs unique from other teenagers; the executive functioning struggles he’s had for years are still an issue, and they feel even bigger when I need him to function independently–and he truly wants to– but he genuinely cannot.
I do not have a moral to this story. I do not know how to get off this train, and I’m not sure I would get off if I could. I would definitely slow this train down, though. If I figure out a way to make that happen, I’ll let you know. Until then, I have a kitchen to clean and a daughter to put to bed. Choo choo…
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