There would have been a time in my life when such a statement about my child would be devastating for me (like three days ago or so). I would have taken it as a direct reflection of myself and a solid indicator that my parenting abilities are sub par at best.
Today, however, it was liberating. Relieving. Joyful, even!
If a professional educator with almost three decades of experience is throwing her hands in the air because of my kid, then guess what....
I have not been exaggerating!
This really is very difficult!
I am not crazy!
I am not an under educating, over achieving, unrealistic mother!
I am not being punished because I wore pants to church!
My parenting does not suck!
The fact of the matter is that I have a hard kid. The same part of me who would be devastated by this news would have also thought that adoption is a thumbs down deal, that perhaps I should have been more vigilant in my pursuit of a child from my own womb because LOOK AT THIS KID THAT I ENDED UP WITH. (Don't be shocked. This stuff makes me crazy. Even though I know he is mine and it was meant to be this way.) But guess what!? 'Hard' kids come in all shapes, genders, sexual orientations and sizes, and they show up in all sorts of families. Other Moms with hard kids have come out of the woodwork to embrace me and I see that they are just like me. Trying their best in a gig that pays nothing, does not come with an instruction manual, matters more to them than the air they breathe, and lasts for as long as you live.
'Hard kids happen.' All over the place in all sorts of families. It's this pesky little thing called biology. Of course in the nature vs nurture debates, we all know that 'nurture' plays a huge part. Ha. I can only imagine what things could be like for my little guy had the 'nurture' component been a little less in his favor.
There are so many unknowns in these sorts of things. Am I doing things right? Could things have been different? How will his life look in five years? Ten years? Twenty? I don't know. At least his neck isn't crooked anymore, right?
I do know that my job is simply this: Love my hard kid.
Kenneth reminded me last night, "Just because it's the right thing to do does not mean it's going to be the easiest thing. It may end up being the harder thing." Oh Mr. Workman. You are so very wise. Look at you just cheering me on as you ride off to the engineering castle in the clouds. (I can't lie. I often wish it were me going off to work in the morning, and then I kick myself for not going to medical school like I wanted to, and then I wonder if a full time Speech Therapist salary could support our family while he stayed home to home school our son, and then I think about quitting our life and moving to Panama and living on the beach. But I digress).
When my son is home with me he is (usually) actively engaged in constructive learning. He hugs me. He smiles. He sits down and reads without a fight, or runs sprints on the treadmill when he can't focus. He is successful and he's not getting into trouble.
So that's that.