Thursday, April 15, 2010
Ah - Junior High
Fun start to this week. Dinner with 3 girlfriends that I've known for like 17 yrs. now - wow! This year was the first time we hadn't managed to get together around Christmas, so it had been a long time. As is often true with true friends we picked right up where we left off. So much to catch up on.
We met as jr. high youth leaders at church. My eldest was just entering jr. high and we were new to this church. As is often true in a large church you really have to find your niche to develop friendships - and in jr. high I found mine. Not sure what that says about me, but there you have it. It was a tough age for most of us and I now have 2 more kids of my own entering middle school next year.
I must say I don't look forward to parenting them through those ages. For my older son with Down's it was the most difficult time. He rode the "regular" bus and kids would spit at him and throw pencils. He was barely verbal, but could spew a few swear words, which he usually did when he got off the bus. Our neighbor girl who was the same age was so upset by the abuse he took - which we wouldn't have known about had she not told us. How much different it is for typical kids who have the privilege of developing relationships as children with kid's who have disabilities. Their comfort level towards adults with disabilities will be so different and rather then recoiling from their touch - yes that does happen- they will show warmth.
Christian and Shannon will, however, ride the "special ed." bus. Their ride to school will be safe and Shannon will never be alone in school due to her disability, but Christian eventually may navigate the hallways alone sometimes. So, we'll see. In his mind I know he can't imagine that anyone wouldn't want to be with him. I know he'd understand if people were outright mean to him or outright teased him, but he might miss the subtlety of some teasing.
Well, onward and upward they go nonetheless and they, like many typical kids, will survive the trials and tribulations of school life to enter adulthood where everyone is just nice to each other. Yeah, well, fine - my rose colored glasses work just fine for me. How much kinder and gentler our world could be if we all wore them. Come on - try them for a day and let me know how that works for you.