IMG_5778Jett threw down his #2 pencil and sincerely spewed, “I’m Stupid!”.

My heart sank. We’d been at it for what felt like hours. It’s 3RD GRADE MATH for crying out loud. How hard can it be??? Yet, there I was, sitting there thinking, “No my son, I don’t get this either. I’M stupid”.

I know that I’m difficult when it comes to education. I excelled in the arts – hid during math. I questioned myself many, many times, very early on. No matter how confidant and ‘street smart’ I was (and I most certainly was) the teachers and tone in my ‘core classes’ brought me down into an intellectual icky place, I felt in my heart, I was never meant to be.

I don’t know how to help my boys weather this storm. I am not an educator with a masters degree in child psychology, much less in special education. Hell, I’m just a grateful mom with a couple of fabulously odd birds without so much as an associates degree to throw together after more than a decade of sporadic college classes. My babies learn differently than ‘normal’ kids. (Please take note of the air quotes – political correctness is hard to keep up with especially when it comes to special needs). I just know my kids rock and I don’t always know what the latest term for ‘alternatively awesome’ is.

I live in an area with no options for  montessori style learning. The closest place is ‘Over the Mountain’, which in Farmer’s Almanac terms means, ‘They’ll miss half the school year due to inclement weather’. I’m seriously not kidding. I even thought about home schooling them. That lovely fantasy was squashed the minute I realized I couldn’t keep up with ‘core math’. Man, with what they send home EVERY NIGHT is it too much to ask for a parent’s version of ‘Cliff’s Notes’??? It would be very much appreciated!

I feel helpless at a time when Dane should be concentrating harder on walking than on fraction families. I feel helpless when all I want to do is watch Jett draw architectural renderings of his latest invention followed by filming a commercial to entice his potential investors.

I’m a dreamer in a parent’s body. I’m still the kid hoping no one will call on her (in certain classes) sitting dead center, in a room full of educators, answering for my sons in their IEP  (Individual Education Plan) meetings. I’m the rebel wanting to scream from the mountain tops, “Don’t bother! You won’t use it in this lifetime!”.  I mean, for the love of everything sacred in this world, this conversation has completely commandeered my happy hour crew, even with those who have no children!

I’m the mom who loves them so much that I have no problem looking like a fool, asking for help, because I want the very best for them.

I’m still learning. I’m still looking for the best way for my boys to learn. I’m sitting here listening to my son disparage himself, from two rooms over, as his Dad now tries to get through… And I’m still not completely convinced that the way they are learning today, is the best way.