A Tiny Society.

We’ve had a rough week with Bubbly and ShyGuy.  Usually these two do me the service of alternating their exceptionally emotional periods.  This time, they’ve decide to let their moods align and bring the hammer down all at once. 

I get it, or I try to.  They both came from a hard place, at a hard time of life.  I thought we would get over it, and to some extent we have.  We’ve come through the worst, but every once in awhile, self-doubt, trauma and general ugliness of their life before, and now, rears its ugly head and we have some unpleasant behavior.  This has been the last two weeks.  Our house is like a tiny society, where not all the members are ever all happy at once.  FPD reminds me that one of them is always going to be in “that” phase.  Even if we had birthed them, they would still go through unpleasant phases.  It’s just part of growing up.  
I’ve got to say, public school isn’t helping my plight.  I don’t mean the teachers.  Oh my gosh.  Those people deserve medals of valor.  FPD and I are like nervous wrecks every day.  Did Bubbly say mean things to anyone?  Did ShyGuy manage to not get SO loud that he disturbed the rest of the class?  Did Giganto earn his ‘star’ for the day?  Every single blessed day, those underpaid, overworked teachers, come, find us, and tell us how it went.  They reassure me that I am doing a good job, and that even on the worst of days, my kids are good people.  We’re one of 25ish in another tiny society, and they seek us out and bolster me up, or plan with us on what our next strategy needs to be.  They never give up, because they know we’re not either.  That means so much considering I know I could never do their jobs without some pretty heavy duty daily medication.  
The administration is making me want to home school.  
Yes.  I actually said that.  We’ve looked at private schools before, but I have never contemplated home schooling.  NEVER.  I have all but slapped a bumper sticker on my big giant van in support of public schools.  I believe in them.  I do.  Just maybe not for my kids anymore.  I have a daughter in 5th grade who is the sweetest, gentlest, little thing in the world.  How do I tell her that after this year, life is going to become the fifth circle of hell for awhile and that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it?  I swear, middle school is THE WORST!!!
There is a racial component to all of this too.  My kids are black and middle class.  Sadly, the black middle class in our community is almost non-existent.  My kids don’t have a lot of friends that look like them that come from intact, loving, functional families.  That breaks my heart for their tiny society.  But, it is what it is.  The kids who come from the broken families tend to lash out at the kids they see as receiving the love and affection they want.  My heart breaks for those kids.  FPD and I have gone to the local Boys and Girls Club to pick up the eldest half of our crew and have been asked, in a joking, but yet so serious way, by more than one child “why don’t you adopt me?”  Oh, my heart.  I want to fix this for those kids too.  Sadly, our larger society does wonders to prevent that.  Don’t even get me started on foster care and the ultimate goal of…shudder…reunification.  I hate that word.  While the intentions are good, it has become a dirty word in our house.  
We want our kids to learn to function within a society, both tiny and large, where not everyone is going to be nice to them.  We want them to learn to work it out.  But, they’re kids, and if I, as an adult, am having trouble problem solving with the powers that be at school, than how the he*% are they supposed to do it?  And, because the schools are now nearly 100% responsible for raising the kids whose parents can’t, or won’t do it, those kids are often afforded free passes to continue to behave badly.  In that case, what’s the motivation for my kids not to behave that way?  Hmmm…there isn’t much.  
I worry on a whole other level here.  I worry about what’s to come.  As I become less important in my children’s lives, and the poorly behaving, bad choice making, members of their tiny society become more important (think Erikson’s Stages of Development), am I going to lose them?  We’ve had to talk to our boys about the way they speak, about the way the larger society views African-American boys who use poor grammar, or who walk with their hoods up.  That wasn’t a fun conversation.  I could almost see a little bit of the wide-eyed childhood innocence slipping away from Middle-Middle as he asked me “but they’ll know that I’m not like that, won’t they?”  No love, they’ll assume you’re just like that, which is what is wrong with our big society.
Sigh.
–FullPlateMom,
who wishes her kids could live in a bubble.  

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Yvette says:

    Hugs – I know so many who homeschool their middle school girls – that’s our backup plan if it gets to hard next year (we found a great computer based program so I don’t really have to do much.) Our friends did it and she transitioned to 8th grade without missing a beat!!Hugs to your boys – although I don’t know the race issue, I know that feeling of losing them. I had that same feeling with my oldest before we did our mini trip. I am terrified of what the freedom of driving will do to him too!

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  2. exmish says:

    *HUG* I totally get it. (And you know it.)It’s what I say to everyone – most people don’t think they have the patience/time/resources/whatever to homeschool their kids, but if you feel like your child’s well-being is on the line, you’ll find a way.And the good thing is, you don’t have to homeschool all of them right from the start. (It worked really well for us, anyway, when we started with two and then let the others decide they wanted in. It helped me figure things out, and it helped them realize they -wanted- to do it too.)It’s not the answer for every family – or even every child within a family, sometimes – but we’ll welcome you to the dark side whenever/if ever you make the jump. 😀

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  3. 2plus2mom says:

    I, too, have always been a huge proponent of public education. And, I, too, have thought this year that maybe I’d be better off homeschooling. I think what I’ve learned is that public school is great, if your kid was raised like everyone else that attends your public school. But, when you’ve got kids that come from hard places, they may need something different. I’m just not sure that those amazing teachers have the time to give my special kid what he needs. And I can’t even think about affording private school right now. So for now, we stick it out in public school and I do the best I can at home every night to help him catch up.

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