Friday, September 7, 2007

We've kicked off the school year and already hitting some snags on the way. Nick was never a great student to begin with...he's much more interested in socializing than in staying organized and studying. It doesn't help that he is brilliantly smart and catching on to things so fast. But we have already had a call from the school because of numerous melt downs in class with fits of anger, crying, very low frustraton levels and giving up. So Stewart and I had a meeting with all of his teachers yesterday and the school counselor. Nick was present for the meeting. We put some things back into place for him that worked well toward the end of last year, checks and balances in terms of getting homework written down, the appropriate materials back home, homework stored where he can find it so he can turn it in on time, etc. Unbelievably he will do the work, but then not turn it in and not get credit for it. Its hard to understand, even though I was the same way at his age. In any case, the meeting went well and felt very positive. The teachers are a caring group of people and I don't think there is anyone in that school who is not aware of the wringer we've been through and the loss we have suffered. Even though all the frustration, anger and tears are understandable and normal, there still comes a point when you realize that as normal and understandable as it still has to keep going. I have trouble with this concept myself and honestly have no idea how to convey it to Nick.

He does have one teacher that seemed like a nice enough person, and I am sure they meant well, but really stuck thier foot in thier mouth and chewed with it in there. This person stated "they" say that it takes adults six months (!) to get over a death, so imagine how long it must take a child. I thought I was going to choke. This was right after being asked how long it has been since Joseph died (eight months on the tenth of this month). So I guess that means I ought to be over it in this person's view. I have to wonder if that individual has children of their own. It was all I could do to just mutter something about that probably being a bit of a conservative estimate. We are nowhere near "over" this. I can't fathom we ever will be. Able to function within it, yes. But Joseph's absence will forever be there...a scar across all of our lives. The kind that aches and hurts still in certain situations. This fall is going to be a rough time.

But that was really the only instance of cranial rectal insertion. Nick has one woman who helps him out a lot who also used to be Joseph's math instructor. It felt so wonderful to hear her talk about Joseph, to share a memory or two of having to help HIM with organization and the like. ...real memories, not fluffy, shiny happy memories...memories that are true to who he was, with all his human frailties and challenges....but the smile on her face when she talked about him stayed with me all day, tightened my chest, closed my throat. Nobody ever mentions him now. It is as if he never existed at times. To hear her say something about him so casually meant so much.