Thursday, February 19, 2009

Interesting times

Well its been awhile since I blogged - life gets crazy and then it is "well should I really blog that or not?" - always a tough call

The boys have been back at school 3 weeks and it has been "interesting times".

A is doing the International Baccelaureate program which means he is getting plenty of work to do and because he is such a damn perfectionist makes life harder for himself particulary with his inescapable talent of not being able to see the wood for the trees! So it usually is at certain moments that mum or dad need to intervene to circumvent the impending melt down. Just the equivalent of a "stop - take a breath, what are you trying to do?" and then he works with whichever one of us it happens to be to get some logic and rational thought happening and then he is on his way.

For the first time ever A & B both have the same teacher for English this year, and this teacher has never had either of them before. Well we didn't even make it to the end of week 1 when the teacher asked if she could speak to me a moment. She went on tell me she accidentally called B by A's name and the response she got went something like "oh I'm dumb and stupid, don't even waste your time on me" - oh yeah baby just kick me in the guts and jam that knife in and out of my chest a few times.... I thought my knees might crumple actually but I did hold it together enough to thank her for letting me know....

I guess we kind of know where it has come from but it didn't make it any easier. New year, new classes and B has been split off from many of his friends, (although does have friends in his class) and I might say it is in all their best interests for this to be the case! Plus they are now having more choice of subject and that means different class groups too. So B is still settling into the classroom dynamic of the new year and finding his feet.

Whilst this is going on A has been doing the IB stuff and doing a personal leadership course (hmm yeah promised a blog on that one didn't I? Back on my to do list!) So I guess he was getting a fair degree of the spotlight....UGH...

So hubby and I spent time individually telling him how proud we were of him, recognising his love is music, his brother's academia - and that doesn't make either one of them better than the other, just different. I pulled A aside and shared with him the comment and how B must be feeling and told him that B was going to get showered in praise and attention for awhile. It didn't mean we loved A any less or that we were not interested or proud of what he was doing/achieving we just needed B to feel like he was in the spotlight for awhile.

Here is the real kicker though - you think you have done this deafness/special needs kid thing and are coming through ok and something like this happens and knocks you for six! Have I neglected the one with normal hearing, is that why he doesn't feel like he is valued, or that A is somehow more worthy than him?

My logical brain knows how much we have done for him to have special time away from A with either hubby or myself. My logical brain also knows that we share our love and praise and pride with both boys equally.

Equally my brain knows my brother growing up always believed that I, the younger and also more academic of the two of us, was more loved than he was! Funny thing is Dad shared with me when I was older as proud as he was of my achievements, he was kind of more proud of my brother because he had to work harder to do well at school - go figure! I also know other families where kids are jealous of each other, think one child is more loved than they are and these are families without deaf kids! It is just part of family life, sibling dynamics and all that stuff.

It still freaks me out though how my first reaction is that of parental guilt! That somehow we haven't made things equal or made B feel special or that A's deafness has overwhelmed things to B's detriment. Why is that? Why do we feel like it must be our fault or that we should have done something differently or that we have simply buggered things up again? I wish I knew, then maybe I might have shaken that pit of my stomach feeling of despair that haunted me for days after this happened.

I guess at the end of the day we can only do what we can do. B has started taking two lots of guitar lessons, that is his passion. He is there right now and will be coming home soon. He is also doing food studies at school and is actually a pretty darn good cook. Right now the apple pie he made at school is finishing off its last minute baking in the oven so we can have it after dinner tonight when he gets home. I would have praised him for his efforts anyways but by the smell of apple and cinnamon permeating my house, I don't think I will be the only one. If only we could capture those special little moments and replay them to our loved little ones when they get down on themselves and need some reassurance about just how talented they are.

But alas instead we just have stumble along this parenting trip trying our best to try to get it right most of the time - and not to take so much of it personally
: - ) Maternal guilt, comes with the uterus doesn't it???

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