Friday, December 31, 2010

I was that mother...

Oh yes I was.  Let me back the bus up a bit first....

I do a bit of volunteering in the my Aspie's classroom at school.  Every other week I volunteer to help his teacher run some educational games in the classroom.   No, I'm not do-gooder by nature, this is purely self serving.  It's is a prime opportunity to get a first-hand look into my kids classroom.  I get to see what's going on, how he's reacting to the other kids, how his para and teacher are working with him, and how he's doing at school.  In essence I'm spying.

I'll back things up again.  My Aspie went from half-day kindergarten to full day first grade.  I know, I know, that transition is hell for a normal kid's mom, let alone an Aspie's mom.  Alex would come home from kindergarten with his shirt collars chewed through.  He'd chew the fabric so much the shirt he wore in the morning had a hole in it by noon.  He chewed a hole in his shirt by noon.  So his transition to first grade was met with a little bit of trepidation.  Any opportunity to get a window in his world, I'll take. 

Anyway, after I finished volunteering last week, I remembered Alex's class goes out to recess right after I leave.  So instead of going home I drove up next to the playground, hunched over my steering wheel, put my sunglasses on and watched. 

Here's what I saw:  Three boys knock over another boy.  The boys grab the kid while he's down and drag him for a good ten feet.  They roll him over and run.  Two little girls on swings.  Gob's of kids chasing a big ball.  Ball chasing morphs into kids nailing other kids with the ball.  Three teachers chatting to each other, oblivious to the Lord of the Flies going on around them.  The same three boys get a ball and hit another boy with the ball.  He falls, they drag him.   Then I see him, my Aspie.  He's running on the periphery behind the other kids, off to the side.  Like he's playing with them, but he's not.  He follows for a bit then fades out.  He swings by himself.  He gets up and starts to make mulch roads--he puts one shoe deep in the mulch, drags it, and proceeds to make roads.  It's a solitary activity he does at home in our garden beds so I know what he's doing. 

The bell rings.  He lines up.  He goes inside.

There I was, spying not once, but twice on my kid.  It was the weirdest thing to see him with other kids.  So on the outside, yet right there in the middle of things.  I had mixed emotions about what I saw.  I so desperately want him to have friends.  Hell, one friend will do, but it was clear to me he was on his own, doing his own thing.  I was happy beyond belief he was not one of the kids being drug by the coat collar yet secretly afraid one day it will be his turn.  

So I was that mom, the overbearing, overprotective one, sitting in the school parking lot.  Hoping like hell no one else saw me and called the cops.


  1. good for you, i say. Good for you.

  2. thank you for your post--i'm sorry not to have said that sooner--Lizbeth


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