I am heartbroken.
He’s sad and frustrated.
No longer is school a safe haven.
Instead, it’s a place where he’s called names – -
made fun of because of what he struggles with.
He asks to be picked up before the “teaching” time.
No longer does he want to stay through recess.
He sleeps harder in the morning, and struggles to get ready.
He avoids by slowing down or fighting against preparations.
There, he says goodbye with reluctance.
He rarely smiles as he walks away.
Yet, he tries to pretend it’s all good.
And then he tells me at home:
“Mom, at school the kids think I’m dumb. I can’t do Mrs. R’s work. They call me dummy.”
And I die a little.
How can I subject him to this trial?
Why is learning these figures and symbols –the numbers and alphabet — so hard?
And blends and phonics? Now reading circles?
How can he catch up?
At night he tells me:
“Goodnight, Mom, I’ll love you forever”
And I want to hold him in my arms (I do).
I want to stand in front of him and chastise name-callers.
I want to bully the bullies.
I want him to succeed. To feel confident. To love learning.
I pray with him, for him.
And look forward to when his prayers move forward and beyond:
‘I wish for good lunch. Amen.’
Because, though food is important, it’s not the best part of education.
This is a difficult time.
We’ll work together to practice – -
lessen already brief relaxation time.
Childhood shouldn’t be filled with disappointment
or feeling like a failure.
Can we restore his faith?