Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Zombie Apocalypse

       I had an experience the other day that I will have to repeat sometime after Easter break, though I don't look forward to it. I was standing, with both of my boys, in a place that I had really hoped never to see again. But next year, William is headed for the seventh grade and has to be registered. I was standing in the halls of a Junior High School. I came at the wrong time and all the people who could have helped me register him were in a meeting. I will have to go back. We were just getting ready to leave when the last bell of the day rang, releasing the darlings for spring break.

       It took me only a second to realize why I was suddenly fighting off a panic attack. When the Zombie Hordes came pouring out of those classrooms, I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Junior High was a terrible time for me and I think I have blacked most of it out. I'm not sure why the bullies are so much worse at that age than they are in High School or Elementary School, but for me, at least, they were worse. And now, my baby, my special needs boy, is going to go there. And I'm going to tell the teachers and any other interested party that it is their job, their sworn duty, their sacred trust-to make sure that nothing happens to him while he is at that school. He's big enough to defend himself, certainly, but he doesn't know how and he doesn't have the judgement to know when he should.
          I don't know if I'm wrong or not, but my instinct is that if he is for some reason not in the classroom, I don't want him ever, EVER, out wandering the halls alone. This kid seems to walk around with a big bullseye on his back that says "I am different." I have seen this myself, every time I take them to the playground where there are other kids. I don't know how they do it, but kids of all sizes zero in on him and start doing things to him. I constantly have to step in and tell them to leave him alone, or tell him to stay away from anyone who wasn't nice to him. But next time we go, it will happen again, sometimes even with the same children.      I would love it if other parents, especially of special needs children, would weigh in here and tell me what you think. Am I right? Or am I selling my son short, denying him the opportunity of experiences and relationships that he needs to have? I have always been this protective of him, and I know already that his level of maturity is probably lower than it could be, because of me. Please, do comment.

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