I wanted to write something meaningful about what it means to be a mother in honor of Mother’s Day. Something that can capture the love of a mother and a child on paper, in words. Then I felt overwhelmed at trying to force that kind of miraculous creativity from myself so I gave up on that idea.
Until this morning.
My son is in kindergarten. The district we live in has a full day for kindergarten, so since he was just a little 5 year old, he has been in school all day learning to read, write and interact with peers. My son is a wild child. While that is something we celebrate (most of the time) in our family, that is not something acceptable in a public school setting. So everyday this little 6 year old goes off to school to learn and play with a smile on his face and does the best he can to act how they want him to act. And everyday he gets up and goes without much complaint even though at school he is told the way he is is not right, that he needs to stop being who he is. He needs to be who they want him to be. His teacher and I have met per her request numerous times to discuss his behavior, how he cannot be controlled, that he does not try all the time and he does not listen. He has a habit of chewing on things, anything he can get in his mouth, when he is at school. He can’t keep his hands to himself because he gets excited to be with his friends. He would rather be silly and make people laugh than sit on the floor and listen to his teacher.
While I can understand that his behavior is disruptive to the other children, I do not think anything is wrong with him. He is who he is. He loves being silly and having fun. He tries to make school fun and enjoyable the way he knows how, but that is not okay there. They have moved him down in their color game, given him three strikes, taken away stickers and other priveleges so frequently that he stopped caring. I am proud of him for that. I don’t want anyone to ever make him feel bad about who he is. I constantly express to him how important it is to listen and participate, to help his teacher by being calm and doing his work. I ask him to follow the rules at school and save being wild and crazy for outside. I know he does the best he can. Aren’t we all always doing the best we can given our circumstances?
This morning we had a meeting before school started. His teacher let me know that he has shown no improvement since the beginning of the year. And then she inadvertently dropped a bomb. “I want you to meet with your pediatrician.” I have been dreading the “your son has ADD” talk since the beginning of the school year. My husband and I both share the opinion that ADD medication is unhealthy for children. Some kids are wild. Some kids don’t like to sit and write for hours on end. To me this is understandable and normal. In the teacher’s defense, I did not immediately assume she was suggesting that my son has ADD because she did not come out and say it. I told her that he has always been his own person and has never liked being told what to do. He likes to do what he wants. Its just who he is, no matter how difficult that can be. I told her that I am hoping and expecting he will grow out of it and become a better student with time. He is only 6 for god’s sake! Her answer, “No. He’s not going to grow out of this.”
I politely let her know that I will never put my son on medication ever again. I assured her I will do everything I can to help him improve, but drugging my child is not something I will consider. He was on prescriptions for the first two years of his life and I attribute a lot of his health issues to the damage caused by those drugs.
I came home with a heavy heart. My little son has to spend all day in a school where he is being shown that he is not right and not good enough. They are trying to squash the most natural and beautiful parts of who my son is. And I realized I have found the post I wanted to write. The beauty of motherhood is the undying love and acceptance we have for our children. I will fight for my little son until he is big and then I will fight with him. No one should ever tell a little boy that he is not okay and suggest he needs medication to stop acting the way God made him. Shame on them for seeing a child that way.
On this mother’s day, thank your mother for having the strongest love that ever existed for you. Thank your children for existing so you can feel that love for them.
I am so thankful for my children’s strength. My son keeps going back with a smile and he refuses to be squashed. I am now making it my mission to protect his happiness and his innocence the best I can. I learned about being strong from him today.
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, I hope your day is as meaningful as mine will be!