When Rain Hurts by Mary Evelyn Greene

July 2, 2010

July 2, 2010


Painting in the Sun (June 2010)

July 2, 2010.  So much for spending lazy summer mornings in our pajamas.  The LoBruttos are rising an hour earlier than the regular school year schedule because Sophie’s on the summer swim team.  We are at the town pool, which is unheated, by 7:15 am, five mornings a week.  The lows for the last several mornings hovered in the low 50s.  Brrr!  More than once Sophie has emerged with blue lips and fingertips.  By today she may be frozen solid.  Peter starts summer school next week, a program initially denied to him by the school under the theory that he is doing so well he doesn’t need it.  Luckily our filing for hearing prevents them from implementing such an ill-conceived directive.  His 6-week program begins Tuesday.  This week has been difficult for him, as it has been for me.  Sophie is busy with her activities and friends and Peter has little to do, despite my trying to put him on some sort of recognizable, organizing schedule.  Right now he’s downstairs working with Lindy, who will try her best to undo the cumulative damage of several days with no routine.  He’s filling his Pullups with so much urine that last night the crotch of his diaper protruded down one leg of his shorts, causing him to walk like an old man with an acute prostate problem.  And still he looked me in the eye, insisting he was dry.  I’m sending him to use the bathroom approximately every 20-30 minutes, which is no picnic for either of us, but still the problem persists.  “I don’t pee in there, Mom,” he announces gaily.  “Sometimes, but mostly I play.”  The very idea of trying to toilet train an almost 9-year old while preparing madly for our endless Due Process Hearing, instigated because the school has lost its collective mind and continues to adhere stubbornly to the fiction that Peter is educable in a large classroom setting, offers many layers of irony.  But its 4th of July weekend and I don’t want to go there.  Not right now, anyway.  This afternoon we’re going to the pool and then tonight we’re heading to the Fairgrounds to watch a rodeo and after that, the fireworks.  I hope the evening is as full of old-fashioned, small town fun as I’m envisioning it will be.  All I ever wanted to do was help our son, but when reason, hard evidence and sugar produced no results, I’ve had no choice but to put on my boxing gloves and get tough.  In the process I’m afraid I unwittingly may have created the persona of a crazed mother on a jihad, but there’s very little other choice.  If I keep shouting our story from the highest ridge, my voice ringing through the dips and crevices of the valleys below, my plea for our son just might reach the heart and mind of someone, somewhere, who’s in a position to intervene, who can and wants to stop this madness.  But this weekend I want to set these worries, this mission, aside.  This weekend I just want to be Mom.  I want to have fun with my kids and my husband.  I want to shield Sophie’s eyes from any scary parts of the rodeo and run back to the car with Peter in tow if the booming fireworks are more than he can handle.  I want to put the kids to bed early one night and coax Pat into a relaxing, romantic evening where we can escape our problems, if only for a few, stolen hours.  Most importantly, I need to remind myself that what Pat and I are doing right now is not a sustainable, much less desirable, life pursuit.  It’s temporary, and it will pass.  We will have a life beyond fighting for Peter’s rights and his future.  But in the meantime, we’ll have to settle for stealing snatches of normalcy when we can, like this weekend, for instance.  I smile just thinking of Sophie singing You’re a Grand Old Flag in the backseat on the way to the lake.  Such a small little dream, but I sure hope it comes true.

7 Comments »

  1. “the persona of a crazed mother”…

    The definition of “crazed”; v.tr.
    “To produce a network of fine cracks in the surface or glaze of”

    You are producing a network of fine cracks in the surface of the District’s case so if that’s what you need to continue to do then so be it and God speed to you!…fine cracks tend to develop into massive gashes…those gashes cannot and will not be ignored…

    CRAZE on!

    Comment by Maggie — July 2, 2010 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

  2. Is Peter’s summer school at the same school with the same teachers, or at a different school?

    Maybe you should not send him to the bathroom alone if all he is going to do is play? I would think I would have to stand at the door (open or cracked) to ensure he was not playing and was sitting on the toliet until his business was done. Thus far the potty training is not working, so maybe you need to change ideas? Does Peter get rewarded for using the bathroom properly? I think you have to go back to like he is 2 years olds and include the same type rewards you would for a 2 year old.

    Comment by 4Kids4Karen — July 3, 2010 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

    • You’re right, of course – the problem is we’ve changed ideas a million times – and yes, I am now watching to make sure he goes and yes, he does have a reward chart.

      Re school, he is going to a program that uses the TEACCH method this summer – which is good – why the school won’t agree to send him there during the regular year is beyond me . . .

      Comment by whenrainhurts — July 4, 2010 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  3. Sending warm thoughts to you all and hoping that in those snatched moments of ‘normalcy’ and those happy family times you can forget the battles.
    By the way, what happened to the other half of the blog – and the story of Peter and Sophie’s beginnings in this country that was juxtaposed with the current story. Both are so powerful.
    hugs:)

    Comment by Claire — July 3, 2010 @ 11:46 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Claire – but you’ll have to wait for the book to come out! I now have an agent who thought it best to only post journal entries from here on out and leave the chapters for the bookstore :-)

      Comment by whenrainhurts — July 4, 2010 @ 9:45 am | Reply

      • that’s great news! I just went to your main blog page and found that out – usually I just read the updates as they come along. Congratulations on getting an agent and I look forward to buying your book when it comes out!

        Comment by Claire — July 5, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

  4. Well, Mary, if you ever need help with that ‘yelling’, just let me know… :) School district here thinks I’m a wacko too- same reason as yours – my kiddo needs more than just the inclusion run. But, hey, at least your ex isn’t siding with the school district, all in the pursuit of his own agenda…ugly as it may be. Yep, I’ve got a double fight here. It’s a wonderful life! lol

    Comment by Lori — July 12, 2010 @ 8:21 pm | Reply


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