Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Maternal Instinct

Call it good judgement, or perhaps just a mom being overprotective, but sometimes things just rub me the wrong way. Every year, Mikey had always taken the bus to and from school. At first, it made me uneasy, but after getting to know the drivers and matrons on the bus, I felt more comfortable.  However, I was always on alert, always, because I really do not trust many people with my son.
   Throughout  his school years, we were always fortunate when it came to bus drivers. We had a great relationship with them, as well as with the matrons on the bus. You can always tell when someone really enjoys helping the kids, and when they don't. We always had a nice group of people working with him, so we were happy.
   Fast forward to fifth grade. I am not sure what happened to our beloved driver, but one day he just disappeared. We never really found out what had happened, but a few other moms had told me he passed away. I felt terrible about that, because we really liked him. Obviously, a replacement was needed. When we initially met the new driver, something just didn't sit right with me. He was very nice, but almost too nice, and that made me a bit uneasy. I told myself that it was probably just me, and we went about our usual daily routines.
    After awhile, I kept telling my husband that something about this guy bothered me. I found him almost annoying. Each day he would talk to me a bit too much....I can't explain it, but it made me uncomfortable. It was as if he was trying to ingratiate himself to us. It got to the point where I dreaded the bus pulling up. I would always get a big " Hello Barbara, God bless you ."
    He also started asking me ,what I felt, were too many questions about Mikey. It was really getting on my nerves. I decided that I did not want Mikey on the bus anymore. Nothing happened, and he arrived home safely and promptly each day, but I couldn't shake this uneasy feeling I had.
   One day, as I was walking in front of the school ,his bus was parked out front waiting for the kids. He opened his doors when I passed, as he did each day( there was no escaping this guy), and said, hey Barbara, I want to show you something. He handed me a picture of my son that he had taken while Mikey was on the bus. The picture clearly showed that the bus was parked in front of the school, but this upset me. I never had given him permission to take any pictures of my son, either verbally or in writing. I replied" What is this?when was this taken? He told me that he just wanted to show his wife pictures of all of the kids on his bus. This was not okay with me. At that moment, I was happy that I made the decision to take him off of the bus.
    I mentioned it to a few other mothers, who said he did the same with them, and they found it very odd. I didn't want to have the guy lose his job, but this entire thing made me uncomfortable, and I have learned to always go with my gut. I did tell the school staff about it, but as of last year, he was still driving the bus.
    Whether I was overreacting or not, I can't be sure, but I do feel that I made the right decision about driving him to school everyday. Mikey, is non verbal, so he cannot tell me when people take his picture, or much of anything else. In my mind, that makes him more vulnerable than the average child, and I refuse to ever allow my child to become a victim of anything. 
    For all I know, this driver may just have been an over zealous guy, however, I wasn't about to test that theory. Maternal instinct is an amazing thing, and I will continue to listen to mine every time.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just A Boy and His Mom

Mikey had been having a pretty good year at school, given all of the transitions that he and his classmates had recently gone through.He never really gave us any trouble about going to school. He would wake up early every morning, with a big smile and bright eyes, and get ready for school.. He always went willingly. If there ever was a day that he seemed agitated in the morning, then we knew he really wasn't feeling well and we would keep him home.
    This particular day started out as any other. He was very cooperative in the morning, got dressed, brushed his teeth, and was ready to go to school. His school was on the other side of town, and I now drove him everyday. He used to take the bus, but I ended that after a brief discussion with his bus driver( more on that in a future post). So, we loaded up the car, and off we went.
   Each morning, I would walk Mikey into school and wait for one of his teachers/ aides to come and meet him. He willingly went with his teacher, waved goodbye, and he and I parted ways.
   After dropping him off at school, I went home. I was busy taking care of the usual household chores, you know, the never ending mountain of laundry that comes along with a large family, when my phone rang. It was Mikey's principal. She never called me, so I was quite surprised to hear from her.
  She asked me if I could possibly come back up to the school immediately and get Mikey. I asked what was wrong, and she went on to explain that he had been in school a short while, and he completely broke down. Hysterical. He was sobbing uncontrollably, and they could not figure out why. I assured her that I would be there in a few minutes, and raced out to my car.
   While driving to the school,my mind raced. What had happened after I left him? Was he sick? Was he in pain? He had been so happy this morning....what changed? I pulled up to the school and raced inside. The principal was there to meet me, and she told me that he was just sobbing and seemed  inconsolable. She escorted me down the hallway toward his classroom. Before we reached the room, Mikey, his teacher and the school psychologist turned the corner. I could see how sad he was, and my heart broke. He did not see me at first, as he was too distraught. When our eyes did meet, he took a few deep breaths, and his sobbing stopped. Just like that it was over. I kneeled down and held out my arms, and he ran into them. He squeezed me and just breathed in my ear, but no more crying. I assured him that I was going to take him home with me, and that whatever he had been upset about, he was now safe with me.
    The school psychologist appeared confused. She told me that when they asked him what he needed he responded on his communication device that he wanted to go home.  She could not get over how his hysterical sobs ceased the moment he laid eyes on me. How could he appear so distraught one moment, and then so calm and relieved the next? I explained to her that perhaps he just needed to be with me today, for whatever reason, he felt the need to be with his mom. She agreed, and told me that he quickly responded when asked if he wanted to go home. He needed me, and I was so happy to be there for him.
  You see, everyone has bad days now and again. Some of us long for a day off from work, others long to crawl back under the covers and go to sleep. That day, Mikey just needed me.  We thanked the ladies, and left the building. When we got back into our car, I looked at him and said" what happened Mikey? Did you miss me that much?" He just laughed, and my heart swelled. We were going back home......just me and my boy.