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Friday, March 25, 2011

"You Had Me At Hello"

This was one of those infamous mornings where my son did not want to go to school.  I finally got him out of the house and into the car and to the school parking lot, but he wanted to sit and listen to music, argue and whatever else he could do, in order not to actually go through those front doors.  He starts getting shall we say, extremely audible, so I roll the windows down so that he will be too embarrassed to yell.  I get out of the car and open the door for him and hand him his backpack.  I say, "Good-bye son.  Have a good day."

As I return to my side of the car, a young lady that I know and have known for years, the one whom Red has been asked to stay away from, crosses directly in my path.  I say, "Hello.  How are you?"  She smiles and respectfully says, "Hi! I'm Fine thanks!"  What the hell did I do that for?

After she walks away.  He goes off!

"That's not fair!  Why do you get to speak to her and I don't!  She's my friend!  It's not fair that I don't get to speak to her anymore!  I'm going to go talk to Mrs. H about that damn document they made me sign! It's not f-ing fair!"

He walks through the doors finally.  I follow.  He actually walks towards the vice-principals office.  His demeanor is much more calm by the time he reaches the office entry way.  He asks the receptionist to see his Vice Principle.  The V.P. obliges.  I follow.  She speaks to him very softly, very kindly.  I am grateful.

She tells him that he needs to get to a good place where he can speak to this student.  He needs to be able to stay calm and not be so emotional, (like he is right now).  He needs to be o.k. about who else she is friends with (boyfriend or otherwise).  "When you are feeling o.k. with all of that, and can show us that you are in control, I will be glad to revisit the agreement you signed.  It's not permanent."

"You shouldn't have to be an athlete or be ripped to have girls like you," he says.
"You're right.  And that's not a requirement.  Some girls like a guy just because he's nice...because he is kind and has a good personality," I interject.
"Not at this high-school," he retorts.

How would he know? He doesn't have a generally nice, open, upbeat personality.  But of course, he can't see that.  He can only see what he perceives that others have and how others feel.  His picture is seen through  a very narrow frame.  In fact, it's like he's looking into a tunnel and he can't see what's outside of that tunnel.  The sun could be shining out there, but he can only see what's in the dark tunnel we call his mind.

I am grateful for the patience and the kindness of the Vice Principal we spoke to today.  I am prayerful that Red will come out of the tunnel into the light and see what he can do to make his situation better.  I pray that he will let others guide him into the light.  I am prayerful that he will be open to help himself.

At the end of the day, I get an e-mail.  He went to the lunch room, saw this student, got upset and decided to leave the area and go to his safe place...of his own accord.  He returned to his social skills classroom and talked out his feelings.  This is good news!  This is a huge step for him.  My prayer is being answered.

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