And already my heart is heavy with worry and doubt.
His grandma took good care of him. He had a fabulous time at Myrtle beach, swimming in the pool, the ocean and at the water park. Once they were back in Maryland, she indulged him with multiple trips to the airport so that he could spot planes. On his last day, he got lucky, the rain stopped and grandma took a day off from work to take him to Six Flags, Great America! He is a roller coaster enthusiast and was able to ride all of the coasters multiple times.
He spent time hanging out with his cousin. They went to the beach together. They stayed up late talking and playing games. It can't get any better than that!
The only negative on this trip was his relationship with his grandpa. Grandma's husband is 81 years old and totally old-school. There were no special needs concessions from him. He talked to Red just like he talks to all of the grandkids. "Boy...get over there and sit down! Don't look at me like that! You better eat that food!" He doesn't mean any harm...that's just the way he is and at his age, he is not going to change. He didn't talk to Red any differently than he does to his cousin who just about lives there. That was hard for Red to take. "Why is grandpa so mean!?" He wants everyone to be all warm and fuzzy --to repeat themselves 39 times without loosing any patience.
Grandma is the soft touch...the mediator between them --that is when she wasn't working. Grandma is a petite woman like me standing about 5 ft. tall. She too is no nonsense, but she can make her point without raising her voice.
Missing his flight in Chicago turned out to be a blessing in disguise for him. It's one of the busiest airports in the country...a great place for plane spotting. In the unaccompanied minor lounge, there were windows so that he could watch airplanes, up close and personal. They also gave him a voucher so that he could buy a meal at Mc Donald's. Poor dude! Mommy's all worried and he is living it up!
He is full of smiles and conversation once we get home until it gets late and he brings up the subject of school.
"I really don't want to go back to that school. People make fun of me. I have too many enemies. I don't know how to do the work. It's too hard. Those people don't understand me. I don't trust Ms. So and So. That school is the source of all my stress. I'm just really worried mom."
I bring up all of the positives.
"You have a new friend there now. He wants you to be on the wrestling team. That will give you a chance to be a part of a group. You will be taking a career class that will help you figure out what you will be good at. They will help you figure out how to apply for jobs --how to write a resume. You can start to work with the multi-media team, which will ultimately help you in your career."
The truth is as I am saying this, I worry that he will put too much stake in this friendship and that he may be disappointed when he starts to overwhelm this kid and maybe he backs off.
The truth is I that I am ambivalent about his going back, but I want him to at least give it a try. I'm not ready to give up on him making it in a regular high school environment. I'm not ready to make his world smaller, and limited by a small school that doesn't have all of the resources of a larger school. But is the smaller school what's best for him?
He starts in with the crazy talk.
"I hate so and so. I'm not going to get in trouble, but I'm going to make them so mad that they will hit me and then they will get in trouble. Mrs. So and So is not to be trusted! I'm going to give her one more chance...but that's it!"
Oh Vey! What am I doing? Am I pushing him back into a situation that is going to overwhelm him, cause stress and make all of our lives miserable? Is this just his fear talking? Will he really be o.k.? Or is this my wishful thinking? Why has my gut instinct been telling me to send him back to give it a chance? Why am I now doubting my gut feelings? My head is starting to spin.
I finally tell him to just go to bed. I can't take it. My heart is starting to physically hurt. I am becoming overwhelmed by anxiety. I'm afraid I will not be able to sleep.
He's back...and so are all of my worries and doubts.
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