Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Big Idea.

I'd like to wipe clean from my memory, and from Owen's, his entire fourth grade school experience.

The daily battle to drag his carcass out of bed at 6am.  The struggle to get him dressed and fed and out the door to catch the bus by 7am.

The over two hour round trip commute to school.

The whimpering shadow of my once happy child falling  exhausted through the door at 4pm.

The instant reduction to tears at the mention of homework. The nuclear meltdown if the homework happened to be math.

The stress caused by demands he learn to play the fucking recorder,  complete with threats from music douchebag teacher that if he doesn't learn, he might earn a poor grade.

The effort to maintain friendships with his Deaf friends who are scattered so far and wide that out of school outings are a rarity.

And the lack of time and energy to make any Hearing friends that might live nearby.

The whole year was physically, academically, emotionally brutal.

And then a letter arrived during the final week of this hellish year.

Owen's school for the Deaf, which rents out space in a public school; which was kicked out of its last host town three years ago and relocated to this current town (an hour away), was being kicked out again.

The thought of poor anxious Owen, at a brand new school, who knows how far away, in who knows what kind of school district, was too much.

Anger, frustration, pity, nausea.

I met his bus that day in the driveway, letter in hand, ready to cry to Owen's driver who also is an aide at his school.

What do you know?  Where will they go? When will we find out?  What about his friends?  Will they be scattered?  What about his Hearing friends at school? 

What the stupid fucking fuck are we going to do?! 

My heart hurt.

She had no answers and was just as distressed as I was. And as for Owen's friends at school?  She dropped this little nugget on me;

"He sits alone at lunch you know.  Away from his Deaf classmates. Nowhere near any Hearing kids. At his own table. By himself."

At which point my heart exploded out of my chest, dropped to the pavement with an audible splat, and ran screaming off into the woods hoping to be devoured by a coyote.

As it sloshed its way back to me, panting having unfortunately outrun the coyote, it imparted unto me an idea. The idea.

Well that's just about the dumbest idea ever in the history of dumb ideas.  Never going to happen. You, my dear heart, are out of your mind.

But I knew.  It was the only way.  It was something I'd said hundreds of times I couldn't possibly do. Those who did this thing were clearly not the same species as myself.

And I planned a phone call to his school's director, ready to be shot down with my crazy pants idea.

She loved it.  Declared it the best idea ever. The best thing for Owen.  And let's have a meeting with the School District to put a plan together!

Well at least School District chick will tell me the truth; "Yes, Mrs. Elefanten that has got to be the worst idea I have heard in my entire career. Excuse me now while I laugh my ass off at you
and your horrible idea."

District chick loved it too.  A lot.  The two of them sat there and had the nerve to look me in the eye and tell me I could do it.  That I'd be great. That it would be the best thing for Owen.  That they would be there for me every step of the way, only a phone call away, to help with whatever we needed.

Bitches even made me cry because apparently Owen is lucky to have me and my fantastic idea.


In early September we put Bea on the bus and sent her off to first grade.

And Owen came back into the house and started his school year.


  1. Mommy, wife, general & all-around kick-ass, swearer of epic proportions, and teacher.

    You're a wonderful lady, Mrs. Elefanten.

  2. I. Love. You.
    You are absolutely fabulous.

  3. Holy shit, you posted! I am so pleased to find you in my blog feed thingie. You rock, lady, you always did but now even more. You can teach him bad words in peace.

  4. Oh, I know you couldn't have sent him back to that!! I'm glad you have the support to do this for him.

    And, holy cow, those kids have grown!!

  5. They've gotten so big!

    Its a pity his school situation has been such an upheaval for you guys. I hope homeschooling works out!

  6. Awesome to see you in my timeline again. You know you rock right? You know you're on my bucket list to meet right? I {heart} you much.

  7. They're so big - surely not that much time has passed.

    Home schooling? I bow to you.

  8. While you told this story, my heart exploded in the middle right along with yours.
    And then pieced itself back together when I got to the end.

    You kick ass so hard.

  9. What a wonderful thing to do for your child! They're growing up so fast.

  10. My beautiful mama, this is exactly the age we brought my son home: 4th grade. The words from the lunch monitor, "he eats alone" were the last straw. He came home, blossomed, and I dont care what people said, he doesn't need to see "this is the real world." At least, now while I'm around. xo *SO GOOD TO SEE YOU* xo

  11. Love it. Love hearing from you. Love that you are doing this, and fucking LOVE that he's happy with it. xoxo

  12. Fuck I have missed your writing. It's unique, you know.
    Knowing what vibrant, awesome kids you have, the thought of school being the seven rings of Hell is heartbreaking. Of course you will be amazing.

  13. I can back just in time for the good stuff. :)

  14. so how's that going for you? I don't even read blogs anymore and just happened to check yours today to see if you still posted! hooray! hope your guy is loving his new school situation, I know he loves his teacher. - Sherri

  15. So how is that going? I think I'd be shit at it, too, but if it was the best thing for my kid I would suck it up. Like you have, because you rock.

  16. "Bad Words" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

  17. Checking back in on my regular loves. This is so awesome. You're so awesome. And inspiring. XO

  18. Awesome school year, right? I love his new classmates - best wonky brained group I've met in a long time.

  19. I still check back to see if you've posted an update. I loved hearing about your incredible family! I hope all is going well!

  20. I come back to find that and then no updates! I want to know how it went. I'm putting you in my new RSS feed in case you do come back and say. I want to know!

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Use Your Words.