Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Big Things.

Inara asks, for possibly the tenth time today, why she doesn't have to go to school. And for possibly the tenth time, I tell her that there is no school for the entire week because of winter break. And just as she has done nine times previously, she relaxes her shoulders, breathes an audible sigh of relief and says, "Oh good. I was just making sure." Then she gives me a full-on body hug, throwing her thirty some-odd pounds of person into it, and whispers fervently in my ear, "Thank you, Mama. Thank you."

My daughter hates school. There. I've said it. And I can't unsay it or candy coat it or pretend that the problem will go away, because the truth of the matter is that I just don't know. I don't know how this has happened or why or what I can do about it. And I am completely flummoxed.

I ache to see her hurting in this way. When she wakes up every morning and mumbles through her sleepy yawns, "What day is it, Mama? Is it a school day?" I dread answering her. I dread it because if I tell her that it isn't a school day, her mood is instantly lightened. And if I tell her that she does indeed have to go to school, then she is absolutely devastated. Even now, almost six months since she began school, she still cries during drop-offs and pick-ups. Last Friday was the first time that she had a tear-free day at school. Which means that she could finally be enjoying herself, or that it might have been an anomaly. And of course now we have a week off for her to build up her anxiety again.

I can't tell you how difficult this has been for me, and for our family. We walk around on eggshells, tiptoe around pointed questions, and deftly steer away from conversations that will cause tears. Yousuf and I put the girls to bed at night and in a sad attempt to have some together time, usually end up curled up in each other's arms, asleep on the couch. It's not good. We are so worried. We need answers.

There have been medical terms offered forth, and they are supposed to give me some measure of comfort. But honestly, I'm hurting too much right now to think about them. I don't want to get into the specifics...yet. It's all vague and nebulous and we don't know how things are going to pan out. We are in the process of being evaluated, tested, talked at. We fill out forms all day. We make phone calls. We leave messages. We wait...and wait. We have made appointments - and we will see what happens.

The worst part is the waiting, and the not knowing. And wondering what the future will hold for my beautiful, intelligent, perceptive, perfect little girl.

Right now she is peering at me over the screen of my laptop, telling me about the antibacterial properties of mouthwash. And smiling. She is so gloriously happy in this moment. I want her to have this, always and forever. I want to do right by her. I want to make everything okay.

Isn't that what mamas are supposed to do?

So why can't I make this better?

These are the Big Things we're dealing with.

Now you know.

I feel like my heart is in your hands now...please handle it gently, because today it feels like it's on the verge of breaking.
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