Year of the Promise
September 04, 2009
Oh good Lord, what a day.
We had our home visit this morning with a bunch of school district people, including Noah's teacher (who I recognized from her Facebook profile, which I felt all sneaky about until I remembered how spectacularly Google-able we all are, so you know what? I'm going to just shut up, except to say that she and Noah had a nice talk about Pixar's Up, and right then and there you could SEE him fall in love with her, like, HARD).
Our home visit was supposed to start at 8:30, they arrived at 8:15, and yet I managed to get on one woman's permanent shit list because I took five extra minutes to finish brewing some coffee. Which I was making so I could offer them some coffee, but she terrified me so much that I refused to leave my seat for the entire visit, sitting upright with my hands folded, moving only to pick up an alarmingly large clump of cat hair from the baby's path but then I didn't want to get up to throw out the cat hair and so I panicked and put it in my pocket and then this OTHER woman saw me do that and gave me a weird look, like oh, God, she probably has a fingernail collection somewhere too.
(Typing that reminded me that I never took the clump of cat hair out of my pocket.)
Right off the bat they informed us that Noah's vaccination and health forms either never arrived or got lost and oh! You know how school starts on Tuesday? Yeah, don't bother sending him without those forms. I suppose I should be grateful that they did give me 15 extra minutes of heads up on that, because OH GOD, FORMS. This is something that you need to call your mother about right now and thank her for dealing with all your life, because you seriously have no idea. Doctor's offices and forms. You need the forms. The forms need the doctor. Your doctor needs $10 per page (two-sided is two pages! don't even think about it!) and five to seven goddamn business days, minimum. Twice that in "back-to-school" season, which of course runs from May to October, and then again in November to January. To just...get a form signed, same-day...unheard of. At least around here. Please don't tell me about how your pediatrician will sign forms if you happen to bump into each other at the grocery store because your town is just delightful and small and everybody hugs everybody all the time. I stopped to get cash before going to the pediatrician because I was full-on ready to bribe an office assistant into letting me bribe a nurse to sign an immunization record that I spent 20 minutes filling out myself so all it needed was one signature and a stamp.
The good news is that they agreed to sign it. Later. Six hours later, which in DoctorFormLand is like FedEx getting a package to China in 20 minutes.
Other than the forms, and the glares about the forms, and the talk about swine flu, the visit went well. Lots of questions and note-taking and no bullshitting around about what Noah needs to get out of this school year.
But...I don't know. There was something -- Jason felt it too, even though we couldn't quite articulate it -- that made us feel very, very. VERY GOOD about the decision to send Noah to an additional program. (I really need better nicknames for the preschools, by the way, other than "district preschool" and "The Preschool," especially since the capital letters are hard to say over the phone. I've been inserting dramatic pauses and using this movie-trailer-narrator voice but I think I'm annoying people. Perhaps the fake echo is too much?) Maybe the act of retelling our long history with Early Intervention put the pattern into sharper focus: Noah receives services and therapy, Noah responds remarkably to the services and therapy, services and therapy get reduced or stop altogether, Noah struggles and regresses without them, despite us kicking our own asses to do everything we've been told to do for him. Maybe it was when we were asked what our singular most major concern is, neither of us could answer, because it's not that simple. There isn't just one thing. So it makes sense that there isn't just one solution, either.
One night at the beach, Noah was having a hard time. I've already forgotten the details, the trigger. No matter how many times it happens, I can't seem to stop myself from asking "what's wrong? what's wrong, baby, what's WRONG?" Of course, he doesn't answer. He can't answer. We have a good dozen books on the subject and even they seem to mostly be guessing at the answer, at what it's like for a kid like him. Something was just WRONG, something he couldn't explain to us, something we couldn't fix.
And I stopped asking what was wrong. Instead, I made a promise. I told him it will get better and that it won't always be like this. The world will not always be so scary and strange. It won't always be like this.
I am keeping that promise. I am keeping. That. Promise.