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I thought I overcame my phobia of checking our mailbox, and then WHAM! Blindsided once again by an innocent looking, standard-sized envelope, addressed to “The Parents of......Grace.”
When we got her final grades for the semester several weeks ago, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Grace scraped by, if barely. But she did. Between the trouble, the suspension, the mono, the constantly working from behind, the community service, our family birthdays, the holidays, all of the pressure and depression, I just didn’t know if she (we) would be able to overcome it. I knew she could, but did she want to? Mostly not; she almost gave up under the weight of the circumstances. I immediately requested a team teacher conference after her nonchalant pronouncement: “I think I’m going to drop out. I can’t catch up, so why even try? I’m old enough to quit.” At the meeting I shamelessly begged her teachers to help me help her work through it; I’d lost one child this year and was on the verge of losing another… Her civics teacher, Ms. Andrews, dug in last September as things began to cascade, encouraging Grace to keep trying and refusing to let her slip away… After the conference, Ms. Andrews pushed her peers to do the same; Grace buckled down, worked nonstop…and ultimately passed every class. The first half of the year was behind us, or so we thought.
Until this letter arrived. Stating we had a limited amount of time to complete an additional program (as a family) in order to satisfy the conditions of the punishment meted out last September. The requirements of which, besides this, were fulfilled over two months ago. Just. One. More. Little. Thing.
Oh. Hell. No.
I. Don’t. Think. So.
Enter Ms. Type A. She took over. Pulled the paperwork. Re-read the entire packet. Re-read the latest mandate. Made phone calls. Sent emails. More phone calls. Stressed the difference between ‘recommended’ versus ‘required’, as in ‘optional’ versus ‘mandatory’. Offered thanks for the concern and for the program, but firmly refused to participate in ANOTHER THING pertaining to this offense. In her judgment, it wasn’t needed or necessary. We’d done enough. Participation was recommended, not required. Therefore, we were opting out. File the paperwork accordingly. Amend your rules and wording as necessary for future offenders. But we’re finished. Period.
Now that I think about it, maybe it really wasn’t Ms. Type A, but the fierce mommy cat who resides inside each woman, roaring out to defend one of her cubs… I went along with everything the system demanded of her and of us, until today. Enough. I’m not going to allow anyone or anything to drag us backward; it’s too hard to make a millimeter of progress…
Wishing you blessings and hope…tg
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