The other day I was looking for something in my son's backpack and found a note,
"You are really good at taking a punch to the stomach"
That was all it said. I was startled. What did it mean? Was some kid punching my son? Was it some sort of awful game they were playing? I read the news I know about all the awful stuff that is happening in schools. I ran over to text my son and ask about this. I hear his phone vibrate across the room. He didn't take it with him when he left the house.
The idea that my son had been punched made me ill. I thought back to try and remember if there were any warning signs. No, not a thing. I picked up his phone to check his text history. What I found was more shocking. Several kids had congratulated him on how he took the blow. Was this a spectator sport?
By the time he came home I was sick with worry. He looked at the note and laughed. It turns out his character, Big Jule, in the musical he is in gets punched in the stomach. Apparently the cast thinks he great at stage combat. I feel like such a goof. He is not the type of kid to keep his troubles stashed away. For a couple of hours I didn't trust.
Over the past couple of years I have worked on not jumping to conclusions. Yep, still working on that. I have found if I am frustrated with my son's services or school it helps to really dig around and get the facts before I react. I also like to take both sides of the debate to get a better perspective. Deaf education is complicated but it gets much clearer if I step back, take a deep breath and look at the big picture.