I Remember Charles

The grade school I went to was a VERY small parochial school.  Very small.  As in, in the time I attended for 4 years, the K-8 school never had more than 12 students all in one room.  Yes.  That small.

When I was in 7th grade a new student came who was one year behind me.  As is the wont of ignorant adults, no one told us anything about him.  We came to realize he had delays.  Looking back on his physical appearance and delays with autistic characteristics, I have come to realize that he probably had Fragile X.

He was desperate to fit in.  Desperate for a girlfriend, because the other big boy in school had one (not me, I didn't fit in either, although better than him.  And she had big boobs.  Something I still don't have.)  And he was constantly in trouble.  Whatever trouble he didn't get in by himself, some of the others were willing to goad him into.  And our school allowed paddling, although that was rare.  Unfortunately, it wasn't rare for Charles.

Remembering back, I wonder how often I stuck up for him.  I was constantly upset by the situation.

I also wonder what the hell his parents were doing.  I met them several times.  At school functions and once when we went to their house for a party.  His mom I don't remember.  His dad was a professional of some sort.  They had a nice (nicer than our) house, but not extravagant in any way.  They had older children who were not developmentally delayed.

And his dad seemed embarrassed by Charles.  Yelled at him a lot.

I compare my own parenting to that.  I compare my kids to me and Charles.

Sam reminds me a lot of Charles.  Awkward.  Goofy sometimes.  Probably easily manipulated.  Thank goodness he has a TSS around school most of the time.  And he's appropriately avoided bullying at least once, so I hope we've taught him something.  He's also not as desperate for acceptance as Charles, which is probably good news.

I tell Isaac that bad kids aren't 'bad', they just haven't learned the right way.   That it's his job to show them.  And to be their friend, so they have someone they can trust.

I am rarely embarrassed by my kids, although I used to be.  I do yell.  I am a yeller, I admit.  My yells are usually "LISTEN, get out of your head and be HERE with ME while I'm talking please!"  And sometimes the stims get on my very last nerve.  Especially when it's all stim and no attention.  And I have fewer nerves when my depression is on the ascendancy, which is a problem I have not yet figured a way to effectively treat.

I just hope it's good enough.  I don't want my kids to grow up and blog about how I traumatized them.  I want to traumatize them by kissing them too much in public.  I want to traumatize them by bragging on them.  Those things they seem to take as their due, however.  I don't want to traumatize them by wounding them emotionally or letting them ever think I am ashamed to be their mom.

Because I think they are awesome superheroes, dealing with shit that very few people could ever comprehend.  So I try to tell them that a lot too.

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