This morning I had the second trimester parent/teacher conferences for the kids. More on Aidan tomorrow. Tonight I need to write and process what I learned about Samantha.
Academically, she is good to go. Still a few pockets of skill deficits from 3rd grade with regard to math, but nothing that a little supplemental help at home can’t fix. After academics, her advisor then wanted to move to social issues. I piped up that I had no concerns with Samantha around social issues. Cue jaw dropping moment. Apparently there was an issue that was addressed at school and I did not learn about until this morning.
It involves excluding.
I was shocked that Samantha would be a part of anything like what was explained to me. I tried to put on my best poker face for the rest of the meeting (I am sure I would be given a C+ for these efforts) and left the meeting feeling defeated as a parent and a teacher. I have devoted the last 3 years of my life to teaching girls to stand up for themselves, not to exclude, and be true to who you are.
Thankfully I was set to take my friend Courtney and her sweet Mabrey lunch today. Courtney has some serious autoimmune issues going on and has not been able to get a good diagnosis and treatment plan in place. Her symptoms are complicated, but they leave her limited in her ability to leave the house other than just routine mom duties. We always talk on the phone at least once a week, so I could hear her need for adult interaction when we talked last week. The fact that she has a 3 yr old makes her isolated, but add in the health issues and that makes life super hard for her.
The friendship Gods must have known that Courtney and I needed to be together for lunch today. Mabrey was flushed, whiney, wanting extra attention (go me). And Courtney, over Moon Asian Bistro take out, was blunt with her thoughts on Samantha. I am paraphrasing but it went something like this…. it is so obvious that she would rebel in this way. She has been so involved in your Girls TALK, serving as a positive role model, etc. She is testing and trying out new things in a way that seems safe to her. Being the good girl and postive role model is something that she has excelled at. This other world is new to her. Folks, that is what we call perspective. Super grateful for that.
Samantha and I had a LONG conversation and she wrote this really good reflection about the issue. I know that she is amazing lady, and all of this is a part learning to be the kind of person you want be. I just need a better poker face.