If you haven't been following along on social media, I'll make an incredibly long story as short as possible.
I HATED homeschooling. I'm not gonna go through the many reasons why, but I HATED IT HATED IT HATED IT. I honestly wasn't very good at it, I sucked at getting socialization for both of us, I don't think he was educated well enough. I should have known I wasn't cut out for it.
Real talk: the year really took a toll on both Ace's and my mental health. I was drinking a lot. A lot. Ace and I argued about everything all day and I would wind up hiding from him all night in the guest bedroom watching Netflix, not even saying goodnight to him or Drew. I started to honestly start losing maternal feelings because he was so abusive. Ace - well, Ace remained the same. I wanted to start the new school year sometime in September, but we had an awful incident at a party and Ace exhibited some really scary behavior and needed to go inpatient.
His counselor at that facility recommended the Mississippi State Hospital, commonly referred to as "Whitfield." If you're a resident of Mississippi, you've heard of Whitfield, and you're scared of it. Honestly, the campus is beautiful and looks a lot like Ole Miss. All brick buildings, white columns, white painted windows, very pretty. But you just KNOW (doom music) it's the (crescendo) state asylum.
My immediate reaction:
But, after some research and talking to a lot of people, I decided that was the best course of action. He was there 2 months, and y'all, he's a different kid, and I'm a different mom. That's a very long story, though, and HUGE understatements, and if I ever blog again, I'll tell you all about it. Who knew my kid could get top notch care at a Mississippi state-funded psychiatric facility??
One of the many bits of information the hospital gave us was that he'd be better served in the public school system because they have a lot of therapeutic avenues that are not available to me as a private citizen with great insurance and a pretty damn good income. He's going to get individual and group therapy and social skills training weekly. WEEKLY. I've looked everywhere - that is literally not available if you're paying privately.
He was discharged on Halloween, last Friday. He wanted to be Mario, reimagined as a werewolf. Alright.
We had an IEP meeting on Wednesday and they said he could start the next day. I. WAS. ECSTATIC.
I could go back and volunteer at the clinic, I could volunteer at The Little Light House, I could get pedicures alone, I could go grocery shopping alone... hell, I could sit in my underwear in the recliner and pick my boogers for 7 hours a day if I wanted. Blah blah blah doing what's best for my child blah 7 HOURS A DAY 5 DAYS A WEEK BY MYSELF.
LET'S GET TO THE BARRAGE OF FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL PICTURES, SHALL WE??
I was up at 6 on his first day, and although I won't have to wake him up until 7 normally, Ace was up at about 6:15. Drew was home because we only have one car right now and I had to drive him to work (another long story UGH), so I asked him to make some bacon and I started making pancakes.
(Never one to skip an opportunity to martyr myself, I'd like to point out I'd only had a single cup of coffee at this point.)
Pumpkin pecan oatmeal pancakes, Ace's favorite.
"Hey Ace, smile."
"No, dude, smile. And quit blinking."
"You blinked again!"
"I hate the flash, Mom!"
"Okay, I'll turn it off."
"DUDE, I turned the flash off!"
"I WANT TO EAT MY PANCAKES!"
Here's my big boy walking into school! Bye buddy! I love you!
Just kidding, I totally followed him in. Here's his teacher:
And here's Drew out of frame forcibly dragging me out of the classroom telling me I'm the most embarrassing person in the world right now.
Ace and I both have had a gosh darned wonderful couple of days. I watched the TedX Jackson talks yesterday and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. I LOVED IT. He says he misses me during the day but he's really having fun and has gotten "blue" on his behavior reports, which means "excellent."
I really am ecstatic, and hopeful, and happy, for the first time in 4 years. Also, my DSLR was fixed! Good news all around. I don't know how to finish long form writing anymore, so have a good day!