What I should have said…

I feel compelled to clarify something from yesterday’s post.

This is what I said:

Last year, our habitual tardiness was a thorn in the first grade teacher’s side.  He asked me every week to please put my son on the bus instead of driving him to school.

How this man could possibly teach autistic children and come to the conclusion that my driving was to blame for our late arrival…well, that’s beyond my comprehension.  Whatever.

First of all, our tardiness is by no means a “habit.”  It is an unfortunate byproduct of an unpredictable life.  There is simply no way to perfectly time arrivals with an autistic child.  I did myself a disservice by characterizing it as habitual.  I chose the wrong word.

To me, “habit” implies complacency and laziness and I have neither of those on this issue.  If you know me, you know that I show up when I say I will.  Obviously, there have been some exceptions, but for the most part, tardiness is not in my nature.

There are days on which we start the morning twenty minutes late and miraculously manage to arrive at school twenty minutes early.  And there are days on which we all get up an hour ahead of schedule and somehow still can’t get out the door on time.

My son might wake up happy and bouncing and care nothing about the little hurdles in his day.  Or he might wake up sullen, withdrawn, lost and uncommunicative.  The tiniest things can set him off and take an hour to recover from.  So we’re late a lot, but it’s not a habit.

Secondly, I think the first grade teacher is doing a good job.  I didn’t think that when we started with him at the beginning of last year and I withdrew my son from the school.  We spent a horrific five or six weeks elsewhere and ultimately came back.

I was impressed with the teacher’s professionalism and immediate acceptance of my son back to his classroom.  I am grateful that any animosity he may have felt for me was never passed along to my son in any way.  The teacher has a good heart and has become better at his job in the time that I’ve know him.

To this day, I do not fully know his motivation for continually pushing the bus transportation at us.  He rattled off a few reasons in a meeting one day, but none of them rang true to me.

It is my belief that he found our late arrival problematic and did not appreciate having to wait for us at the bus gate on the days we didn’t make it.  I also believe that he hoped simply to avoid seeing me each day.

I could be wrong and it really doesn’t matter anyway.  We carefully considered this issue long ago, we made a decision and have always felt perfectly justified in driving our son to school.  End of story.

Thirdly, I need to say that I have a ton of respect for all teachers.  Even those who annoy the heck out of me on occasion are generally deserving of praise.  Their jobs are extremely difficult and not everyone could do them.  So, for whatever it’s worth, I offer this clarification.  I won’t delete my post, but I will append it.

2 thoughts on “What I should have said…

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