Those words.

Those words

The principal has fish in her office. It’s not a big tank, but large enough to catch your eyes and give them a place to rest when looking at faces is too hard, the conversation too difficult. Maybe that’s why they are there.

We had the final ILP meeting for the year last week. These meeting have become a part of the normal for us, and despite having so many of them under our belt, I’m always nervous leading into them. No matter how much good, how much positive, there’s always some downside.

And me being me, I have a tendency to focus there. So I have to prepare myself. Catch the words and give them a minute to settle before letting them under my skin. Filtering and putting things in balance. Perspective.

Coffee in hand, I watched the fish as they swam back and forth, and the teachers settled in around me.

The vibe is good here. So much better than other schools, other meetings. They tell me all the good things; how proud they are of Poss, how many things she’s mastered this year, how far she’s come.

I listen and wait for the but, the however, that always seems to come eventually. The words that cross out all those that come before them. I listen and it doesn’t come.

Instead, we talk about the broken little girl that we bought to them two years ago. The principal reflects on those first meetings and I admit that we were terrified that this school, so highly recommended, wouldn’t want our girl.

Yet, they looked past the cracks and saw the spark of potential that was hidden beneath a too long fringe and sad, sad eyes. And then spent the best part of the last two years uncovering it, bit by bit.

Of course, it’s not been easy. Poss has fought hard for every gain, every milestone and some days, some weeks, she misses, falls and we have to all work together to get her back to her starting position. Two steps forward, one step backwards, a dance that doesn’t become easier, no matter how long we do it.

Recognition of the struggle is real. Respect for the every day battles that Poss faces is part of what makes this work. She learns differently, needs different things. And that’s ok. Perfectly ok.

They smile and reassure me that although next year is going to be hard, that she’s going to need to work on lots of things, they’re on her side. That’s she’s a valued member of the class, of the school. They want to see her grow, shine, be the best possible Poss she can be.

I look at the fish swimming in their tank, as I let the words settle and get under my skin.

Those words, they can stay.

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  1. This is so beautiful, the way you write. Just beautiful.
    Poss is in good hands it seems.

  2. Ahhhh Bless

  3. That’s a bloody good school.

  4. And we all exhale a huge sigh of relief… 🙂
    I’m new to these kinds of meetings and words but hopeful that eventually we’ll find our place as you guys seem to have found yours.
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