Yeah there are times when I get “all mother bear” and almost lose it…. if you mess with my kids I will flip out on you… Yeah as a Christian I am supposed to be “loving”… sure…but there comes a point when anger must be unleashed. My priests have said that anger is not a sin… it is what you do with it. “In your anger do not sin,” Ephesians 4:26. There is righteous anger… there are times that we need to release the flying monkeys and go off…
Yeah I can and will flip tables if I need to, especially if my children are involved. Maybe it’s because I am a quarter Irish and I can lose my temper easily… but I know I need to control that anger. “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” Proverbs 29:11. I know I need to control it and use that energy to make a difference.
If it wasn’t for my anger I would not be the Special Education Teacher I am today. Back when my son was in second grade I was invited to his IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings to discuss how he was doing in school… and what the school needed to do to help him succeed. He was having a difficult time accessing a proper education because something was up. He could not sit still and he had sensory issues (we now know why: he is diagnosed with AD/HD, Specific Learning Disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome). At the time I had no idea what was going on in school and why I was even at the meeting. So I sat there like a blob on a log as the team rattled off strange jargon and talked about my son as if I weren’t there. I finally had had it and I raised my hand. I did the international sign for “all of this is going over my head” (swiped my hand over my head) and said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Well, what happened next I will never forget. They laughed. Yes, they did. They laughed at me and said they always forgot that the parents don’t understand the jargon. Hm. Not a good move. But, ya know what? I am glad they laughed. Because it made me angry. Very angry. Parents should not be treated like that at IEP meetings. So I used that anger. I did something about it.
Several years later I went back to school and got my Master’s in Special Education. Yes that one meeting where they laughed at me made me angry enough to go back to school. I wanted to understand what went on in IEP meetings. I wanted to understand my child’s disabilities and help him succeed. I wanted to have valuable input in those meetings. I wanted to be valued as a knowledgeable part of the team. I wanted respect and I wanted them to know how much my child means to me. Now that I am a Special Education teacher I make sure my student’s parents feel they are part of the team and that their input is important… and they don’t feel lost and confused at the meetings.
I can say that I have gone all mother bear and released my inner flying monkeys since that meeting… I remember making the Principal and the Vice Principal of the elementary school green (seriously, they were literally green during that crazy mother bear freak out meeting)… they had suspended my son for doing something that he could not control because of his disability. Their whole “Zero Tolerance Policy” made me so angry… that I went in and flipped out on them. Big time crazy momma. They still suspended him, but I made sure they knew that I did not agree with their policy.
Two days ago my “mother bear” in me was enraged about a school policy (middle school this time).. but I am glad I controlled that mother bear impulse to go all crazy on them. A teacher had taken his ipod away from him because he took it out in class to check the time. They took it away and kept it at the office and I had to go get it. I understand not wanting kids to text or play with electronic devices during school… but give him detention… don’t TAKE my son’s $200 ipod from him. I am glad I waited a day to go get it. I was able to calm down, talk to a fellow Aspie mother and realize I needed to pick my battles… this was not a good battle to show my true mother bear colors. I smiled and was nice as I picked up his ipod. BUT If someone at the school had tried to talk to me about the situation I may have gone off… just sayin… glad they didn’t… O.o
God had me use my anger… he lead me into special education and helped me help my son and other families… I am grateful where this crazy journey has brought me. I will forever protect my kid and my students (I tell them I am their parent at school… I will do all I can to help them). Being a controlled mother bear does make a difference.