As a mom to special needs kiddos, I guarantee you that I appreciate teachers more than your average parent -- even more than a parent who happens to teach. I love my boyz but some days (especially Sundays), I tend to count the hours until Alan returns to school. It is just emotionally draining at times. I am unbelievably cut off from family and friends.
Even though I have teenagers, I can't leave them alone in the house for even the half hour it would take to run to the grocery store. I have been known to put a video on for Luke and run up to the grocery store to pick up milk or prescriptions and I am wracked with guilt the entire time. What if he climbs somewhere he is not supposed to climb? What if he falls and hurts himself? What if he opens a window and climbs out on the roof? The first two have happened repeatedly and although the last one hasn't happened (yet) it is certainly within the realm of possibility.
Now that Joe is driving, I can at least send him to the store, but there are certain things he is not capable of doing. He won't use our medical flexible spending card. He certainly will not look for the best deal when it comes to picking out soup, crackers, eggs, apples, etc. He won't buy any sort of produce unless it is something he will eat. Even though I have tried to show him how to pick out assorted veggies and meats, he is not comfortable buying them. Luckily I have some pretty fantastic neighbors who have been known to share an egg or an onion occasionally.
As always, DH helps immeasurably. But one of us always has to be on "Alan duty". 24/7/365 So when DH has to work on the weekends (it happens when you work for a utility!), or wants an afternoon off to work out, play a game with friends or even go see a movie by himself, that means I am on duty. Don't get me wrong, I do NOT begrudge him that time, just like he does not begrudge me the time I spend on miniatures during the school days. We both need that time "away". But for the person responsible for Alan, it is "duty".
In many ways dealing with Alan is like guerrilla warfare. According to Wikipedia, "Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants such as armed civilians or irregulars use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military."
That pretty much sums it up. Alan ambushes, sabotages, fights petty battles and is infinitely more mobile. DH and I are still larger (albeit not for much longer), less-mobile and traditional.
Most of our "battles" are small. But they are frustrating. Sunday morning Alan was whiny. I didn't know if the lack of structure was starting to get to him or what. Finally in desperation I gave him an ibuprofen early in the afternoon. Guess what? He calmed down and was a doll the rest of the day. Poor kid. Something was hurting on him, but he couldn't tell me what. All I had to go on was a whiny kid. Very frustrating!
But all these little things only highlight why I appreciate teachers. Teaching is truly a vocation. At the start of summer vacation, I am sitting here appreciating his teachers every moment.