I have felt worthless and invisible. I have wallowed in barrels of self-pity and almost drowned in self-doubt and hatred. I have considered suicide because I couldn't stand the sight of anything vibrant. The colors were too bright. I feared they'd shine light...
The Day of Summer Days Part I:
My son asked me why they have to go to camp everyday. I told him it was so he could meet new friends and have fun. He told me he only plays with his old friend and he’s not having much fun.
I told him it was so he could learn new things from a new teacher. “Aren’t you learning new things,” I asked.
“No. I only learned how to pass gas out loud, call it farting, and blame it on somebody else. I don’t learn anything from ‘the lady.'” (I’m not sure how I feel about his reference to his teacher as “the lady” just yet, and you may see why.)
Finally, I told him it was so that I could have the time to create the learning environment he and his sister and every Imani Genius deserves, and so I could have a break. I asked if he could just push through the summer so that I could focus. He agreed with tears pooling in his eyes, and then in mine. (Cue “mommy guilt.”)
When I walked him in the classroom, I saw the other student I teach, his old friend, sitting next to “the lady” crying. I asked what was wrong. “They just do that,” the lady replied referring to both of my Imani Geniuses with a shrug of the shoulders. I took some time to talk with both of my babies about their feelings amidst the puzzled stares of the other two teachers in the room.
“The lady” interrupted me to tell me that my son was “really, really smart.” “Just yesterday,” she continues, “I was teaching them about how to plant a seed and what happens when it starts to grow, and he already knew everything about it. He even knew all the parts of the flower, and he knows how to read too!” She says this as though she’s surprising us both with some newfound discovery. I asked how they were doing socially and if they engage with others and she told me my son was very “outgoing” and loves playing with the other boys in the class.
My son gave me “the look” that says, “the lady is lying.” (My husband says he’s playing me.) My other student reached her arms for me. I looked both of my babies in the eye and told them I’d be back early and that I would work on fixing this.
So, now, thanks to Laurieann Gibson’s quote from “So You Think You Can Dance,” my own witness to the lesson of farting and blaming in my son’s classroom, and my experience with my daughter and another client (Parts II & III) this morning, I am even more committed to figuring out how to get the Raising Imhotep Scholars of Excellence model executed for all of our Imani Genuises.
“Your future self deserves for you to humble yourself and do the work to prepare for a bigger win.” -Laurieann Gibson