Wednesday, August 28, 2013
It is funny how today's post and today's anniversary kind of run together in my mind. I'll let you decide if they really fit the way they do in my head...
Today I realized that people's tolerance is directly proportional with the time they have.
If you have plenty of time, it is easy to show acceptance. If you are running late, you are more likely to fall into patterns of intolerance.
Last year, I let the girls sleep in as late as I possibly could and still get to school on time. We made it most days, but it was really touch and go. There was not time to whine about breakfast or shoes or how they didn't want to go. I admit to being very short if any of these items were brought up.
This year, due to Gabriel's new school, he has to get up much earlier, and the girls get restless and get up with him. I got alarm clocks because of particular requests, and they have proven to have a positive effect on all the kids. So, we have plenty of time to change our minds about clothes, shoes, and what they want for breakfast...and we are getting to school much earlier.
Last year, I was brought to the threshold of crazy thanks to the unwillingness of some of school staff to open the door for the girls to get out. Previous to last year, I dropped Elise off on the other side of the school from carline. Her teacher or para-pro greeted her and got her out of the car and into school. Last year, they cracked down on this practice and made her come into school with everyone else. Except I cannot leave the car door without a child-lock because Elise has attempted to open the car doors while the car was MOVING. So, this means none of my children can open the car doors without them being opened from the outside. I am not *allowed* to open my car door in carline, although I have before...so that leaves the bus duty staff to do so. They often do this for littler kids, so I'm not asking for anything unique. BUT if you are running bang on time, and you have no wiggle room, anyone taking longer than it takes kids to fall out of the door; gets hand waving; flipped off; car lights flashing; and on occasion, horns beeped. I usually ended up having to pull all the way through the entire carline, stopping even 2 or 3 times in a pass in front of a staff member that stood there like a boob and made no move to open our doors. I ended up making an orange handicapped hang tag with "Student Needs Help" written on it, and emailing the school that fact...so it would signal help was necessary for the student to get out of the door. There were several staff members that would still never raise their hand to open our door. I even went to the principal after them turning a blind eye to me WAVING THEM OVER gesturing at the window tag...and I may have threatened crazy behavior at that point (a demanding sign with naughty words on it)...and the principal admitted to having the temptation of letting me go through with said crazy behavior, just to watch said staff members squirm... I don't know what she said to them, but the two staff members that were especially a problem started opening the door with saccharine greetings that made me want to shake them til their teeth rattled.
This year, Elise's para-pro is on duty and is calling to the staff at our station to open our doors. The infamous hang tag hasn't made an appearance, nor do I anticipate the naughty sign being a temptation. But, more interestingly, I am not getting the waving of hands; flashing lights; or angry, revving engines. At all. I believe this is due in part that if you are not late, you aren't as willing to throw everyone else under the bus to avoid your kids being marked tardy.
Today is the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. I have spoken on more than one occasion that the disabled population is this generation's oppressed minority. In addition, I have read recently, that stress is #1 health problem in the US, that stress contributes heavily to heart disease, obesity, and substance abuse issues. I have no trouble believing this. And this I further believe that it contributes to continuing race tension, oppression of people with disabilities, the divorce rate, and even more stress itself.
Maybe we don't need more time passing to fix relational issues. Maybe we need to pare down our lives, take out un-needed commitments, and add time to allow freedom of movement during our day. Maybe if we weren't tearing around at 100 miles an hour, we'd have time to stop other people's intolerances, to allow more time for those who need it to process input from life, and to build relationships and friendships with our dear ones and friendships with people unlike us. Maybe we need to take time to love each other?