Ladies Camera Club

12 Jul 2007

It all comes to the surface eventually

I did a shoot this morning. The weather was its usual pigginess. On and off drizzle, so it was time for the studio lights until the drizzle stopped. These two kids were polar opposites in posing. Lil Tom told me who the boss was - oh yes! And sweet Hannah was totally and utterly relaxed. Their momma, Sonia is such a lovely woman who I could talk to so easily with. It made my morning an absolute pleasure - the calm before the storm if you will. And it helped mask my feelings of this week. I must thank Sonia for providing me with an entertaing Thomas, a demure Hannah and a fabulous woodland walk to take my mind off a couple of things.

As for stuff rising to the surface? Wait for this monster vent. Its a bit raw, shall we say.

I wont lie, its been a pig of a week emotionally. Scrub that word pig and replace it with bitch, if I may be so bold.

I can't sit here and write in my blog about all the bright and shiny side to my life because that would be fake, right? So Im going to share something that's hurting me a lot. And I mean hurting so much that I actually feel like Im dying.

No drama, just raw spillage.

Monday morning was a pig indeed. I had found out on Sunday that belle finished school this Friday and not next Friday. As Belle has a short term memory issue, she forgets to tell me what the teachers ask her to tell me. Ive approached the teachers over the years to ask if they would give ellie a note or to extra remind her of things of importance. But the last time I asked a teacher to do this she said that she wasn't prepared to do it and that she tells all the children at the same time and its up to them to remember. I kid you not, those were her very words. They simply haven't, after 4 years at that school, identified that Ellie has these special issues. A doctor has clarified she has a two year development delay and yet the school continue as normal. Because Belle doesn't have a diagnosis, she is child X with syndrome X. Syndrome X is a shit excuse for ignorance. I also found out that belle was going on a bowling and limousine trip only on Friday evening too, instead of last week as per letter from school which I didn't get. I really didn't know anything about it. I felt stupid when Glens momma asked me what belle was wearing for the event. I just didn't know anything but luckily she was allowed to still go. The letter for that trip went out last week but Belle was at Occ Therapy the afternoon the notice went out. Nobody reminded her or indeed gave her the form.

I bite my lip, I really do. Im not a ranting momma, Im a hurting momma.

So tonight belle goes to the bowling and limousine event. I hear that some of the boys were wearing Tux's this morning. We thought it was "just for fun". What I didn't realise was that it was proper prom dress up until late this afternoon. But dressing up is something Belle cannot fully appreciate as she cant wear pretty grown up party shoes. Her feet are deformed and she is 11 years old with size 10 feet. "T bar" shoes ain't so good on a 11 year old. And its no fun wearing boots or trainers with a strappy dress that they dont make for 7 year olds (her size). So I put her in a nice little outfit. Capri white jeans and a smart denim dress but with pretty trainers instead of her scruffy boots. And we turn up at school and all of her peers look 16 years old and amazing. They truly looked fantastic. All with up do's, make up and beautiful outfits.

I dont want you to think Im feeling sorry for myself here, because that's not what its all about.

Its about fitting in. Inclusion. Peer Pressure.

I look at Belle in her casual but smart appearance and look at her class mates and metamorpically raise my hands to heaven and say to him "what are you doing to me?". Belle doesn't hang around for pictures, obviously and its raining pretty bad. She heads off indoors and takes a seat waiting for the limo. I remain calm but inside I am dying so hard. My bottom lip starts to tremor and I really bite it hard to stop it. Im surrounded by people who really haven't got a clue about Belles issues. I worry that they think I couldn't be bothered dressing her up. But I did try and I just thought it was a bowling trip not a full on prom style event. I want to stand on a chair and tell them that Belle cant wear pretty party shoes or wear strappy dresses because of her size and indeed skinny frame. I resist the urge. My heart races pretty fast and its starts to ache. And through the door I can see her having fun and Im happy for her. But its hard. Do I make sense?

As I was hanging around in the gloom, one momma tapped me on the shoulder and praises belle about her part in the school play. That filled me up. It was nice and unexpected. Then she asks about Belle's report and was it good. I said it was. It didn't make sense in some parts but it was good. The momma said the same thing. There was obvious signs of cutting and pasting in the typed report as her son Tom was described as Christopher in parts. Thats funny, I thought. Belle's teacher had her constantly changing from She to he in various parts of the report. Its obvious her report wasn't just solely about belle. It hurt. I thought about complaining about it but whats anyone going to do with end of term tomorrow and really, will my voice be heard? I appreciate that the teachers have 30+ reports to do but all I ask in return is that belle be treated with a little honesty. I send her to school - clean, hair brushed, teeth cleaned and on time every day. I think its only fair that for her effort that she is rewarded with a report to reflect her and not the cut and paste of someone elses report. The other momma went round asking other momma's about this but I just went home to bed and sobbed and wondered how to mend a broken heart in 4 hours until it was time to pick her up at 9pm. I wasnt going to let Ellie see me like this and Im not going to spoil her last few days at school. Im not even going to talk about this with her as its her special week. Its all about her, it always is. So Im sharing with you and journalling this so that one day in the future I can hopefully thank my lucky stars Im not like this everyday!

Its just that Mommas need to let off steam, especially mommas of a child who is ultra special.

Im not sorry for venting this.

I had to do it.

It feels good to get it all typed down.

But for one lousy week in my life my defences are down and Ive given up fighting.

Normal service will resume tomorrow evening when we can put her primary days behind us and pray that secondary school and a new lease of genetics and medical intervention will be a shiny chapter that we can look forward to.

To cheer myself up, Im putting this picture here, kind of to break the ice and thank the lord that I can do a job that makes my heart sing. Tom wasnt, erm, very happy here!

Isnt he a cherub?


Cindi Koceich said...

I just want to reach through this computer and give you a big hug! I don't know you but I know your heart through your words and it is so beautiful how much you love your Belle. As horrible as you're feeling, the good thing is that you have someone so wonderful to feel that much emotion for! She is a very blessed little girl to have a momma who loves, cares, and cries for her! Let those tears flow!

Caroline B said...

sending lots of love & hugs your way.
Hope Miss Belle had a lovely time. & hopefully things will look up for you *hugs*

Ruth said...

My sweet Kirsty,
Oh my, where do I begin? In the past few weeks that we've "talked" online I feel like I've been allowed entrance to your heart. I feel truly blessed and honored that you have told me very personal and private things (as have I). I do any stretch of the imagination know what you are going through as a mother, much less what dear Ella Bella goes through every day of her life. I can only be a shoulder...and an ear for you. I have a child, as you know, who has some difficulties in life and I know how my heart aches for him. Your aches are much more complicated than mine and I admire you so much. You love her with the intensity of the sun. As mommy's we're supposed to make it all better. But sometimes we just can't, and that's the hardest thing to accept. That we can't fix all the owies.
I understand your frustration with the school and the teachers. There is no excuse for their lack of compassion and unwillingness to go the extra mile for Belle. My God, it's their job! If you're burned out and don't care then it's time to hit the road and find another job. Lemme at'em...this fiesty American momma is just itchin' to smack someone upside the head.
I know your heart aches, honey. But you did just what you needed to do for Belle, you sucked it up and didn't let her see how it affected you. That took a lot of courage. And love. Believe me when I say she will grow up and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are her #1 fan. They have to know that you will be there for them no matter what...always. You're a fabulous mother and you're raising an amazing daughter. I wish I could be there to give you a hug...and some cupcakes....or hell, some more Reece's Pieces. Just know that I'm here for you.

Chris said...

I'm sitting here with tears running down my chops wondering how sometimes we DO smile at the world when our hearts are in turmoil over our kids and my heart so goes out to you Kirsty. It is obvious that your baby is sooo loved and that all you want for her is what we all want for our offspring... for her to be happy and included and to share those special moments with her and you are being denied. So you have a right to feel pi**ed off (pardon my french) because its the little things that mean so much that hurt so much at the same time. Hope you feel a little better tomorrow ((((hugs))))))

Pol said...

I want to write something wonderful for you - but I'm rubbish at this sort of thing - all I can do is send you and wonderful Belle love and hugs

Anonymous said...

Hi sweetie, I get you, I really do. We fight for our kids hand and nail(do you say it like that) and I think you are such a good mom, I really do. I know she will grow up being a strong person because of you. love ya!


Anonymous said...

you poor dear ... a broken mommy's heart can be healed! sometimes things bother us more as we get so protective.
Although the report card was not all about your dd ... focus on the positive ...she is a blessing and works hard and did earn the good grades. Everyone has stuff in their lives that aren't too great; we just don't always share them.

Keep your spirits up!

Sarah Youde (AKA monroegirl) said...

Hi Kirsty. It's heartbreaking, I totally agree with everything you say and I would feel exactly the same. You said yourself that you looked through the door and she was having a good time -let those tears come out to make yourself feel better but hold on to the knowledge that Belle was enjoying herself regardless of your worries. I hope Belle has a great last day today and that the teachers in her new school will be more understanding.

My sons school report had obvious cut and pasting in it too, I think it is disgusting that the teachers cannot at least proof read these reports to check for errors. It also makes a mockery of the head teachers comment at the end of the report because if he/she hasn't noticed these errors either then their comment is worthless.

SuzyB said...

(((((((((((hugs)))))))))) Kirsty poo-bag, as my sis says to me 'keep your chins up' (cheeky witch lol) xxxx

Clare said...

Aww Kirsty - don't feel bad for having a rant, you obviously needed to!!!
It makes my blood boil when I see children at school who need just a little bit of extra attention just simply not get it and the badly behaved ones get so much it is ridiculous.
Belle is a fantastic young lady who has many people about her who cherish and love her for who she is as a person and not what she can or can't do.
I had the privilage of meeting you both a couple of months ago and what struck me is how much you and your daughter love each other.
Having two smelly boys myself I was really jealous of that mother daughter bond you have!
Take care Kirsty and big hugs to you both xxxxx

PBear said...

Hugs Kirsty.

leewoodside said...

Oh sweetie sending big cyber hugs and kisses your way. Luv ya.

Lisa said...

I do not often leave comments but I just wanted to express my solidarity with you in your struggle against the unfairness all around us in these days. I do not have children (but I have three teenage siblings and I hear all about school bureaucracy and stupidity on the family grapevine) so I can only imagine how heartbreaking such experiences are for someone. Sending you positive vibes to keep your chin up and not to let the b******* get you down.

Jane said...

I guess this is why I never fully signed up for integration: sometimes, it really isn't the best thing, sometimes we need to be with people/kids like us so we can really belong.

On the other hand, when I was young my biggest problem was that I didn't consider myself different and like Belle, I had a good time.The biggest gift you can give her is not to wish she could join in with the glitzy clothes to be accepeted, but to give her such confidence in herself that people will be drawn to her and accept her because she's a great girl and someone worth being with.

The rest of the time you cry and hold her hand when she feels left out. But truly, take it from somone who knows, from that sadness build the confidence and strength to be yourselves, both of you, because in the end that is what will see Belle through life - and you too :o)

Susan said...

Sending big hugs Kirsty, what a week. As a Mum you take everything to heart when its your child, you would do anything for them. You are doing a fantastic job and have such a beautiful sweet daughter you are proud of.

Lythan said...

Kirsty, I admire you so much for the way that you fight your sweet girl's corner - and also don't let her see you pain when things are wrong. Ooooh the way that school has behaved makes me so cross! (understatement). Your Belle looks like the kind of kid to be cherished, not ignored in the bigger drama of things. I fell ashamed of their treatment of her. Have some big hugs from me.

CarolineO said...

Hi Kirsty, I don't often leave a comment but I do pop in from time to time to look at your amazing work and to see how the beautiful Belle is getting on. She is a wonderful child and you are a wonderful mother. I hope she had a wonderful time last night and I'm sure she looked so pretty.
Hugs to you all, Caroline whom you met at Crafteire.

Pauline said...

I'm horrified that the school staff behave this way - we've had issues with our local school over communication with parents and it just infuriates me. Massive hugs, hoping that Ellie had a fantastic night despite everything.

CoCo said...

Hugs to you Kirsty and to Belle...(((hugs))) I know you weren't looking for pity but I can only imagine how you felt - we so want the best for our children and never want them to feel left out or hurt. I'm saying a prayer for you that next year's school will be fabulous, with fabulous teachers who are understanding and you'll never have to worry about things like this again. Believe.

Dalla Song said...

I'm stunned! We had such a wonderful day with you and you seemed so happy. Hannah and Thomas loved the day and chatted about it all the way home. You hide your emotions amazingly well - if I had had any idea of the turmoil you were going though I would have given you such a hug.

Let the hurt out girl - Belle is obviously loved which is why you need to pour this out. So she didn't have a strapy dress etc - I bet the others look pretty silly with the naff bowling shoes on!

This reminds me of a song Hannah used to sing at school - We are different, different as can be, I don't look like you, you don't look like me, but every difference make it so much fun, 'cause different mean special, we're special everyone!

Hope Belle enjoyed her do and hope you have loads of special shared time over the hols

Sonja x

Rachael said...

Hugs to you Kirsty. My youngest is just leaving primary school too and it's hard it brings a lump! He was also a she in his report so it's not just Belle's school, which doesn't make it right but at least we know it's not our choice of school thats at fault. My parents were teachers as were most of our relatives and family friends. Most have given up now as teaching is more about paperwork and targets and less about children - some opted for early retirement, some became supply teachers and some just changed jobs completely. This probably doesn't help the situation in schools as most of the teachers worth anything have now gone! Even going in at 8am and working until 10pm at home on paperwork didn't give my Mum the extra time she wanted to spend with the kids in her class as the days are so rigid and regimented.

Hope Belle has a great last day and that she enjoys High School in September and I'm sure she will have a fantastic summer with you(if you can call it summer).

Kerry said...

I'm not that good with words either but wanted to let you know that your feelings are perfectly right for the problem. Your little darling enjoyed herself and it goes to show that fancy dresses are not everything. It is what is inside that counts.

For the record my 11 year old hardly ever brings his letters home either. He is getting his SATs results today. I'm wondering if he will tell me those LOL.


Kerry xx

Kim said...

Am sending you the most humongous of hugs you Darling woman, you are a credit to your Darling Bella and she is to you... What a truly wonderful Mommy you are and don't you ever forget that....

And if you want to dry a a bucket load then you go right ahead my girl better out than in....

Sandie said...

I've read this and just want to give you a BIG hug. I really do understand how you feel, Belle is such a lucky, lucky girl to have you as her Mum. The fact that the school reports have been cut and pasted is an utter disgrace and it should be complained about. That is no way to run a school!! I hope Belle enjoyed her evening regardless of the clothes she wore, try not to beat yourself up for it, have a good cry, and then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on. I know you can do it xx

greyparrot said...

yuh but belle would have looked cool in her outfit with bowling shoes- imagine how daft those girls in strappy dresses and bowling shoes would have looked?
Poor wee love, here's to 6 weeks of ellie time, and hoping that her next school will be better for her -x-

Jo said...

It breaks my heart to think of what you must go through trying so hard to get Belle what she deserves.

I have the polar opposite situation with my DD, but again, no one listens, as hard as we fight to get them what they NEED.

Big hugs to both of you.

Jo x

Tracie H said...

My heart aches for you.
Everyone laughs at J because he is different....he laughs right back at them because they are all the same.
Hopefully the new move will be a fresh and more positive stage in Ellies life.
Stay strong.

Su said...

Just wanted to send you some (((((HUGS)))))

Cath said...

I'm not good at writing down what I realy think, but I am sending hugs to you both.

Angela said...

Honey sending hugest hugs to you both xxx

Linda said...

Well done for holding it in and then letting it out, both very difficult things to do. It is so obvious how much you adore Belle and she you and that is what will matter most in the long run.
Unfortunately the education system grinds down those teachers who care and who make a difference as well as supportive parents, like yourself, and children who need that little bit extra. I wish I knew the answer but I don't. The good thing is that not all teachers are so thoughtless and there are still some out there who care. I hope you both get the caring ones in the next school. Hugs to you both.

Sam said...

aww Kirsty, I was filling up reading your post, I am sure Belle had a great time but how rotten that the school couldn't see fit over her time there to give you more info about her activities. As for her report, that sucks and they should be ashamed.

I know how you feel about "fitting in" I took my litle one to school on non-uniform day in his uniform. He was fine but I felt awful for him all day.

Bless you both -I recommend becoming a female "Victor Meldrew" when she goes to big school "kick ass!!!" xx

JoAnn said...

I am sending you the biggest hug. Tears just won't stop, being a mom is the hardest job in the world. Every event in our childrens lives should be perfect and most times they are to them but we see the whole picture. I guess that is why being a child in a loving home makes it easy to miss the little things we see wrong with the picture but they don't. You are a wonderful Mom with a beautiful child. I look forward each day to read your blog. Belle is blessed to have you behind her. Now smile and know we all care....hugs

Anonymous said...

Kirsty, you're a great mom. I know sometimes you think these things happen to you because your Belle is extra special, but there's plenty of times the rest of us don't know what's going on at school either! I've stood at the gate before and watched them all flow past in their best party clothes while the DD is in her school dress. She just says 'nevermind' and trips on in with the rest of em. Helps to make her realise that she is the important one not the clothes she wears.(that's what I tell myself anyway!)
Hope you have lots of lubbly things planned for the family over the holidays.

** Kate **

Selena said...

What a 'Tuesday Wednesday And Thursday' of a day!

I cannot believe they said they tell the class and it's their responsibility to remember! Oh My God!

And to not tell you or Belle about the doo, when she was at Occ Therapy! Buggers!

You let it out sweety! I know this week is all about Belle for you, but you have to remember that you need care too! These people are not helping you and if you need to let it out here (for your own mental health) we're here for you hun x

You need to have your own head on straight and need to vent, you go ahead! It must be so hard sometimes when you are upset and you need to keep it from Belle to shelter her from the stupidty of other people and the upset it causes.

You have my I.M addy, give me a buzz anytime and we can have a natter - Seriously anytime Kirst!

I'm worried about you.

Keep your chin up sweety and hopefully...the new school year will be a whole new start. Tell them what you expect when you start and if there are any problems lemmie know. I'm happy to visit the school in a professional capacity and make sure they are doing what they should for Belle. Seriously, this should not be happening and it's what I battle against in work every day. Huge big ginormy hugs -

Selena x

Anonymous said...

You are a super Mom. You are clearly Belle's champion. Thank you for sharing your struggle with have my deepest respect.

Lynette said...

Those schools make me sooo mad.. grrrrrr... I have a son w/ problems issues.. and such and our school WANTS to help... I can't imagine your pain and ANGER.. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this, and good luck to you and belle next year at school. I wish I had all kinds of insight for you, I'm sorry, I just wish I could do something for you!! MUUAAHH!!!!

~Sasha Farina~ said...

*hugs* babe.... I'm glad Belle had fun. U be strong okay? I love you!

Derek said...

I know how you feel in some part as a parent. I quit work and stayed home with my Zoe for three years till she started kindergarten. I wouldn't trade those three years of bonding time for anything now. It was hard for me to let her go to school. I would go and watch at recess to make sure she had friends to play with. Then I volunteered at the school. I got to see first hand how she was doing in school. Turned out to be good for both of us. she headed to second grade and I'm still volunteering. Its a great feeling to walk down the halls of that school and three years worth of kids know who you are and say hello. I'm acually concidering applying to be the Artist in residence at the school. I get to be creative and work with the kids.

Di said...

Kirsty, I don't know you. I enjoy your blog, your photos and your scrapbooking layouts and that's why I have a link to your blog from mine. I also enjoy "meeting" English digi scrappers as we are still few and far between. Ok - that's my introduction and reason for being here. Now to comment on your vent:

I know, first hand, what you were feeling. I totally believe you about the teacher's comment re: remembering. I had to battle this time and time again. My youngest are twins, they are 20yrs old now - boy and girl. Jenni, was bullied at school, not badly but enough to cause us all a lot of heartache. But Kristian, her twin brother, was the biggest problem - well, he wasn't but the school was... We could never really get a proper diagnosis as to what was wrong with him. We know he was dyslexic but he remained in main stream school. To cut a long story short after months and months of heartache and suffering, I had no choice to pull my twins out of school and homeschooled them.

I'm not saying this is an option for you. I didn't do it lightly but the fact was, the schooling system didn't work for my twins. They were different children I pulled them from school. And they are thriving, happy go lucky young adults. Happy to discuss more via email should you want to but basically just wanted to share that I know that pain you described.... and you are just being a momma in pain..!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kirsty, sorry to hear of your frustrating week. Hope things improve over the summer holidays and you and Belle can enjoy your time together. With love, Sharon Speakman (diamonddiva) x x x

amber jane said...

((((huge Hugglies to you and Belle ))) You need to let it out sometime Momma, you carry all of it around with you and sometimes you have to let it spill over - You know I love you dearly and would be there at an instant if bloody Ryanair would let me :) Take care hunny xxxxxx

The Scrappy Times said...

I'd be extremely upset too and that school would be hearing it from me. I have a child with a learning disability and if they'd pulled that stuff (refusing to communicate via extra notes or email), I'd have been threatening to go to the school board. Who ever heard of wearing prom clothes to go bowling anyway? I'll bet Belle was the most comfortable kit there. How was she when she got home?

Amelie said...

just sending a whole ton of love right now...

Scrappy Nina said...

Prom dress up - at ELEVEN!!!! Why was that necessary? I'm so sorry you're surrounded by such thoughtless people.
We're also having a vile end to term in the name of box ticking statistics!! Wishing you strength - tomorrow is a new day!!

lukasmummy said...

((((((hugs)))))) sweetie I bet she looked gorgeous anyway, schools suck and some teachers shouls be taken outside and shot! I'm so sorry you are feeling so down at the moment. Hope the holidays let you spend some time with your precious Belle and be happy until September Hugs Crystal.

Brook said...

I read your posts and am just constatnly amazed. We have 504 laws across the pond that protect students. Schools must make modifications for children. I spend and hour each week writing a newsletter for my students. For report cards, I spend at least 6 hours handwriting person letters to parents. But Belle seems to be a pretty happy gal. My sons never tell me anything and I too worry that people will judge me and find me lacking and I am a teacher. But, none of it bothers them. I wish I knew more about the educational law in your country so I could give you advice. Here is something you might try. I send lots of emails to parents and administrators. When you meet with a teacher and she says something like that, send her an email back recapping the conversation asking her to respond to make sure you heard her correctly. Then you have documentation if you need to talk to superiors. You are Belle's best advocate, the person who loves her best.

Suzanne said...

Oh Kirsty I feel all your frustrations for you! I cannot believe the sheer ignorance and incompetence and plain bloodymindness you have faced at this school!

My heart goes out to Belle but mostly to you. Mia has lots of developmental delay and her school can't do enough to help her, accommodate her, encourage her and include her. I thank my lucky stars for the teachers there.

I'm sure Belle had a wonderful time at the bowling and that the other mums didn't think any the worse for how she was dressed. Surely they must realise the difficulties. I really understand about the shoes too - we can only get trainers to fit Chiara, nothing else at all. Let's aaaaaaaaaghhhhhhhh together!!!


kristin said...


TopCat76 said...

sending you the biggest squishiest hug Kirsty, sounds like a pants week, hope things brighten up for you soon... oh and don't worry what other parents think about - you know that the Belle is your life and you give her your all. xx

Anonymous said...

Oh my sendng (((((((((HUGE IN FACT ENORMOUS HUGS))))))))) to you - and ickle discreet ones to Belle ;)
They have let you down so badly I think you should speak out!
Not being a parent - I suppose it's hard to sat whats the best option, but nobody should be treated that way!
Lets hope Belles new school are a bit more respectful!

I hope she had a fab time - I'm sure she did :)

Julie xx

AKA ScrappyDandyDoo

Lisa said...

Aw Kirsty! Just because you are Mum to a daughter you love very much; it doesn't stop you from being a human being who sometimes gets tired, gets angry and frustrated.

It's no bloody surprise that you felt crap, with a teacher like that. She does sound like a complete a**hole.

You were very brave biting your lip, and keeping it inside for Belle's sake. It's only human to wish that things were just a bit easier...

It's a good thing that you splurged online. Jeez it's important you do it somewhere!!

You're a brave, warm, & loving person. XX

Chantua said...

I want to echo the sentiments been talked about by the previous ladies, I also want to reach through, and give you a great big hug, and tell you that you are a beautiful woman. The love you show for your darling little girl, with no if's, but's or maybe's. Your a mum in a million and I'm sure your little Belle knows that. Go ahead and have your bad week, shed your tears, no one will think of you any worse for it, if anything it shows how much you love your little Lady.

Anonymous said...

(((HUGS, HUGS, HUGS))) dear Kirsty. I think I know how you feel. My son was diagnosed as gifted with learning disabilities when he was 7 years old. (Of course we knew this when he was much younger but you have to wait for the slow turning wheels of the bureacracy to "label" a child in order to get him help!) He was treated so badly by his peers and teachers sometimes. I cried a lot and wanted to slap some faces and scream at the top of my lungs that he was and is special but not because of his disability but because of the wonderful boy he was and man he is today. People just don't get it and truly don't care. You sound like a wonderful mother and your lovely daughter Ellie's best advocate. With your guidance and love she will find her way in this often times cruel but wonderful world!!! My love to both of you and to HELL with the rest of them, right?!

~Lil B~

md said...

Hugs and prayers for you and beautiful Belle!

Greensleeves said...

Dearest Kirsty, here I am sitting and crying for you and myself and all the Mums of special needs children, and how tough life can be, and how people with "normal" children often have no idea how each day is a struggle and a fight with oneself, just to keep sane.
My heart is aching for you. I wish I could help you.
My little one also has no idea of the end of the term, he doesn't anticipate his birthday or Christmas, and it is heartbreaking, but we love him and he loves us, and that's what really matters.
You are a wonderful mother and a very talented artist.

HeatherB said...

You are such a brave and wonderful mother. Belle is so lucky to have such a sensitive yet strong mother who fights for her, but lets her stand on her own too. Sending you a cyber hug. Wish I will be as strong as you (tears are not a sign of weakness!) when I face half of what you have.

Heather said...

Here's hoping for a better understanding at the secondary school and so sorry that you have to go through this due to the schools' sfailures.

Love and hugs to you and Belle xx

snorkologist said...

Darling Kirsty,
Sometimes when you feel so blue I want to cry for you...but when I think of dearest Belle and the love she must feel from you...I actually cheer up...;o) Your love knows no limit...something that one or ? of those "normal" children may not be getting.

I have a daughter who never married but is a foster cannot believe the situations her "children" come from...let's just say that usually the birth mother loves drugs or some male sex offender more than her child...;o(

One can see the glow of love in Belle's cheeks...she may be a little behind in math but she is way ahead in the joy of life that comes from being loved. Belle is more than normal for Belle!!!

We had a truly lovely daughter that had problems too...different, but just as devastating...after she died suddenly at the age of 29 I could not find peace until I realized that her problems and 29 years was "normal" for her...he life was no less meaningful than anyone else's life.

I hope you know that the ones who don't understand or care are the one's who are left out. Blest are the ones who can love your sweet Belle unconditionally...their lives are richer for it!!!

Much affection,

shar said...

I can add nothing more to all the
wonderful comments except that I feel your pain. I, too, have a special child and have experienced that heartache too. All I can offer is 'hang in there' -our son is 26 years old now and is leading a full and happy life.

Sinead said...

oh, super hugs for you. I know that you worry about your Belle and how she will fit in and all that. It's only natural for a Mom, and especially for a Mom with a kiddo who has special concerns. Your love for her is obvious, though, and she knows that and takes strength from it. From all that you have shared about Belle, I have a feeling that she is her very own special little person and is not going to let ignorance get in her way. She gets strength and creativity and spirit from you, and will be blessed for it as she grows up. (((hugs))) again!

Helsbells said...

I've only just read this today but wanted to add a comment.

I am so sorry that this school has treated you in such a way. Please don't think that this is how all schools are run. In fact, it makes me really angry when I read about people being treated like this. I'm actually close to tears because every child should matter. It isn't good enough to treat them all the same or not make sure that everyone has a letter (incidently, I put a copy in trays if children are absent).

You are right to focus on Secondary school and I hope and pray that yourself and Ellie find the support that you need there.

I love the idea of the minibook for Mrs Pilling - I'm sure she'll treasure your thoughts for years to come. Some children make a huge impression on your life and I'm certain that Ellie will have had this impact on her.

Hugs, Helen xx

Globaldoll said...

I have never shared with a blogger like this before but I read your blog and love your "real life" struggles and victories. I appreciate so much your ability to express yourself and share your life. My heart breaks for you as I am the mother of five children. They are 28, 27, almost 24 (girls), and the boys just barely (last week)19 and 15. My heart aches for you because as you might imagine I have been through many, many heartbreaking things such as this. (I am both blessed and cursed as a "sensitive soul") I can't claim to know exactly how it is to raise your little beauty but I've had my challenges with my own kids and my 19 year old son especially. He's been through some hard times both physically and emotionally and I've had to fight especially hard for him over the years. He puts on such a brave front and gets so frustrated. I've gone to bed bawling so many, many times. He rolls his eyes at me and wants me to just drop it when he's found out I've gone to bat for him. I've "fought the system" so many, many times and I've given up so many, many times. Sometimes I just didn't have it in me to fight any more. Most of the time I could keep up the fight but it just had to be okay to realize I'm only one human fighting all of "them". (So it seems sometimes.) Then, after a good cry, I'd dust myself off, vent to some friends and start all over again. If I have any wisdom to share at all in my 28 years of "mom" experience (besides my best advice-which is always buy just all white socks all the same style so you can always make a pair when the dryer eats one) it's that we do the best we can at any given moment. When I was young and was crushed about something, my mother would ask me, "Did you do the best you could?" Then she would say, "All you can do is your best and if that's not good enough, let 'em kill you and eat you!" It sounds so silly but helped me put things in perspective sometimes. I wish I could tell you that it will just get better with time. You know there will always be heartbreaking times and there will be times of delight as well. (That's even true when the granchildren arrive as I'm now the proud grandma of three too.) Sometimes it just plain sucks to have to be the strong mom. That's the truth of it. If I were with you I would cry with you and give you a big hug and cheer you on through the next time. You're a great mom! Hang in there, even if it's just by a thread sometimes.
-Debbi G
Othello, Washington, USA

heather said...

I have been reading your blog for months now and part of the joy of it for me is reading about your sweeeeet relationship with your daughter. She is lucky to have a mama like you!! Someone so fun who so very clearly cherishes her daughter. When I first went to college I studied Elementary Education but 3 quarters from graduating I realized I couldn't do it. I was so discouraged by the politics of our educational system and by the huge class sizes. By the lack of time and the pressure from administration. And watching the occasional meanness of children hurt too much for me. I see it with my step-daughter and I know how much it hurts to watch and how helpless you can feel as a parent. But Belle has a mama that appreciates every small detail of her and that will make her strong and sure. You have oomph and that is so important for daughters to see; I wish my mom had your humour and that special shazaam!
Heather from Olympia, Washington, USA (hey 2 girls in a row from WA!)

heather said...

I have been reading your blog for months now and part of the joy of it for me is reading about your sweeeeet relationship with your daughter. She is lucky to have a mama like you!! Someone so fun who so very clearly cherishes her daughter. When I first went to college I studied Elementary Education but 3 quarters from graduating I realized I couldn't do it. I was so discouraged by the politics of our educational system and by the huge class sizes. By the lack of time and the pressure from administration. And watching the occasional meanness of children hurt too much for me. I see it with my step-daughter and I know how much it hurts to watch and how helpless you can feel as a parent. But Belle has a mama that appreciates every small detail of her and that will make her strong and sure. You have oomph and that is so important for daughters to see; I wish my mom had your humour and that special shazaam!
Heather from Olympia, Washington, USA (hey 2 girls in a row from WA!)

heather said...

I have been reading your blog for months now and part of the joy of it for me is reading about your sweeeeet relationship with your daughter. She is lucky to have a mama like you!! Someone so fun who so very clearly cherishes her daughter. When I first went to college I studied Elementary Education but 3 quarters from graduating I realized I couldn't do it. I was so discouraged by the politics of our educational system and by the huge class sizes. By the lack of time and the pressure from administration. And watching the occasional meanness of children hurt too much for me. I see it with my step-daughter and I know how much it hurts to watch and how helpless you can feel as a parent. But Belle has a mama that appreciates every small detail of her and that will make her strong and sure. You have oomph and that is so important for daughters to see; I wish my mom had your humour and that special shazaam!
Heather from Olympia, Washington, USA (hey 2 girls in a row from WA!)

ger76 said...

Sending ((((HUGS)))) your way babe, just keep reminding yourself you are both very blessed to have each other

shimelle said...

kirsty, i don't normally say anything about school issues because it's just too hard to say anything and get it right. i know i've said things to parents and upset them when it wasn't my intent, and that always makes me think twice (or more!) about opening my big gob on education. but in this instance, i will say this: i have used copied & pasted reports as evidence for dismissing teachers for competency. Flat out not allowed. In secondary we write reports for hundreds of students (albeit shorter than a primary one -- since there is one per subject) and there is never an excuse to not know our students and have individual something to say. Belle's teacher has known her all year (and all the other children in the class) and if she really can't be bothered to write a personal report for each of her students, someone needs to know about it. It doesn't necessarily need to be you who says it (maybe nice Mum will?!) but this is one case where I see it as absolute black and white. It's poor practice, it's unacceptable and you and Belle deserve better. And although I can only speak as an 'educator' for this week now, if the leaders of that school are not shocked and ashamed to learn of this, they deserve some real evaluation.

For what it's worth! :)

Here's to hoping the summer hols is just what is needed. :)

april said...

Wow..I think that you are making me cry too..I just want to reach out to you....peer pressure is a hard thing even for the pretty people that don't even have to work for it..I can't imagine going thru what you went thru...your little girl is perfect in everyway..and I am sure that she feels it from you I really fealt your pain...I understand wanting to scream at them...I don't understand why schools treat children like they are all the same sometimes..I mean I realize they have to be fair to everyone but they should recognize initially every student that they have and incorporate that..they should have sent you letters and in turn send all of them letters if need to be shouldn't be up to the kids to keep you informed..they have to much being a kid on their plate...but don't worry...your little girl seems like a real trooper and she has you to thank for that..she's just darling... just wanted to say that as always i love your overlays...but the photos that you posted on this blog at this time of your little boy are soooo precious..great photography. Just make you some huge posters of these photos of your little ones and hand them around you...and when you get overwhelmed..just stare at their beautiful faces and you will feel their that too much?... no really great photos..even the one of yourself....just beautiful..........whenever I do make my first kit...I'm gonna send it to you for your little ones..promise....thanks so much...hope this helps.

april said...

I'm so sorry....I am an idiot..i thought the other two kids in those photos were also bad...but they are such wonderful can hang those up too and get sorry...please don't be mad.. I guess I missed the first part of your blog there on that one..your other blog about the school had me take wonderful photos...and your little belle is such a darling..I will send you my first kit when I make one..trying to do one with butterflies...we'll see..thanks so much... and again sorry for that...

Seona said...

Kirsty as a teacher can I just say sorry for the ignorance of others who share the title. I know there are many many examples of this kind of behaviour but please know there are many who condiser it a privilege to share in other people's children and are aware of the impact we can have. I am glad that Belle was having fun when you saw her and I hope that her secondary school allows her to blossom as all childen should. Sending you love and best wishes :o)

Jill said...

Hi Kirsty - love your blog! My sister Caroline is an avid card-maker and saw the bit about you and your den in Papercraft Essentials. She especially loved your lovely blue drawers and would like to get some to keep her card stuff in. Any clues about where they came from please?!! Hope I'm not being cheeky in asking you. Thanks in anticipation. Hope you had a great holiday! Jill D

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you have some place to let off's obvious that you care very much, and anyone who doesn't know that hasn't been paying attention to you or Belle. Hope things have been better since you wrote this post.

Love that little photo at the bottom - it's wonderful!

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