The oldest of my six kids is 18-years-old, and you would think that some of the parenting would sort of be ‘done’ by this point. But I have a PSA for all the moms of small humans: Don’t look too forward to being able to kick back when they get older. Here’s why.
Being a mom can sometimes feel like this:
These women have been fighting for SO long. As have us parents. We’re never done. And I have to say, it’s tiring. This is particularly true when you have a child with special needs.
The eldest of my six children, who is on the autism spectrum, is heading off to University next year. I’m proud to say he was accepted to ALL the schools he applied to, however his first choice had the requirement of an 83.5% average to be guaranteed a spot to live in residence. My son currently has an 83.1% average, so he’s not guaranteed a spot.
Yes, he’s off by only less than half a percent.
Honestly, I kind of lost my shit when I heard this. Here is a kid with an actual diagnosis. I can’t have him NOT in residence for his first year at University. He needs the support of the housing department and needs the social opportunities that residence living provides. One would think that there would be an appeal process for kids with special needs, or exceptions made, or heck – even a lottery system so that the student body in residence would be inclusive and diverse.
Nope, nada, nothing.
I communicated with the Dean of Students and the Director of Housing and their “hands were tied”, which is an excuse I have very little time for coming from senior administrators. To not consider the hardship my son has faced and the obstacles he has overcome? Shameful. Did I mention, HALF A PERCENT?
Last night, I was explaining to my son that we likely could not accept the offer from his first choice University because there was no residence guarantee. I explained the discussion I was involved in and he said “Uh oh, are you going to go all Mama Bear?”
While he has good self-advocacy skills—18 years later and I’m still advocating for this child.
Moms, we’re never done.
With that, I’m proud to say my amazing son will be attending the University of Guelph this fall. It’s a school that’s aligned in our family values of inclusivity. Here’s to him! Here’s to me (one down, five to go!)
And here’s to all of us parents who never stop loving and parenting and advocating.