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Guilty Until Proven Innocent

This is my stance on people. You are a jerk, until you prove otherwise. Not to me, but as you relate to my children. Specifically, my boy.
My defenses are up immediately upon a new person entering his life. Maybe this is why, as I realized recently, I keep most people in my life just outside an arm’s reach. I don’t let many people in. Perhaps this is a defense mechanism I picked up in life a long time ago. Something I do to keep myself from getting hurt, that I now have carried over into my parenting. It’s probably not a good thing.
But, every year there are new teachers, new kids, new PEOPLE in my son’s life who I feel an innate sense to protect him from. From their looks, their judgments, their predetermined ideas of my child.
It’s not easy. In fact, it’s quite taxing. I wish I could refrain. I wish I could just let it play out, but I can’t. I can’t because I am my child’s advocate. I am his protector. I assumed that role the moment he became mine. And it is not an easy job. It is not a coveted one either. It is one filled with strife and pain, with tears and tensions.
There is a bright side too, of course there is. His triumphs are epic. Our expectations, repeatedly shattered. Our love, immense. More than one might ever imagine there could be.
Most of all, there is guilt. For the million mistakes you make in this job. For the thousands of times you wish you did something differently, said the right thing, not lost your shit and given that hug instead.
I am trying a new tactic. “Take a deep breath and count to ten.” I figure if I force myself to take a moment, it has to be better. Something’s gotta give. For his sake, and mine.
And, hopefully, another year will go by where people surprise me and join our team, to make my boy’s life full. Full of people who get him, protect him, advocate for him, love him. God knows he deserves that.


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