Overall, Joshua's education experience was a positive one. There were so many kind and knowledgeable people who helped us along the way. There were only a couple of rough years: his very first year of Kindergarten...and The Year Without A Desk.
The Year Without A Desk was also the year that Joshua came home from school and told me that he had a "messed-up brain." He'd heard someone tell him that at recess.
Now, I don't know if that's ever happened to you...with a child of yours...but it cut my heart like a knife. My precious boy looked at me for an explanation and an answer...and I didn't have one.
I just hugged him and told him he was an amazing son, and that we should pray for people who are unkind to us. And then I went back to my bedroom and cried my eyes out.
I had to fight every momma-bear instinct I had...to not stake out the playground, and go all old-school crazy on some unsuspecting kids. I mean, they were just being...kids. Was it right? No. Should they have said that? No. But Joshua made his own share of inappropriate comments over the years.
Like the time he called his 80 year old teacher's aide a "bird-brain."
Joshua's friends from his Special Fred class were an interesting mix of cultures, abilities, backgrounds, belief-systems, family dynamics, and diagnoses.
Joshua, and his friend, David, stayed into it most of the time. Joshua tried to "help" David by telling him he needed Jesus, and DAVID wanted to "help" Joshua right out the door!
The teacher said one day, Joshua was laying it all out to David...the plan of salvation...everything. His teacher heard it all...but decided not to intervene...to just see where the conversation went. When the teacher told me about it later, I was so proud of my little Billy Graham!
But, as always, God had a way of bringing me back down to reality.
Joshua's teacher said there was one particularly hard day...Joshua and David had been going back and forth, aggravating each other (I'm guessing they ALL needed Jesus by the end of this day!).
Jim went to pick up Joshua from school. Joshua's Special Fred class met in one of those modular buildings that had steps leading up into the classroom. Jim got there and stood outside, talking to the teacher, while Joshua gathered his belongings.
When Joshua appeared at the door, Jim said, "let's go, buddy." Joshua turned around to face his classmates, and yelled, "I'LL SEE YOU IN HELL, DAVID!" and jumped out the door.
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35