Yesterday afternoon I got a call from the principal of Milo’s school. She told me that some parents, as well as some school staff, approached her about my blog. They felt that the following paragraph in the post called “Four Days,” constitute a threat to Milo’s safety.
“The thought of Milo not being able to stay in school, the thought of spending the next 8 or 10 years with Milo 24/7, twelve months a year, makes me want to strap us both into the car and head over a cliff.”
As a public school principal she said, she is obligated to call Child Protective Services, which she did. I was astounded. Just, shocked. I spent some time wondering if the authorities can actually take Milo away from my husband, who is clearly not guilty of dangerous parenting. But that implies that I am guilty of dangerous parenting. And I know that I am not.
I think this is a matter of poor reading skills. First of all, those sentences are not a threat. This is a threat:
If you do another nice thing for me, I will personally come to your house and plant flowers all over your front lawn.
To describe how a thought makes me feel is simply to reflect upon my inner dialogue. It’s called the examined life, and everyone should try it. These clueless readers took these sentences out of context. The full paragraph reads like this:
“Milo is killing me slowly. I mind that less than the toll he takes on himself. I made it through the summer because I had my eyes on the prize of school. The thought of Milo not being able to stay in school, the thought of spending the next 8 or 10 years with Milo 24/7, twelve months a year, makes me want to strap us both into the car and head over a cliff. I don’t mean this. Except for the split seconds when I do mean it. Then, to not mean it, I lean hard on the past and my faith in Milo. My faith that he’ll surrender to school, and to love. And that he’ll get the fuck out of his own way.”
I defy anyone to read that full paragraph, or the 100 other paragraphs I have written in this blog over the past 3 months, and conclude that I am anything but lovingly devoted to my son. My son Milo. Are these people truly such sloppy readers? I doubt it. So what about me and this blog is so offensive? That’s not a rhetorical question. I would appreciate knowing what about my life with my mentally ill son would send someone to “the authorities” rather than to me. What would I think if I knew the inner workings of these people’s lives with their children? Glass houses and all. . .
I spent this morning cleaning my house in case CPS drops by. I don’t think they will, and if they do they will not find anything actionable. Now I’m going to do some work, go to the gym and be here with a snack and a smile when Milo gets home from school, because I’m his mother. And I love him.