My first reaction when I received the nasty letter was to send out a mass email to all parents saying “which one of you cowards left this for us?”. I quickly quelled that instinct in favour of calling the teacher and reporting it.
When I later received a suspicious email that could be regarded as harmless were it not for the letter, my first reaction was to reply to this anonymous person with “Who are you and how did you gain access to this confidential email group?”. But I resisted. I couldn’t explain why, but I knew that the best reaction was no reaction.
And when the president of the preschool called me yesterday morning to see how I was doing, I expressed a bit of frustration that the matter was not going to be presented in full detail to the other parents. But I recognized that revealing the full content of the letter might only serve to establish more completely any division among groups that were “for” and “against” the sentiments expressed in the letter. It just may cause more division within the ranks, rather than moving toward healing.
The president said that they felt the best thing to do, the “big” thing to do, would be not to dwell on the letter itself, but to address the underlying issues and move forward. Later that day, enveloped in the warm embrace of an afternoon with our homeschooling group, I felt a peace settle upon me and I immediately sensed that what I wanted to do was the “big” thing.
Whoever sent that letter does not deserve the decency of a reply. Instead, I wish to focus on the issues raised; that of my son’s presence in the school being detrimental to the place. It has been made abundantly clear to me through this process that we are welcome and wanted at the school, so really that issue has been addressed and dealt with. How ironic for the sender of that letter that his/her actions resulted in the exact opposite reaction than what they wanted. Instead of feeling like we should leave, I have felt even more strongly that we are welcome.
The other issue that needs addressing is how we can accommodate my son’s needs without draining the resources of the school or the more personal resources of the teacher. Son’s assessment has resulted in approved funding for an extra teacher, so the school is not having to pay for that. This teacher, who is presumably assigned more or less to my son, should alleviate a great deal of the stress and extra work for the principal teacher. I have decided to focus my energies on ensuring that is happening, and doing what I can to help.
Thus, I now feel a lifting of the anxiety and stress associated with The Incident, and I feel empowered to move this in a positive direction. It’s a good feeling.
It’s not always easy to do the Big thing, to walk away from provocation and rise above the pettiness of the coward and bully. But having made my decision, I am quite certain that this path will lead to far more peace and positive outcomes than any meeting of the accuser on their level could do. I consider this experience to be a good Life Lesson for me, and in that sense I am actually almost grateful it happened.