Now picture your gorilla-child hybrid sitting at a desk alone, with no other students in the room, while her teacher politely tells you and your husband that your daughter is distracted, that she's smart but doesn't apply herself (translation: she's lazy), that she's sleepy, that her desk is a mess, that she's disorganized, that she talks too much, that everybody loves her but they'd probably love her more if she worked harder.
Now picture your child hearing that speech two to three times a year, every year, for 13 years.
This year, a switch flipped in my brain. My husband and I realized that not only have we been forcing our gorilla daughter to try on a toddler-sized bikini every day, but also that we'd taken the bikini salesmen's side when she couldn't get it on. We were the wrong ones.
I'm so sorry, honey.
In August of 2015, I pulled my ninth-grader out of school. I didn't have a plan. I work full-time. All I knew was that my kid wasn't going to go another four years and into the adult world thinking she is a problem that needs to be fixed. Now, before you begin pulling out the fountain pens and stationery and unlock the stamp collection to begin a thoughtful series of outraged letters, I should clarify three things:
-- I work from home. My husband also works from home. We have the flexibility of a Soviet-era gymnast in terms of how we are able to manage our time and our daughter's education.