If you’ve read previous blog posts from me about the circle, you’ve probably already got the idea that I’m a bit of a helicopter parent! In fact, you could probably describe my helicopter as one of those huge, military types that you see on the news, blasting out air and noise. When you have spent 18 years navigating the special educational needs and social care systems, trust me, you need to be a big helicopter!
So, our latest circle meeting was held yesterday but with no helicopter! I wasn’t at the meeting; I couldn’t attend the meeting because of a family funeral. Amazingly, it never occurred to me to cancel the meeting, I was more worried that time is marching on and Henry leaves school in July, we need to keep pushing forward with planning for this. As a circle, we always have two dates booked ahead in the diary for meetings – this is really important because all the circle members are busy and need plenty of notice – if I had cancelled the meeting yesterday, I knew there would have been little chance of re-scheduling.
I didn’t really think twice about the idea of the meeting being held without me. Quite a change of approach for a helicopter parent! Until we had the circle, I would have found it unthinkable for there to be any kind of meeting about Henry without me there, but now, things are different. I am really confident that the circle members know Henry well, they have his best interests always at the centre, and they know how to engage with him and listen to his views. I also knew that there would be notes from the meeting (in fact they arrived the next day) so, even though I wasn’t there, so I know what had been discussed, who will be following up actions from the meeting and so on.
So to stretch the helicopter analogy just a little bit further, I think there is still a big helicopter in Henry’s life, but now he is sitting in it with a whole bunch of co-pilots, still blasting out air and noise, and moving forward to build Henry the life he wants.