word search Wednesdays


What kind of mother would let their kid do his word search spelling/vocabulary homework without offering help?

This kid’s mama!

Some people can look at the jumble of letters in a word search puzzle and see all the words.

:::waving:::

And some people just see nothing but a jumble of letters all mashed together.

Daniel, wave hello.

It’s okay. Except the boy hates Word Search Wednesday. He hates it especially when no one else is around to help like any of his sisters or his dad or even Zelda because he is then forcedforced, I tell you, to check line by line, letter by letter to find the ten words that he is searching for.

Madness! Absolute madness!

It’s unbelievable how long it takes him to complete this homework assignment every Wednesday.

And then his dad walks into The Big Top coming home from work, hugs the boy hello and points at his paper at the very last word that Daniel has been painfully searching for for the last seven minutes.

Well at least he found the other nine all on his own.

 

my 100% track record


So far…yes, this.

Won’t lie, of late it has been wretchedly hard to maintain that 100% track record of mine. Thank goodness for the kind of people who do more than just offer the trite “let me know if I can help” bullshit then avoid you like the plague because that’s what happens with people in your circles when shit happens. It’s okay. I understand. I promise you that I’m not contagious.

Meanwhile, thank you Kari, Mike, Tori, Grace, Craig, Kim, Erika, Jenn and Brenda for little messages and reminders to hang in there. Thank you.

Thank you also my darling husband for just being patient and kind because more than anything that is what I need right now. Wait, I need hugs. I need lots of hugs. Thank you and thank goodness for Daniel and for Hollie sending Hazel and Fallon with hugs. Yeah, I know Hazel might be using these opportunities to get out of homework because 1st grade life is hard and Fallon is absolutely using the opportunity to get out of naps but those are mighty fine hugs and something to look forward to the next day, tomorrow, because yeah today is almost done.

inclusion, exclusion, privacy, the 1st day of school and, sigh, picking the battles


Here under The Big Top we are officially BACK TO SCHOOL!

Can I hear a YEAH, BABY!!!??

OH, YEAH BABY!!!

And for the first time since 1997 I only have one child of mine heading back to school which means…

yeah, I know it means this is my last baby and all my babies are growing up…

More importantly, this means that I only had ONE ream of repetitive back to school paperwork to fill out, also known as “Mom-work” in Daniel’s classroom this year. For the record, I got my Mom-work done.

Leading up to the first day of school was so much excitement and nervous energy…totally normal I assure Daniel. Hazel excitedly shared the day before how she couldn’t wait to go to her school and see her name posted under the name of her assigned first grade teacher. Who would it be? She was so excited with the anticipation of it all as were pretty much every other K-8 child in this town. It’s part of the Back to School tradition.

Daniel wanted to be a part of that too. Last year we went to his school the day before the first day to view the class lists and…nothing. We downplayed it reminding him that we had the letter from the district telling him what school he would be going to and he wiped away the tears but not the worry…what if his name wasn’t there for a reason? But the next morning the principal assured him that yes he was at her school and in Mrs. B’s 4-6 SDC class. It’s privacy concerns she tells me when I ask why his class list wasn’t posted.

Privacy?

Privacy. People might KNOW that he is in the SDC class, she explains with a warm smile.

Um, okay. They already know.

So this year I decide to call the school and ask do I bother to drive over to the school. Do I put my child through that feeling of exclusion again?

You don’t need to come, I am told. Daniel will be in Mrs. B’s 4-6 SDC class.

Okay.

YES! Daniel is thrilled. Daniel is also kind of disappointed.

Disappointed? The principal wonders why.

Well, he doesn’t get to participate in that annual ritual of going to the school the day before the first day and looking for his name…and then the names of his friends.

I’m reminded again of the importance to respect his privacy which is why the SDC classes are never made public…at least at this particular campus in the MUSD district.

I think the principal heard my head thud on my desk because she then commented that I might not like that policy.

I don’t. Daniel (and his classmates in Mrs. B’s 4-6 class) are known on campus. All of them spend some length of time every day in mainstream classrooms. They participate in all activities on that campus. Everyone knows them.

Respecting their privacy?

I don’t get that.

My son, and his classmates might be differently abled. Perhaps they learn at a different pace or in a different way. Still they are included in classroom settings with their also “normal” abled peers…and the benefits abound. We’ve seen it in interactions through the years with Daniel’s teachers, with his classmates and with their families. And we have seen our son, and his SDC peers thrive…thrive in the least restrictive environment for them, for their classmates (normal and different), for their teachers and support staff and for the families. Yes, some families and even a few teachers struggle with this, but overall the results are positive all around on campus and I imagine, wish, hope and pray will continue to grow and flourish as my son becomes a young man.

No, I don’t get it. I respectfully disagree with respecting their privacy, I explain to the principal. I’m glad that I called the school first, I tell her. I’d hate for Daniel to again feel excluded from this back to school tradition.

She never thought of it that way, she tells me.

I know.

I could fight. I could argue with her. But I don’t. You pick your battles. This isn’t even an argument I decide.

We need to focus on this.

6th grade life, people!!!

And let us not forget, 1st grade! Hazel Faye is now a 1st grader!!!

“I like your show…can you send me some underwear?”


Overheard under The Big Top:

Daniel- I want to write a letter to Ellen.

Mom- Okay

Daniel- Can I give her a picture of me too; so that she’ll know it’s from me?

Mom- (with a little sarcasm) Do you want to autograph it too?

Daniel- YEAH! AWESOME!

This is what happens when your kid realizes he is like Internet famous. No, not viral or like a celebrity, but he knows he has fans thanks to mom’s blogging and the fact that he is pretty awesome. Does he imagine that Ellen reads Adventures in Juggling? I’m not going to ask.

So he sits down and autographs a picture of himself signing it: To Ellen, Love Daniel xoxo. And then he begins his letter telling her that he likes her…he likes her a lot. He loves her show. She is so so funny. She’s kind too. Oh, and he just loves her underwear….Can I have some of your underwear? he writes. Yes, he wrote that. He also offers that if they were to ever meet he would hug her because he loves her and because he is a pretty great hugger…a lot of people say that about me he adds.

Daniel- Can I ask her to give me a giant $10,000 gift card too?

Um…

We sure could use that like pretty much anyone else I know. Actually the IRS would LOVE it and definitely take it because that’s what they’re doing to us right now but…

Mom- No, son. You shouldn’t ask her for money. I think just telling her how much you like her is enough.

Daniel- I’m still asking her for underwear.

Mom- That’s fine, son.

 

started from the bottom and now he’s here


Overheard today under The Big Top:

Daniel: Are you proud that I’m going to start 6th grade next week?

Mom: Very proud, Daniel. And very excited too. How about you?

Daniel: Yeah. But I don’t think I’m ready for 8th or 9th grade.

Mom: Of course you’re not ready for 8th and 9th grade. You need to work through 6th and 7th grade first. One grade at a time son.

Daniel: You’re right mom.

Mom: Of course I am. I’m sure that you will make 6th grade life yours.

Daniel: Yeah?

Mom: Yeah. The odds are in your favor.

Daniel: Like when I was born?

Mom: Yes.

Daniel: Like when I was so small that I fit in your hand?

Mom: Yes. You were born with incredible odds against you and yet one by one you beat down those odds. You beat things when you weighed just one pound that most people will never face in their lifetime. 6th grade life? You’ve got this, son.

Daniel: …smiles and hugs his mom…

And then we bring out his NICU memory box from the back of his closet because sometimes lately he wants to remind himself of where he started from.

Daniel: I was really THIS small?

Mom:: You were indeed THIS small!

Started from the bottom…

Yeah!

Bring it on 6th grade life…bring it on.

Oh, and, OMG my little boy, the baby boy who really did fit into my hand the day that he was born, is starting 6th grade next week!!!