After an encounter yesterday at the dance studio with another child demanding to know “What’s wrong with him?”, referring to my son patiently waiting for his sister to be done with her dance rehearsal, I found myself considering two things: a- to take the little
hellion darling out and teach her a thing or two about grace and manners because clearly someone else isn’t; b- try to be patient with the little hellion darling even if she is behaving horribly rude to my child. I chose “b” and I won’t lie, it was excruciatingly difficult until this morning when I discovered that the little hellion darling is my daughter’s buddy on the competition team. Oh you sweet little girl…bless your darling, little heart! Yes, I just said that in my best Southern accent. In all seriousness, I do hope that she will (like the rest of Jodie’s team and everyone else at the studio has) come to appreciate just how awesome and magical Jodie’s little brother is.
This post was originally published December 1, 2011.
a paragraph by Daniel, third grade:
Today I hung my Christmas ornaments on the Christmas tree. I have twenty six ornaments. Mom keeps them in a box for me. My favorite is an airplane.
Every year for Christmas I give each of the kids an ornament to add to their own collection that someday they can take for their very own Christmas tree in their own home. Added to that collection are other ornaments they have received as gifts and ornaments they have made through the years. For Christmas 2008, I gave Daniel an airplane ornament to remember his very first ride on an airplane. It was magical, very magical.
At school every week he is expected to write a paragraph of three or more sentences about any subject that he wants to write about. He pretty much always struggles with coming up with a topic…and then sentences. Sorry, but writing definitely does not come to him easily like math does for him! But this week, after hanging his ornaments on the tree, he had no trouble at all deciding what he wanted to write about. Just like his first ride on an airplane, it was magical watching him write this paragraph. Almost as magical as it was to watch him admire and remember all twenty six ornaments that belong to him…magical! Almost as magical as he is.
Just in case you might have missed my shameless Mommy-bragging all over social media. And because I can’t help but super proud, again. And because I just have to celebrate, again.
And just like last Spring, in 4th grade, this kid worked his butt off to earn that honor roll. Kudos his pretty kick-ass teachers too, especially his mainstream class teacher who emailed me earlier in the year when Daniel had a solid D in one subject asking if we could amend his IEP a little so that Daniel could succeed. His teacher also carved out a little extra time to work with him a little one on one too. The result was Daniel brought that D up to a B.
NaPhoPoMo day 13
Everyone and everything is missing Daniel here under the Big Top.
Even his bed, covered with his bedtime friends…yes, he sleeps with ALL of them…seems so forlorn.
I’m being pitiful, I know. This isn’t the first time I have sent a kid of mine off to science camp. I missed them all too…very much. Yes, I just wrote that for them because they do read this blog regularly. But yes, I did miss them all a lot when they were away. But I was certain that they were just fine…having fun…probably not missing me at all.
And yes, I just recently put Daniel on a plane alone to spend a week with his sister in LA as well as sent him a few times to spend time with his Auntie Toni in Capitola. But those were different. He was with family. He was guaranteed as many hugs and kisses as he needed anytime. He was with people who loved him because of his little quirks whether we understand them or not.
This time is different.
Of course the school’s attendance office calling the other day to inform me that my son was absent from school didn’t help. Not at all. I mean, yes, he was absent from school because he was with the rest of his fifth grade class, some of the fifth grade teachers and his school principal at science camp. Thank you for raising my blood pressure just a little and making me want to call the camp to make sure my child was okay and there at science camp. That’s exactly what I needed.
I didn’t call.
We won’t talk about how hard it was for me not to call.
He’s having fun.
He’s coming home tomorrow.
He’ll probably be so much more grown up too…just like his sisters were.
NaPhoPoMo day 7
Much too much has been going on.
Pumpkin pies being sliced and sold for the Sober Grad fundraising efforts. More being sold at the football game tomorrow night with me in charge. Yeah, me. Really I don’t even recognize myself anymore.
Come by and buy some pie.
Not for sale, but ready for consumption is the Tears of Angels IPA. Hollie called it. It did indeed taste like the tears of angels…if they made a tasty IPA.
If it’s Fall it must be IEP time. This year was so much easier than last year. It’s amazing the respect a parent gets when advocating for her child’s special education needs after bringing in an advocate and doing a little bit of name dropping last year. I can not thank my friends who offered their services, advice and let me drop names last year enough. Oh and Daniel is doing so much better this year. It’s amazing the difference in the development of a child’s social skills when they are able to stay in the same school environment for more than one or two years.
More time for more charity work. Free gourmet food, wine tasting, delicious martinis and time spent with a few of my favorite co-workers make it worth it all the more.
And perhaps there has been a bit of binge-watching going on. Yeah, I just now discovered Breaking Bad. I can’t believe that I so very quickly finding myself caring about characters that seem to have no redeeming qualities whatsoever but I do. Seriously, none of them seem to be good people at all…except perhaps Walt Jr. and baby Holly. I just started Season 3. No one tell me how it all ends up.
I mean it.
La la la la la la la…La la la la la la la…La la la la la la la…
I can’t hear you.
I posted on my Facebook that I was having one of those “Welcome to Holland” moments that only parents and families with children in Special Ed would understand. And yes, many of them did understand liking my status and commenting and some even commenting on yesterday’s ranting blog post. What can I say? You take the good…you take the bad…you take them both…and there you have…
Remember that show?
Yesterday was one of those days where I wasn’t enjoying the windmills, the tulips and the Rembrandts that is Holland. It was one of those rare days. No, not sulking and thinking poor, poor, pitiful me kind of days. It was just a day where I was reminded why it is so hard for my child sometimes…as if the challenge of 5th grade, preteen hormonal surges and keeping up with his mainstream peers wasn’t enough. The older he gets it does become more of a challenge as he sees, hears and understands all the time how different he is…thanks to some people and their thinking and modeling to their children (his peers) who begin to think and act just like their parents.
Good job parents!
That was yesterday.
Today is today and I did enjoy my life here in Holland with it’s beautiful windmills, tulips (my favorite) and Rembrandts. Life with my boy, my beautiful boy is good. It’s very good. He reminded me as he always does with his hugs, his laughter and his view of the world. His wise observations never cease to surprise me and make me think. And today I was reminded also by an amazing post by Suzanne that she wrote almost two years ago:
I recognize where you are from. I used to live there too. I used to have checked off lists, awards of accomplishments, perfect hair, great skin, sparkly eyes, a quick wit, a clean car, a social life, a large social network, an organized calendar , vacation plans set in stone, and a no overdue library books . But then I became a Mom. And unexpectedly, a mom of a special needs child. A child with no lifelong guarantee, no definitive prognosis and no detailed treatment plans. We have good doctors, we have a good attitude and we have a good family life.
My life is good, but not so easily structured. My skin not so healthy, my hair often flyaway, my eyes most often tired. I am up multiple times throughout the night, I rise at 5 and go full speed until 9 at night, still stymied and determined to do more each and every day. I miss the friendships I used to have, the once- so- easy to -achieve professional accomplishments- but I don’t miss that world you live in.
I am a kinder woman who lives in a world that is no longer black and white. Sometimes gray is good, a salvation, a retreat from something that could be much worse. My priorities were reshuffled for me, and now I would never think to judge another.
I am always in motion and I am grateful . Grateful for the touch of my child who needs my hands to steady her, grateful for my child who craves my words to calm her, my child who needs my hugs to soothe her. I am even grateful, that I no longer live …in that black and white world.
Like Suzanne, I also recognize the author of that note left on her car. I used to live in a neighborhood like that too. Thankfully I have moved away…to a better neighborhood….and the result is I am no longer like that person that I used to know.
I am so lucky…so damn lucky.