Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kindergarten Prep

As hard as it is to believe, our little man is finally old enough to go to kindergarten. I think I have finally overcome the denial stage, and have moved on to full-out panic. I know as a mother of a "typical" kindergartener I would have been a little paranoid and worried, but I would have told myself to chill out and get over it and
after a week or two I would have been okay. But with my little "special needs" man, I'm worried my paranoia might never end. My attempts to overcome it have been as follows:
1) We have already attended multiple IEP meetings (Individulalized Educational Plan - mandated by the federal government for all kids with an issue that affects their ability to learn). The school system pretty much already planned on hiring an aide for C, so when we mentioned it they just jumped on board. Having avoided that fight was a huge blessing in and of itself.
2) The principal of Chancey Elementary, where our son will be attending, has a child who was a kindergartener last year and another child with special she gets it. I had a 30 minute conversation with her in her office and by the end we were both crying. She also said she would be carefully choosing his teacher for next year.
3) The teacher for next year is AMAZING. Can I say that before school has already started? Okay, so at least it is my initial impression. In the IEP meeting she attended she kept coming up with ideas that might help C, and at one point started crying (and I cried, and his preschool teacher, who was also at the meeting, cried) as she told us "It will be my privilege to teach your child." Then I went to see her yesterday and she told me about how she already had someone in to help arrange the room so C's power chair could reach everything. She also is raising one of the tables up so that he can pull his chair under it, and ordering new chairs for all the other kids so they'll be at the same height as him and he won't feel left out. (I had to force my arms to stay down because I suddenly had the intense desire to hug her.) And she was already awesome before C ever showed up to her class--she has won awards, obtained a thousands of dollars technology grant for her classroom alone, and is featured on a commercial for the school district.
4) The aide they have hired sounds like a great choice. She has been teaching for years, part of which was spent with C's teacher. She lives in the neighborhood, has three older children of her own, and is soft spoken but willing to speak her mind when needed.

So if that all wasn't enough to release my paranoia, you'd think my need to concentrate on something else might just do it. That something else is the possibility of adoption that is looming on the horizon (finally) for our family. (Notice details are purposely omitted--no adoption is ever for sure, even once you have the baby, and we're just willing to share details.) C will go into school, leaving me suddenly alone all day, just as a new family member might come into our lives. We will see.

And yet, the worry about C starting school still wanders around in my head. I am hoping it will dissipate a bit after a few weeks, but I guess that remains to be seen. I think I've just decided that moms are just destined to always worry about their kids. Too bad they don't tell you about that side effect when you decide to have a family. But as much as we love that kid, I don't suppose it would have made much difference anyway.

Friday, July 8, 2011


C's friend: [as we pass the cemetery] You see that? It's a....military.
C: Yeah, that's where you can plant people when they get dead.

Seriously, how did we ever entertain ourselves before we had children?