School letting out for the summer is magical for a spell. For a week or so, we don’t care about their 20 minutes of reading. We survived, they survived. For a bit, we don’t have to wake at the crack-of-dawn, we can wait until the crack-of-dawn-thirty. No lunches (until camp and summer school begins), no more homework. For a quick spell, we all feel accomplished. “Another year… gone!” (Albus Dumbledore in the Sorcerer’s Stone).
This year-end brought particular relief and enthusiasm as our little girl successfully completed kindergarten, in a mainstream classroom, with extra support. After we watched what Noah went through in Kindergarten we were a bit
nervous terrified. Yet, she made it.
Now, we prepare for 1st grade, and my spouse and I confessed to each other last night, we’re a bit
nervous terrified once more. There are no paraprofessionals full-time in the 1st grade classrooms, and her special education support remains largely the same, with a slight boost in her occupational therapy time. How is she going to manage? As we watch her continue to climb the furniture and continue to get distracted with great ease, the nervousness mounts.
At times like this, there’s really only one cure for my building anxiety. I need to get off the carousel, sink into the present, and breathe. I also just need to remember all the ways we’ve been reassured that all will be well. In this case, Sage will get through 1st grade, all signs point to it.
Take this humdinger of an accomplishment. Not only is she truly figuring out how to tie her own shoes, but it was HER idea, not ours, to use the wikki sticks. They are stickier for little fingers trying to hold laces in too many places. I strongly recommend them! Go Sage. Then we remember her other amazing accomplishments: riding a bike, reading, dressing herself, and on the list grows.
Then, there’s her developing imagination and play. I vividly remember calling her name when she was being formally evaluated for a diagnosis of Autism. The test was simple: she needed to hear me and acknowledge me. I called and called her name from across the room, tears welling up in my eyes as she ignored me over and over again. Now: “Mommy, can I go outside please.” “Mommy, where’s Noah?” “Mommy, I love my family.” What an awesome change, and I remember the leaps and bounds of growth it took to get here. It took even more before she started playing pretend, by herself or with others. Now, she’ll try on almost every costume at her friendly neighborhood museum, and tell us a story about “Bandit Tasha.”
The lesson we learn over and over is to trust her. She meets every expectation. Perhaps at her own pace, and always in her own way, but she will perform to expectations, and wow us once more. As her parents, we need to remind ourselves over and over, breathe and relax, so she can be free to do her thing; while thanking her entire team of supporters who help her along the way.