Posts tagged ‘2nd grade’
I am a proud, but also sad, Mommy. C did not get elected to student council. The whole school was sitting in the gymnasium for the assembly, and he was in the back row. As his teacher began to announce the names, I prepared our escape route. I was ready to grab him and run if he completely lost it. But my boy surprised me. He was very upset and disappointed, and he did cry. But he did not make a scene. No outburst, no freak out, no meltdown. He cried for about five minutes and then happily participated in the rest of the assembly activities.
I’m sad, however, because this was an enormous opportunity for him. An opportunity to get something he can not get from me, his teacher or any therapist. Validation from his peers is something he can get nowhere else, and he probably needs it more than most. As I sat there, watching him cry, I fought back tears myself, not because he didn’t get elected to student council, but because of what being elected would’ve meant to him on a grand scale.
There’s my boy, giving his student council “vote for me” speech (results tomorrow – EEEK!). Never mind the safety pin on the shirt, the splint on the thumb, the shorts and tennis shoes – isn’t this the face of the future? C for President 2036!
C had a rough start yesterday morning, and on those days I try to go in and have lunch with him. Truthfully, I probably get more out of it than he does. I feel like the Pied Piper as the kids follow me around, each clamoring to sit with C and his Mom at lunch. They pepper me with questions about C. “What kind of pajamas does C wear?” “Does he have his own room?” “Does he have brothers and sisters?” I try to get them to direct their questions at C, but he is sometimes so overwhelmed by lunch itself that he is staring off in a daze. Even if he could answer all the questions, they come with such speed I can barely keep up myself. “Mrs. P!” “Mrs. P!” “C’s Mom!” They are tapping me on the shoulder and doing their best to get my undivided attention.
You’d think these kids had no parents, no one in their lives. They seem starved for adult focus and attention, which I know is not the case. I suppose just the novelty of a new person around for lunch is pretty exciting to them. I can’t even quite figure out why having a parent around is still socially acceptable. When C had days last year where he would bring home a mostly full lunchbox, I threatened to come in and sit with him at lunch so that he would eat. “Cool,” he said. Oops.
I guess in 2nd grade, parents are still sort of interesting, and I want to do my best to be the cool Mom in the hopes that some of their curiosity and fondness will be turned in C’s direction. For one brief moment, it’s all about C, they all love him, and he is the coolest kid in class.
One year ago, we were unpacking boxes in our new home. The third home in as many years, in a string of towns in which we have lived. For the most part, they’ve all been lovely places we chose because of the life we wanted to lead. We had to learn twice that ski towns, wonderful as they are, can be challenging for a family like ours. Therapists, treatments and safety in numbers (numbers of similar kids, that is) are all missing. The activities we want to do sit tantalizingly close but may as well be a million miles away given the challenges C can face in this arena.
The town we’re in now, however, was handpicked for C. A mere 15 minutes away from ready, willing and able grandparents; near big city services and doctors but still in a very small town; in a school district that seems to be moving forward in handling the special needs of children instead of backward; and in a state that graciously provides necessary therapies and respite care based on a child’s diagnosis and needs. We’re in a town that for once, isn’t a one hit wonder when it comes to Husband’s job; if he needs to leave his job for some reason, there are many others in his field from which he can choose.
A year ago, we were coming off a mostly disastrous school year, and we were anxious about what the upcoming year would bring. And while I am always a bit nervous for C at the start of a school year, for once the issues seem less about the big picture and more about the little details. Will he get elected to student council, something he desperately wants? Will he feel able to ride the bus this year or will he continue to want me to walk him into the playground and wait until the bell rings?
Sure, I know the big picture items are still there. Will he make any close friends? Will he grow a little bit and perhaps look more like the 7 1/2 year old he is instead of looking like a preschooler? Will his anxiety issues return? Yet for once, it’s nice to sweat the small stuff. As he heads off to 2nd grade tomorrow complete with a dream of a teacher, I am, for once, almost calm.