I’d do a little dance of celebration, but I’m too tired. The birthday party was actually really fun. The mom who threw it is really neat, as are the two other moms I hung out with for 2 1/2 hours. What I found out today was this: Bren is simultaneously a completely normal kindergartener and NOT a completely normal kindergartener (which we have known about him for years).
Socially, he’s just like the other little boys and many of the things that I thought were really weird behaviors are actually the same things that the other little boys are doing. It makes me smile (and giggle slightly) to think about it. They are ALL weird about stuff and that’s just how it goes!
Academically, well, that’s exactly as we suspected and even more. If we can keep finding a groove for him, he is going to blow his teachers out of the water (and us too). I talked to his little friend’s mom… this is the other little boy that is the one who is “closest” to him academically speaking and Bren is just on another level altogether. I say this with a sense of relief because I was really dubious back in August when the teacher and the principal kept insisting that there were 6 or 7 other kids in his class like him. I had that strong intuitive feeling back then that they had no idea and now I have that lovely peaceful feeling that they are finally getting the picture.
Look… you can say what you want to teachers and administrators, but the fact is that as a parent you know your kids and until they experience the same things (ie, a greater amount of time), the schools simply won’t understand. Hell… I couldn’t even explain it, nor, I suspect, could Todd. So much of what I felt about Bren was simply intuitive. It was based off interactions that often made me go… hmmm… that just feels slightly odd from what I know of young children.
But we don’t really know. How could we? He’s our oldest – we had no basis of comparison. At first we even thought that Aidan might be more on that straight-forward, typically developing course. Now I’m not so sure. Time will tell, as it has with Bren.
What I do know is that I’m going to trust my parental instincts.
I’d also like to clarify that this isn’t about bragging rights or crap like that. It is about how we KNEW… we FELT something about him – and we got affirmed in those feelings and intuitions. All those concerns I had about his needs being met were on the money, and we have been fortunate that the school IS trying. That’s all we can ask for.
But the hard part is still ahead for us. We, as his parents (and this goes for our dealing with Aidan too), will have to be creative and work harder in order to meet his needs. His pediatrician warned us (wow, did I underestimate how tough it was going to be!) and now I see ahead to the future and she was soooo right.
I try to imagine the possibilities for him and honestly, I can’t begin to wrap my mind around it. All we can do is focus on keeping him healthy, loved, and meet those quirky needs that continually crop up.
… And prepare ourselves to be challenged in the same way for little MD.
Here’s a closing thought… I talked to a fantastic mom today who is also a 2nd grade teacher. It’s a tough, tough job. The next time you talk to a teacher, tell them how awesome it is that they do what they do. If you are passionate and think you want to be a teacher, do it. Children need us. Parents need us to do our best for their kids.
Time for MD and me to bundle into our jammies and snuggle down in our beds. Big Little Boy is asleep on the couch and I’m going to sleep walk him to bed.
I really DID make the right choice. Has the planet stopped spinning yet?
cheers on a Saturday evening,