Spring Program 2013

This originally appeared on my old blog. This was written in the spring of 2013. Enjoy as I write my thoughts on this years program.

So, it was cute. It was fun…for other people. I was soooo stressed out; I couldn’t enjoy it. Really, I AM proud. They sprung a last minute change on the boy (uh, NOT a good idea!) and he made it through. With much moving about, nose picking, (good thing the program was titled squirm!) he made it through. He squirmed, for sure. From compromised spot to three (no wait he’s still moving around…four) spots on the chorus risers. He made it without a meltdown. Me. Not so much.

Things like this spring program and eating lunch with him today at school are what make this mama painfully aware of the eldest’s differences. They aren’t bad. They are just differences. It might be hard to watch for this mama, but I know that there were two hundred other kids up there whose moms, dads and grandparents were there with eyes only for them. No one noticed or was bothered. Except me. It’s not that I was bothered. It’s that I was sad. He was exited about the program. He knows ALL the words. He knew the speaking parts as well. For thirty minutes, I wished for him to be NT; not because he was failing…he wasn’t. He was struggling at something that was supposed to be fun and easy. Something he’d worked on since Christmas. It’s hard to watch your kid struggle. Some kids struggle with math, science or reading. J is lucky. Those things are easy for him. But it’s still hard to see him struggle. I don’t like it. But, you know, he will be ready for whatever life throws at him later on because it hasn’t all been easy now.

Next time, I vow to relax. I might sneak in 12 oz of relaxation therapy PRIOR to the show rather than as a post script. I vow to laugh only, cry none (unless it’s tears of joy) and enjoy the moment so that j might learn to also.


Let me add a PS here. After re-reading I’m afraid you’ll think I don’t embrace big brudder as is. I do! I love, appreciate and admire him more than anyone else in this world. He teaches me things both concrete and in matters of the heart and soul daily . He is my first born. He is my breath and the light in my eyes. Perhaps, that’s why it’s hard to see him struggle. It’s not that I’m afraid he can’t do it. I KNOW he can! It means, as a mama bear piloting a helicopter, I forget to relax, land the copter and enjoy the show.


Autism and Long Division

Wednesday is graded papers folder day for BigBrudder. We look through all his work and go over mistakes to make sure he’s getting the concepts taught at school. 10 out of 10 times he’s rushed and made a simple mistake.

His class has been working on division for quite a while, but now they’ve moved on to “long division.” BigBrudder had missed two questions. On the first problem, I neatly wrote it out on large graph paper to give myself a brief refresher course. Okay. Not so brief. But that’s not BigBrudder’s issue. Math is not BigBrudder’s area of expertise…dinosaurs, science, reading: yes. Math. Eh. I think he’s yet to see the utility in long division. So, I began working with him; quickly realizing this May be daddy’s area to help. I was trying to force my way. BigBrudder’s teacher has taught several strategies for division. One of them being a series of boxes, tick marks and some other something that symbolizes a group of numbers. This is BigBrudder’s preferred strategy. Daddy had him rework he problem using his strategy taking his time. He got the correct answer. He then said, “Bubba, explain to me the way your strategy works.”

BigBrudder got a few sheets of his special graph paper, a fresh pencil and ever so patiently went through all the steps, drawing legends for the boxes, tick marks and various symbols. He worked one problem himself and then said, “Okay daddy, now I’m going to write out two problems for you to work on your own. This is your time to shine.”

The next day I walked the boys in to school, and I asked his teachers if this is a phrase they use in class. Each of his teachers assured me that “no, I don’t say that.” Today, his reading teacher said, “I believe that’s coming from within him.” You know what? I do to. It’s his time to shine, and he shines so bright I need sunglasses.



You Can’t Teach That Compassion

I was telling my friend Becca a story today. It was about the WeeOne. This kid. The one with the brown eyes and lashes that will melt your soul. The one with the fiery temper who kicks walls at school when he’s had enough. He’s the most compassionate child, quite possibly ever. He has a friend at school who he knows has a lunch box because he brought it once. The other day the WeeOne said, “bring your lunch so we can sit together at the table.” Lunch box kids sit down first while the other kids get their trays. This boy, who reminds me of an eight year old version of River Phoenix in Stand By Me, tells my boy that his family doesn’t have enough money to buy food for his lunchbox and that’s why he eats school lunch. My boy. The one who has a hot head. The one who looses his cool at every PERCEIVED injustice. He’s making a list of things he wants to buy his friend for Christmas. “Because it will make both of us happy.” Yeah. Becca’s right. “Tempers can be controlled, but you can’t teach that compassion.”