Friday, September 18, 2009

The First weeks of middle school

Thanks to my facebook friends for checking up on me! This start to school has been CRAZY. I am beginning to think transitions, while hard for Daniel are harder on ME. We have been working like crazy to get Daniel set up in a good schedule. I'll try to give a "quick" rundown.

As of the first day of school we had no idea who his para would be. The first day I walked him to the bus stop (the bus carries highschool and middle school kids). I put him on the general ed bus which was beyond capacity. He had several wonderful neighbors on there with him. I knew the bus driver, (who is AWESOME) and whispered to her that his IEP has him sitting behind the driver. He did, even though it was so full. I got off waving (the only parent within MILES) and he looked scared straight. I was having an internal massive breakdown while smiling and waving. I just had put him on a over packed bus full of nasty teenagers, on the way to middle school, where I had no idea what his support for the day would be. NO ONE CAN EVER TELL ME I CAN'T LET GO. Wow. I had many other parents of general ed kids say they were scared out of their mind how was I coping? I had one neighbor ask me if I needed to take some xanax, the other one offered for me to come over at 9:00 am for a cocktail. I put Zachary on his bus at 8:00 (same school since Kindergarten, he started 4th grade, I just shoved him on and walked away :) my husband and I went out to breakfast. I got home and marched over to my glorious neighbors. It was her girls who were on the bus with Daniel. Three of her kids were changing schools and it had been a hectic start to the year. By God, we had a drink. Tequila and orange juice if you are curious. I have to say THAT WAS THE MOST BRILLIANT PLAN IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. I'm almost ashamed to say how much better I felt, although I don't know if it was the tequila or chatting with my friend for 2 1/2 hours. Probably both. Please don't think less of me! :)

Daniel did have a substitute that day. She was ahem, "fine" according to the social worker (sw). But they thought they might get a different one the next day. Which they did. If I've lost you, Daniel's para pro is on family medical leave until November 30. So we have 12 weeks to fill. This day two para was quiet wonderful, so I hear. I haven't yet met her. She has agreed to stay on until November 30. All the teachers are reporting a wonderful rapport with Daniel and a very calm demeanor. Yea.

The real hero in all of this is Daniel. He never missed a beat? Can you believe that? He was SO excited to go every day. He is the most amazing kid EVER. I am now walking to said tequila pushing neighbor's house (just kidding Elizabeth) and he is continuing the walk to the bus stop with 5 kids from the hood. All girls. He is growing up. Let me just point out this was a huge, huge huge step for me as well as him. He is ALSO walking home with two neighbor boys, over the pedestrian overpass over the very very busy road and all the way home. Without me. Just the three boys, who stepped up and asked to help. Yes, you heard me, two 12 year old boys asked, several times, if they could walk Daniel home every day. AND I SAID YES? Of course this is after I wrote the longest email in the history of the world giving them do's and don'ts and exchanging cell phone numbers with them. That second day of walking I sat on my porch willing myself not to text them "where the hell are you?" "is he ok?" "are you ok?" Nope I didn't do it. I pretended to calmly read a magazine and pretended to enjoy the nice weather, while my head was screaming these things. I picked up my phone to look at it for the 400th time and they walked around the corner. Ahhhh. Sigh. Daniel is in his glory. Mom is losing it a bit, and trying to give him the independence he himself has advocated for. Every day I am more and more proud of not only Daniel but the wonderful community we have here. I am truly blessed. This has been a really hard two weeks for me.

The honeymoon period is ending at school. Some rockyness has happened. I went to an incredible two day conference out of town. I sent in my resume for a job and now I have a cold. I next need to figure out how to clone myself. More on all of that later. I don't want to ramble on too long. But thanks for checking on me bloggers. You are a wonderful community too!


Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Yes, giving them the independence that they crave is so hard when you know how much more vulnerable they are than other kids. But you did great! Big, congratulatory hugs to you! So glad to hear that Daniel is taking things in stride with his transition. Nigel is too, I am relieved to report. Although, as you mentioned, the school honeymoon is over, and some organizational issues are coming up, but I think things will be okay. Yay on the para temp - it sounds like they found someone positive until November. Hope your cold goes away soon!

Amy said...

Hurray for Daniel, hurray for you! I knew you could do it -- but I can't imagine how I will.