When I look back at the last 3-1/2 years, I am completely amazed by how my heart has grown. I do not mean that in a prideful way. When The Captain (then 34 months) walked into our home for the first time, he had a 5 word vocabulary. (We later learned all those words were from Dora the Explorer.) He had tantrums that lasted as long as 40 minutes. He had a hair-trigger temper. He literally spent more time on the floor having fits than he did upright. He was, frankly, hard to love. I cared about him but I freely admit, I had a hard time opening my heart to him.
Fast forward to yesterday. I emailed his advocate to arrange a private meeting with his new teacher in his new Kindergarten room. (He is repeating kinder). We went to the school to meet the amazing Ms. Warner who was so welcoming and smiley. I don’t know if The Captain fell in love with her, but I did. He spoke few words, cowed by the experience, but the one complete sentence he said was, “I have to do kindergarten again.” It instantly brought tears to my eyes. It’s the first time I have known he felt upset about it. We’ve tried to put such a positive spin on it. I am so protective of this little guy now. In the time that has passed, he has shown me all his love-ability, and for my part, I have chosen to love him.
If you have a child with “different needs” like The Captain, get your advocate to help you. Mrs. Barrett is so great with us both. At our spring ARD meeting, she told me that she would do this walk through with him (as she did last year). The walk through and teacher meet really helped The Captain. He was able to reassure himself that even though it was a new teacher in a new room, a lot was the same. We saw last year’s teacher, the vice-prinicpal, the gym, the lunchroom — all unchanged. In the car, he said, “Mom, I’m worried but I think I can do it.” So proud of him.
Happy start of school, everyone!