Saturday, September 26, 2015

Unexpected potato

~"Since we can not change reality, let us change the eyes that see reality."~Nikos Kazantzakis

                        "How was your first day bud?"..."Great! I had a potato!"..."You...had a potato?" "Yeah it was good."  Well..THAT certainly wasn't what I had expected to hear. but it was, more than was all that I needed to hear and then some.  My boy, he is taking off..moving forward..and he likes it. 

  After a summer of absolutely no expectations..  June, July, August were lovely....we..swam, fished, camped- did what we felt like doing-when we felt like doing it. It was calm- wonderful. September felt like a shock....  We went from relaxed and easy to absolute chaos in less than a week.   Lots of change going on.. split second decisions being made.

 Lily started at a new school this year. Sixth grade had been rough for her.  Socially, was all too much. She was just eleven years old, and was suddenly sharing a building with kids in their late teens.  My joyful girl had lost her zest..her joy. She was bored and anxious..sad and very very lonely.Luckily, we were able to get her in to a charter school. At the end of august, we went as a family to her orientation. This was a big deal-we wanted to support her. We visited the school, met the teachers, listened to the head of school explain how they did school. We were impressed....and so was Sam. "I think that I would like it here." "Really? (I tried not to sound too excited-change is hard for him..I didn't want to scare him off.)" "Yes, it seems more creative than my school.".." is very different  ...if you'd like, I will put your name on the waiting list..?" "o.k.".."Are you SURE??"
"Yes, yes I am.."..Except he wasn't..

  The school does have a waiting list. I placed Sam on it thinking that maybe he would be able to get in next year-only to find out that they had an opening now.   "Hey Sam!  Great news!  The school has a space for you!" 

The following is a transcript of the next forty eight hours

 "" "Yes!  you can start next week!".."..Oh..uhhh..I don't know..." "What do you mean?"  "I'm not sure.."But you like the new school! You were impressed about how creative it is!" "I's just..maybe I should try one more year here."  "Why?"..."I don't know.."   Wash, Rinse, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.....

 I admit-I did try and strongly  coerce convince him...but in the end-we had to leave the decision up to him.  It had to be his choice.  My fear was that he was sticking with what he knew because it felt safer.  But at the same time-we knew he wasn't happy .  This is where living in a tiny town gets tricky. Our schools are small. Sam is different. So he is treated that way. He is well liked-but he isn't well known..He was a special ed kid in grade school...thus his reputation was sealed. He couldn't just be a regular kid. His accomplishments, his that he did or does-whether it be making the honor roll, scoring a basket or even GASP! going for his learners permit to is all viewed through special ed lenses.  I'm not complaining..I'm not. Our tiny town has embraced him.. It is just that the label that got him help-has wound up hindering him as well.  In a town this small-he'll never be able to shake it.   It has been incredibly frustrating-more so for my boy than for anyone else. Sam is a regular young man..he has ideas, and dreams, feelings-goals that have nothing to do with his diagnosis. He deserves the opportunity to fail or succeed without his diagnosis being a constant part of the equation.

  I was so disappointed when he told me that he had decided that he wanted to stay at his old school. *sigh*  So, on the first he was gathering up his back pack and lunch to go wait for the bus, Lily with a look of absolute horror exclaimed (rather loudly).."You really want to stay here??!!! Are you crazy?!"   I guess that was the voice Sam needed to hear.. because he dropped his back pack, kicked off his shoes and said.."I've made up my mind-I'm going to the new school." (hallelujah!)  "Are you sure?" I asked...trying not to let my voice quiver with excitement.."Yes."...and that was that..

  He has been going for three weeks now and the transformation has been amazing. Sam, is naturally a loner-he enjoys his own company...but, for the first time in eleven years-he isn't alone. He has a group of friends, he sword fights at lunch..he is part of a design team..He WANTS to join some clubs..He-all of him- is valued...but more importantly-he sees that he is valued-for who he is-on his own merit. That is everything...well, that and...

                                                           He ate a potato! 

 You have to understand-For the past seven years, Sam has eaten the same exact thing for lunch. Every single day. Nothing different.  Food is a delicate topic with all of my all matters to them.  While Sam has gotten much better at trying different can still be a bit of an issue... So for him to happily get off of the bus-(on his first day at a new school)..and the first thing out of his mouth is about a new food that he ate-and liked?  It feels like hitting the jack pot. 

  I worry so much about this parenting thing..Sometimes it feels(and I am sure that I am not alone in this) like I make more mistakes than anything else.  But this son started at a brand new school-by choice, he's made real friends-AND he ate a potato. It that isn't success-I don't know what is..  



Anonymous said...

Way to go Sam!!!xxoo

Floortime Lite Mama said...

WTG Sam - this is lovely

jazzygal said...

Oh I totally get the food thing. Totally! I am delighted for both your Sam and your Lily. You were right, he had to make the choice. And I get the label thing too. Ours has been naturally dispensed with on the way and no-one now knows, apart from teachers. Presents it's own problems but we all deal with this issue as we must.
Best of luck for this new school year! xx

Jean said...

Being Irish I understand EXACTLY how important potatoes are!
Seriously though, this is such a fab post to read. Lily sounds awesome and it makes me so happy to think of your boy happy at school.
Happy days! XXX

Children with special needs said...

What a good day! I'm just so happy reading this.It makes me realize how to be happy even in simple things. We should appreciate everything that we have.