Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog rewind- Natalie and school

This post has been written and rewritten in my head all before I have had a chance to sit down and get it onto this blog.  I keep saying I WILL make time to post here, I take photos and think "THIS WILL BE SUCH A GREAT POST!" ...then I never get to it and something new happens and I take more pictures and think "THIS WILL BE SUCH A GREAT POST!" ...then I don't post, and so it goes.  So I am going to go back to a very important time that needs to be written about even though I am almost two months late in posting it.  hahahaha  

Natalie turned six this year....SIX!  She (and her teachers) survived the whirlwind that was her kindergarten year.  I hesitated for a fraction on the first day of school when they wouldn't let me walk her to her room.  It was the beginning of REALLY letting go and trusting a school.  I had to let her be a big girl and it was so insanely hard I can't even describe it.  Teachers lovingly take her hand and think nothing at all of walking away with her.  It's what they do.  It's what I used to do, only now it's so different.  Now I have her.  My girl who won't necessarily tell me what happened at school that day.  My girl who is so sensitive and empathetic but who also gets lost in a world of sensory overload.  My independent girl who knows what she wants and how to do it if only she could be consistent in doing things.  It's the 10% of the time that she runs the wrong way or lingers too long and gets separated that kills it.  

It's hard to trust that a teacher will love her like we do.  It is HARD to walk away from her not knowing if they will take the time to really know Natalie or if they will just put her in the box of "Down syndrome" and treat her the way they think kids with Ds always act.  Just to be clear I have run into that.  Not with her teachers but it has happened.  The old "Well, every kid with Ds I have known does x,y,z".  Really?  Every single one?  Just because of a chromosome?  I think not.  It is the number one way to make a parent distrust you just so you all know.  ;)  

Natalie is such a tough cookie sometimes.  She doesn't fit the Ds stereotype AT ALL and in some ways that actually scares me where school is concerned.  There are so many things about her that are tough when not dealt with correctly (her correct) and it scares the crap out of me every time I have to trust someone I don't know well to watch out for her and love her all day, every day.  

That being said, this year was AMAZING!  Her teacher (I'll just call her Ms. A for Ms. Awesome) and her para blew my mind!  This was a tough year with adding Bennett to our family and having Natalie and Alyssa in school and preschool.  It was survival mode there for a bit.  I didn't know which way was up half the time....and I was the room mom.  FAIL!  Poor Ms. A. 

Overall I am so, SO happy with this school year.  Within a week her teacher had her personality pegged and knew how to reach her.  She completely amazed me time and time again.  She gained my girls trust, she taught her how to read, sit on the carpet and participate, how to walk in the hall independently and helped navigate the world of fears and sensory stuff that is Natalie's normal.  I got so I trusted her so much that I would go a week or more without emailing which for me is unheard of.  I KNEW she was ok, better than ok, she was flourishing.  The proof was in the girl I saw getting off the bus.  There is nothing like having a teacher you trust that much taking care of your child.  Now if I could just get her to quit her job and be Natalie's teacher until she graduates....I mean, is that really so much to ask?  ha!

My girl left kindergarten reading on grade level.  I cried the first time she brought a baggy book home and read it to me.  That memory is tucked away alongside her first steps, signs, and words.  love <3

We are now about 6ish weeks into summer and as school approaches I am starting to get the new year anxiety again.  Will her teachers really "get" her.  Will they take the time to build her confidence so she can successfully be independent or am I going to have issues with her feeling dejected and pulled around all day?  Will they truly understand that out of sight is GONE since she won't answer to her name?  Will they always be in full control of the gluten free issues?  It's hard being a mommy of a child with special needs.  It's hard to let go of my other children BUT I know they will hold their own.  I know they will be ok because we talk and communicate about their lives.  Natalie doesn't do that.  I won't know if someone is hurting her feelings or making her feel small.  

So if you see me in panic mode at the beginning of the school year you will know why.  Until then, I shall show you how we greeted our big girl on her last day of kindergarten.

Cliff came home early so he could be here to get her off the bus with me.  We gave her big hugs then proceeded to eat big bowls of ice cream to kick off the summer. (Thanks Debbie for the idea!)  She was just a little happy about this new arrangement...Alyssa didn't seem too disappointed either.  haha!





This was the first bite.  She is so dainty like a little flower. 

I know you are as impressed as I am that she got all of the whipped cream in in one bite.  


I love this one!  She is all "What?"  HAHAHA!

Now onto some summer posts!  Stay tuned...I really am trying to keep you all updated.  Unfortunately, playing house and cuddling (and laundry. BOO!) come first.  

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to Natalie on a great first year of school! I am so glad it was a positive experience for all of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you anticipate the year to come. Try hard not to let it ruin the days that are left this summer.
    Always thinking of you and tremendously enjoy reading your posts on Facebook. Blogs are great for a big picture, but the minute to minute happenings are pretty entertaining too!