Sunday, April 1, 2007

6 To 7 Years

Kindergarten – Fall 2004 (6 yrs)
His teacher has 25 years experience of teaching, and never thought anything. In our parent-teacher conferences, she described him as very social, outgoing, and very empathetic and good natured. No problems, other than he got too rowdy with his friends and talked a lot on occasion. Music to my ears, the kid that couldn’t speak at the beginning. I obsessively inspected every piece of art on the walls in his classroom, comparing and looking for anything, and I found nothing.

Leo’s kindergarten was half day, so it was a step back from what he was used to (he went to day care and preschool which made a full day). He was exceptional academically, as many of our little smart guys are. He rode the bus every day, a feat I still can’t believe, when that type of stimulus would cause him to blow a fuse in the old days. He played with almost every kid in class, and relayed each day to me what he did, what happened, reporting the relevant information as he now knows how to do and appreciates.

Leo went to music, art, computer lab, and gym each week, looking forward to each special. He played beautifully and typically in every way on the playground and other times when he required to monitor himself. He handled himself beautifully when required to go from center to center, to do a project on his own, day after day.

Leo was always asked to have play dates with many different friends and his favorites.

Towards the end, the other mothers figured out that I always had good information about what went on in class, any incident, etc, so they’d call me to find out. They were so impressed by my relationship with Leo, and his ability to share his day. They appreciated it! Many parents also commented on how socially sophisticated he was – when they volunteered, they’d have full blown conversations with him, about the weather, sports, the weekend, a holiday, whatever was going on. They were very impressed and would call me to tell me about him.

I’d obsess over watching the kids at birthday parties, and to my surprise the kids actually gravitated towards him, he was in the center of it all, after years of being on the periphery.

I saw nothing unusual, other than his size. He’s still such a big kid, and we held him because he was a fall boy birthday (and secretly of course to finish his services so we wouldn’t have to move).

Leo brought his own snack each day to eat, and many of the kids already knew about his special snack from preschool. They didn’t care, as many kids did this. We said he has Celiac and a dairy intolerance. Everyone got that explanation!

Leo’s residual issues are health related. He must continue to be GFCF. Until there is a cure, his body needs help maintaining optimal GI and immune health. He has mild low tone, mild hypersensitivity in his eyes. This issue keeps him from being a super athlete, something he could care less about!

March '05 (6 yrs 5 mos)
Leo still continues to blossom. He has lots of friends and many interests. The other day he said, "Wouldn't it be cool if the ceiling was the floor, and the floor was the ceiling? We could walk all around on the beams and cabinets." I still get misty when he comes up with really imaginative things like that.

Summer'05 (6 yrs 8 mos)
Leo ended his year happily, and continued to play with his friends through summer at the local community pool, the park, and play dates. He hardly noticed me around when he was with his friends. All he wanted to do was be with them. He had no problem going to a new “big kid” nature camp, where he knew no one previously. He loved it, and quickly made new friends, and looked forward to it. Leo enjoyed family vacations and having new experiences over the summer. He easily used his time wisely, occupying himself with stuff to do around the house, outside in the woods, with his sister, his dog, whatever. A far cry from a kid who was terrified alone when I went to the bathroom as a toddler.

First Grade – Fall 2005
August 30, 2005 (6 yrs 10 mos) – copy of email to my family: I am happy to report that Leo had his 1st day of first grade yesterday! He loved the day, and immediately told me that hewas really tired. He likes Mrs. X, and liked seeing familiar faces from last year, soccer, and prek, and meeting new kids. It's a really great group - 12 boys and 8 girls,
all really great, and I know most of them already. Only one dud mom so far!

He really likes a boy Charlie that sits next to him. The cafeteria was a new thing, which he said he liked even though lunch was short. He ate almost all of his sandwich which made mom very happy. He said "I hardly talked to anyone so I could focus, mom". His favorite part of the day was that they had recess "TWO TIMES, Mom" on the big kidplayground. He also got to play with his best friend and a new boy at recess. Each day they have a special, and yesterday was library. I think
today is gym, Leo's favorite, with Mr. Y.

As the date was approaching, I was totally fine with the idea that he'd be gone ALL day, since kindergarten was half-day. And I was really looking forward to a structured day again. School is from 9a-3:45p, and there is a half hour on each side for the bus ride. That's a full day!

I kept waiting to feel sad about it, but it never happened until the night before! I was pretty nervous - mainly about Leo getting his snacks ANDat the right time.

I was very proud of Leo, because he remembered to have his snack at 10am, and told his teacher. She apparently hadn't read the note from that morning, and he explained that he had "hyperguycemic". She got the idea and found the note. He is such a good boy!Also like last year, I had a hard time with really not knowing every single detail about his day. I am lucky that Leo really does give me lots of stories and information, so I do get a feel, but it's not the same as when he had a shadow with him at school and I had a fullpage of notes to look at. I still can't believe we are where we are, he goes to school all day with no support, and he's totally flourishing. Especially when I see other kids walking around school with aides and I think that was us just over a year ago.

I've never been good with transitions - I've been a bit sad, but Leo is happy which is the better news. And Sydney has been a bit needy and misses Leo a lot. This has changed our relationship a bit too - just us girls during the day. She starts school afterlabor day, but it's just afternoons.

Just wanted to share the good news with everyone. Very exciting!
Thanks for listening, Ashley