It turns out in addition to the insane amounts of snow this month, following last month's polar vortex, we were also dealing with some nasty colds circulating through our own house-- including one turned bronchitis (that would be me).
So Hayden was in school on February 6th (although it was not even a full day because of a delayed opening)... then he was out sick on the 7th, & following 10+ more days of sickness, snow, & a couple days of February Recess... he finally returned on the 19th. It was a short week as-is & last Friday capped it off with another unexpected early dismissal. (That day however was due to a roof leak at the upper elementary school, which meant a dismissal for both schools, because of bus schedules. Awesome, right?)
Today was therefore the first day of hopefully his first full week back at school, since the beginning of the month! Also, the Second Marking Period Progress Report arrived in the mail today... but I'll get to that in a second.
During last week's (barely) 3-day week, lots of papers were sent home because teachers were playing catch-up. Among the papers there was a flyer for the 1st & 2nd Grade Concert Cover Contest. The cover is for the program of their upcoming Spring Concert, & Hayden's (entry) was tucked in the "Keep at Home" side of his folder.
The first thing I noticed was that he did a really great job making his H's in the designated drawing space.
The second thing I noticed was that it said to return to the art teacher... on a date that has not yet passed.
So it was then that I realized Hayden's drawing of H's would not be in the running for the winning cover, because otherwise they would not have sent it home.
I wrote a note to the teacher in our communication journal which read, "Hayden did a nice job writing his H's on the sheet from Mrs. S for the Cover Contest for the concert. Did he also submit one in school? I know it would not be chosen but it's nice for him to participate. :) "
She replied, "The cover that was sent home was the one he was to complete & send back in."
Therefore the answer to my question would be "No", because I have the only contest flyer that Hayden drew on.
The logistical side of me obviously understands that the teachers would not very well choose a program cover that looks like this:
Such an odd cover would need a footnote at the very least. And what could they possibly put that would be fair, anyway? "Abstract H's by Hayden Capela"? Would they put the name of his Special Ed teacher or the name of his Gen Ed teacher? Both? Wouldn't the other students who drew recognizable designs be confused & possibly bothered that these random lines were chosen over their well-thought entry? Or what if, even worse, he would get made fun of for having his name attached to this visual?
But the Parent, Protector, & Advocate in me can not dismiss the fact that his entry is still his. Those are his H's & that's what he knows how to make.
Maybe I was just bothered because it felt like a little slap in the face... it was another little reminder that there is actually a difference between a participant & participating.
But as I started to say earlier, his Progress Report also arrived in the mail today. On page 15-- (yes it's long, including input from several therapy areas & two classroom teachers)-- but on page 15 is Social Studies. Long term goals include principles of American democracy, etc... but a short-term objective is "Exploring basic concepts of diversity, tolerance, fairness, & respect for others".
Part of the comments section says, "Hayden is doing well.... He is always offering answers to questions about stories we read that pertain to these concepts. He also offers solutions for the conflicts in our stories when they deal with social topics such as teasing, leaving friends out, sharing, etc. Keep up the great work!"
My kid may not be the one carrying the title for the Spring Concert Program Cover Contest Winner... but I will proudly brag that he accepts diversity... he demonstrates tolerance... he understands fairness... & he will respect others.
I guess I just need to remember this perspective because my kid is not the one who can draw well per society's standards... he is not the one who can sing well per society's standards... he is not even a typical 2nd grader per developmental standards...
But he is intuitive.
He is also kind & he is empathetic.
More importantly, for someone who does not communicate in writing & is still developing his verbal communication skills-- with incredible progress I might add-- he sure can get his point across regardless.
Here he is when he finally stood with his classmates (following rounds of anxiety) at last year's concert... & actually clapping to another student ... giving attention to a sweet little girl who doesn't necessarily "fit" typical standards either.
The first thing everyone should notice is that he can get with the program. The second thing everyone should notice is, if this is what makes a kid stand out then he ought to win everyone's vote.
In the interim I've realized the would-be black & white cover can still be a cover elsewhere... ;)
Most people will not understand my latest Facebook cover photo, but does it matter? I totally get it.