Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

the next 48 hours

So for those who are part of my social media life, & have been witnessing the excessive amounts of pictures I've added lately, you know I have not been home.

But I am back right now, sans spouse & child, to return to work for a couple of days while they continue frolicking on vacation with the rest of my family. The decision was primarily driven by the fact that my days off are limited... however, there is another not-so-minor detail that also drove me home (pun intended).

Very long story short, there is a new Principal at H's school & there is a ripple effect of changes & inconsistencies as a result. Including details that even I did not see coming, & therefore did not make a priority part of our team conversations during his progress meetings & IEP, for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

The Principal who had been there before, had been there for a very long time & was simply retiring. When he did so, the Superintendent actually became the acting Principal for most of the last school year. This person made it sound as if she personally was advocating for as much consistency as possible (as far as the Child Study Team was concerned).

Furthermore, then there was the interim Principal who assured me that Mrs. B would be H's third grade teacher because she has in-class support. Her words were, "I see no reason why Hayden would not be placed in Mrs. B's class." This was great news, because Mrs. B was the one 3rd grade teacher that Hayden's CST felt would be best for him.

So before the last school year concluded, I was already communicating back & forth with Mrs. B & preparations for next year seemed like smooth sailing.

But then I got the letter. The "Welcome to Third Grade" letter & the "this is your child's classroom assignment" letter. Which not only made me feel like I got sucker-punched in the gut as it surprisingly specified, in black & white, a teacher's name who is NOT Mrs. B... but to make matters worse, the other name that was specified made me feel like I ought to reach for a brown paper bag altogether.

It said Mrs. S.
Oh, I know that Mrs. S alright.
A couple of years ago Hayden spent some time in her classroom, when we were preparing him for the transition from kindergarten to first grade. Part of this meant that Mrs. S would attend our team progress meetings. Which she did, & she certainly made her presence memorable.

I am telling you when this woman spoke about Hayden she used to look as though she could barely control herself from shaking her head. She would tell the team that when Hayden was in her classroom, he just wasn't getting anything out of it.

Needless to say this sparked one of my many famous advocate letters... & another long story short, Hayden was not in this woman's class for first grade.

So therefore the only reason I did not actually fall to my knees when I saw her name printed in black & white, on that "Welcome to Third Grade" letter, is simply because I was already sitting when I opened it.

A couple of emails & frantic phone calls later, I came to learn that Miss S (not Mrs. S) was a new hire. Same last name... different person. How the hell was I supposed to know!
Anyway, it's still not Mrs. B which I don't understand & I think sucks. However, needless to say, in comparison to who I initially thought it was, I guess I can deal with someone new.

The teacher bit, believe it or not, was my second moment of panic. The first episode happened when I ran into another mom at the grocery store, who tipped me off to some information about the aides for next year. And apparently after I did some independent digging, I was horrified to learn that the woman who had been working one-on-one with Hayden since 2008 ... was reassigned.

So here we are, 9 days before the start of the new school year & I still do not have confirmation of who his aide WILL BE.

This is the other reason why I am taking a break from our vacation. The goal is to get this sorted out in the next two days, while I am in town, & before the long holiday weekend.

For now, at this hour on a Tuesday evening, there is not much more I can do.

When I returned home to our empty house earlier this evening, I ran the dishwasher, did the laundry, caught up on my DVR'd shows, got the mail (although I didn't go through it yet), & then... the anxiety set in.

The silence in the house is not only weird, but I have little to distract me from my worrisome thoughts. For now, the plan is that I will rejoin everyone for the last night or two of the vacation. So therefore during the next 48 hours I have a serious amount of work on my hands. Not just getting to the office.

Picture uploading is officially on hold for now...


Friday, August 15, 2014


Hayden prefers music with pep so I am guessing he would not love this song. But when I listened to it a second (& third & fourth) time the lyrics made me think of him. 

Ben Howard, Depth Over Distance

It's a love song that hardly has anything to do with the love between a parent & a child. However, it is still about a bond between two people & in a broader sense the meaning is just as profound. 

This was the background music of a beautiful yoga video circulating on social media last week (it was published back in 2013). The youtube video is of a man & a woman performing acroyoga (yoga + acrobatics) along a waterfront. It is completely mesmerizing. It is a moving visual of strength, balance, & grace. And all I thought about the first time I heard the song, were these two gorgeous human beings because that's what was in front of me.

But when I step back, as with most things in my life, all thoughts eventually lead to Hayden. Most of what I see, hear, & experience-- at some point-- redirects me to how would Hayden react? Whether or not he would enjoy it... if I try something new, or learn something new... it could be a movie... an idea from a book... a conversation... a place... 

(If he saw those two people doing that, specifically, to be honest he'd probably say that's weird & then move on.)
But back to the song & why Depth Over Distance made me think of my H.

Not be a "buzzkill", but I am mildly terrified about how much inclusion & fulfillment he will have in life. To me it is blatantly obvious that his fx gene gets in the way of his ideas & interests. Often times, at the very least, the gene will interrupt Hayden. 
Occasionally it will stop him altogether. 

But something about this song... when I hear parts of it I feel-- yes, feel-- a different viewpoint. 

In the song I believe depth over distance refers to the relationship between two people. But out of context, depth over distance is exactly what I would hope for Hayden. Both would be ideal-- in terms of a long & fulfilled life-- but what good is a long life if it is not fulfilling?

I started to take a closer look at the lyrics...

Depth over distance every time my dear
And this tree of ours may grow tall in the woods
But it's the roots that will bind us here,
To the ground

For starters, the word depth makes me think of all the many layers of Hayden. My hope is that people allow themselves to see beyond the first one. I want nothing more than for Hayden to truly be able to reach for the sky. And for him to know that I will never not be with him.

And depth over distance was all I asked of you
And I may be foolish to fall as I do
There's strength in the blindness you fear
If you're coming too
If you're coming too

We are often afraid of what we can't see. But what if, instead, we draw strength from that-- if we allow ourselves to. Otherwise that not-knowing will scare us (I choose to see that as the foolish part, even though I am guilty of it)

So hold on; wait until that lone sun
Breaks from the arms of the Lord
Yeah hold on, though we may be too young
To know this ride we're on

Despite what we say or do, Hayden does most things when he is ready & not before. At the same time he often needs a visual cue to encourage him (which is exactly what that part about the sun makes me think of). One of the many interesting things about Hayden, is that he seems to understand when he doesn't know something. Therefore he is not fearless-- he is smart & he is cautious.

Oh depth over distance was all I asked of you
And everybody 'round here's acting like a stone
There's things I'd do, darling I'd go blind for you
If you let it grow sometimes, let it grow sometimes, let it grow
Just let it go sometimes

The only stones around Hayden are the people who do not have the depth that he does. Every day I try to help him truly see. On difficult days when I feel drained, I may feel like I lose a part of myself, but as long as he takes what he knows & does something with it... as long as his life has depth... that is all I would ever ask of him. So all those parts of myself are not lost after all, but rather they are passed on.