Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Monday, September 14, 2015

moving up

In our world July & August are a combination of summer school & sitters, in between family time & outdoor activities (usually involving water). Hayden is always busy but during August, especially, there is much less structure. It's extremely difficult because as much as he needs the extended school year instruction, & he clearly benefits from it, the timing is very challenging to schedule around.

However I was pretty psyched at the beginning of summer when I had three great sitters lined up & schedules mapped, nearly two months out! Let's call them sitters A, B, & C. We even found Sitter D when Sitter C accepted an opportunity elsewhere. However we also knew Sitter B would not be available in August. (Still with me?) Then unfortunately as it turned out, Sitter A realized she would not be available for two weeks (also in August). Then things got even more interesting when Sitter D (who essentially replaced Sitter C)-- very nice young lady-- was not able to adhere to the original schedule we discussed (or didn't want to).

These are among the reasons why I switch to a wipe-board calendar before summer every year.

Anyway, we get through all of that & then September comes. There are lots of people who are not exactly excited about September for the simple fact that we are that much closer to cooler weather. Some are just annoyed that their relaxing summer evenings & lazy weekends have turned into homework-consumed stress, & an overwhelming schedule of sports (which also tend to interfere with dinner time during the week). Even corporate America as a whole just seems much more busy, & most commuters would admit that life in general is more congested, post-summer.

I am glad we have summer & I'd be sad without it, but I welcome the change of the season. And I will not miss the days of receiving a continuous stream of text messages-- I think the record was about 25 in an hour-- from any one of H's sitters because he is looking for a random red hat, or obsessing over his closet, or throwing the food that his meds are in, or playing with the dog's bowls (that was a new one), or emptying all the garbage bins, or stripping his bed to gather laundry, or refusing to come inside, or only wanting to cut pictures out of nice books (hello, random), or playing with the hitch on the neighbor's boat, or swearing, or disassembling any number of things with his screwdriver, or not letting the sitter close the front door when the AC is on, or taking stuff off the shelves in the living room, or grabbing all of the silverware out of the silverware drawer & dumping it in the sink, or, my favorite one... insisting that he can only drink out of a pitcher which inevitably led to a change of clothing, & Hayden having his mind set on wearing something that was of course nowhere to be found.

It's interesting because he does like each of these sitters-- I can tell because he's not good at faking it when he doesn't! But basically this summer was just a hint that regardless of his age, Hayden may always have a bit of toddler left in him. (Remind me to share that list with school administrators the next time I am trying to advocate for consistency, & the importance of familiarity in Hayden's schedule.)

So anyway, this is Hayden's final year in elementary school & in the fall of 2016 he will be on to the middle. This is his last year of having class parties for most of the holidays, & walking around the field for the annual Halloween parade, & occasionally being the unofficial teacher assistant for the preschoolers at the other end of the hall, & having a school-wide snack time, & using only a backpack & desk instead of a locker. This reality gives me a lump in my throat.

Hayden also went to preschool at the current elementary school he attends. So he has walked those halls since 2008! And for seven school years I have happily put together holiday goody bags for all the kids in his class/ homeroom... & for (going on) four of those years, I have spoken with his peers (& faculty) about fragile x... witnessed him gradually develop the courage to participate in three school concerts... & we've watched him parade in seven different Halloween costumes. They were (consecutively): a race car driver, chef, cowboy, cafe waiter, doctor, mechanic, & a UPS guy (complete with hand truck).

This Thursday is Back to School Night-- I will probably be that one  parent dotting their eyes with a tissue for no apparent reason. I also have little doubt that I'll be doing the same at the school concert. But if you see me at the Halloween parade watching my 4th grader marching around, with an expression on my face like a mom watching their kid go off to Kindergarten for the first time... just don't mind me.

I'm going to milk this school year for every single memory I can capture like a loony tourist.


A number of weeks ago, H said he wanted to dress up as Grover for Halloween. Aside from the fact that he would never keep that head piece on, I have only found Sesame Street costumes in either toddler or adult sizes but nothing in between-- not to mention the latter of the two is beyond my budget anyway. But somehow as we were talking about that, the hand truck came up in conversation-- as I tried to gently tell H the truth that I would keep looking for a Grover costume, but wasn't sure we'd find one. Maybe we were talking about possible props or accessories-- I am not sure. However, when he mentioned it I told him he can certainly use the hand truck again-- we just needed to think of someone different who uses one, that he could dress up as. In about two seconds he said, "Movers."

Done. This year we'll use wire ties to attach small furniture to the hand truck (instead of boxes, so it doesn't look like last year), & as my cousin cleverly suggested we should put on a back support belt too. And yes I will most certainly have to figure out some sort of a uniform shirt with a custom logo on the back ;)

I mean it is his last year of this & then...

(insert me sighing)

So I guess the costume will be symbolic after all.  

Don't mind me as I reach for a tissue...

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