Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I wanted to grab him and run.

I wanted to grab him and run. 

Preschool was playing. Aaron could play. Play along side those peers like it was nobody's business.

Kindergarten though, it has expectations

I thought I was ready. But this morning as I took Aaron to his first morning of kindergarten it was so much harder than I excepted. 

Everyone was great. His teacher, his aid, fabulous, willing to accommodate and understand. 
His preschool teacher came and gave him a hug, the secretary welcomed him back with their little routine of say "hi" them you can look at the cool clocks on my desk. Everyone full of warmth and acceptance. Wonderful. 


...he is still different. 

Every year the gap between the capacity and capabilities of Aaron and his peers widens, 
& today it felt vast and deep. And my emotions went swirling down into the darkness.

All summer we've been working so hard and focusing on all his growth and gains 
(being positive, because what other option do you have?) 
And today was a just a bit of a reality check. 

I mean, things went good. 
Considering it was a whole new classroom, whole new routine. He was an absolute champion. Really.

Yet a lump forms in my throat as I once again consider how difficult every aspect of normal social life is for him. Things that delighted the other five year olds, normal exciting things...walking to the bulletin borad to see their name, listening to a story, doing a craft...were things Aaron could only do assisted. And the kids are starting to notice.

Not in a mean way at all,  just taking notice, "Oh he's different." 
Inclusion. Acceptance. Good concepts, but in the end the five year old wants to play with other kids who want to play like them.

At one point the four boys (it's a staggered entry, so only a third of the class at a time) stood. 
The one little boy pointed to the other boys and said, "Those two boys are my friends."

"Those two boys" is what he said. All I heard was, "Not Aaron."

My friend after I'd given her a recap, said,"It's hard" (oh how I love her--love how she so often says those two little words to me and fills me with all the validation, compassion and hope I need)

She reminded me all parents feel that to a degree. Placing their precious children, who, every instinct in their whole being is telling them to protect,  in a place were everyone doesn't have to love them, and where not everyone will even like them. 
Then she said how much it made her respect and be in awe of Heavenly Father's abilities to parent, to show up at the door of mortality, and let us face our fears and challenges. Trusting us. Knowing that necessary steps in growth and progression take choices and distance. 

But He always knows what we need.

Ben gave all three boys and me priesthood blessings to start the school year.
It didn't look like this------------>
Well, maybe in my mind it did. We had the kitchen stool and everything. Nope, it was pretty much a gong show.
Levi squrimed on my lap, pushing Ben's hands away from his head.
Aaron was equally unimpressed with his head being touched, and added loud groans of protest to the pushing of the hands.
McKye was the best though. Somehow, after long negotiations, McKye would only concede to pause his movie and sit on the stool if we let him hold his balloon, which half-way through the blessing became a weapon to repeatedly hit his father with. Yes, whapping his dad with a balloon DURING the blessing. Oh so reverent and spiritual. After each blessing Ben would just look at me with this face like "Why are we doing this?"And we'd smile at each other, knowing the answer.

And this is why. Because the Lord knew there were some things I was going to need to know.

How's this for a tender mercy:

Until today I have never worried much about the kids. I've prayed long and hard that the right teachers and professionals would be brought into our lives, and that prayer has been answered time and time again with an array of stupendous adults who have come to love Aaron and be just what he needed at different stages of our journey. But even when people asked about how kids respond to Aaron I usually (and honestly) would reply, " Oh kids are surprisingly accepting." And they are. Especially young kids. 

Aaron is reaching an age were social aspects are coming into play, where the should's and should nots are being drilled into their little brains (ie Aaron should NOT take his pants off at church). A time where "friends" are becoming more than a label your parents use for children your height, but something important and sought after. A time when they're developing a sense of justice and fairness (it's not fair Aaron gets a toy during circle time).

Well the Lord apparently knew that I was all the sudden going to have all these realities brought to my attention today and that I would freak out a little. 

And when that happened He had already prepared my comfort a head of time. 

In the words of the blessing:

I bless you, Aaron, as you start a new class with new classmates, that you will be able to win over their love.

As soon as I read it, my mind was flooded with the images of faces of people who already love Aaron. People he's touched (quite literally, with hugs, and squeezes, and running his fingers through their hair). People who had become vested in his growth. Who truly wanted him to succeed  out of genuine concern and fondness for my unique little boy. Then I thought of his smile, his eyes, his laugh, so inexplicably endearing.  And I thought those little kindergarteners don't have a chance. 

He will be loved.

He will be able to win over their love. 

So maybe he isn't able to sit very long, or cut very straight, but he will be able to touch people, his whole life he will have that gift. Be that gift.  And it may not show up on report cards, but it will be real. 

And so I decided to fight the instinct to grab him and run,
instead I decided to  let him go and grow.

My little conquerer 

Hmmm, still adjusting from the summer schedule (or lack thereof)

So handsome

How do you not love that smile?

If the smile doesn't get you the laugh will!

Fingers crossed
(we've been signing letters, and he likes something about the feeling of the "r")

My little guy going off into the big world!

Some security in the sameness of the sand table

Lining up some play dates

I am, as always, so very proud of, and oh so very humbled by my amazing son.


kelseyp said...Best Blogger Tips

Chels, you have me in tears. Your sweet little Aaron is so special and anyone who comes in contact with him can feel how close he is to his heavenly father. I love ya friend. I am constantly in awe of how you do all you do and still maintain your postive attitude. You are incredible! Thanks for being you!

Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips

This sounds like the start of an amazing book! You are amazing and so is your little boy.

Shawn, Tarilyn & Porter said...Best Blogger Tips

Chelsea, Aaron is so handsome! I am also in tears. You are such an amazing writer and when I read your blogs I can feel everything that is written! You are such an awesome women and you give me strength to endure my trials with faith and humility. And like posted earlier, thanks for being you!!

VBevans said...Best Blogger Tips

I also love this post, and am also in tears. You have such a wonderful and eloquent way of portraying your really should write a book...and start it with this post.
Aaron is so sweet, so cute and just so wonderful in every way, how could you not love him? I completely feel every word that you have said...I feel the exact same way about school...I know it will be really hard on me when they do go. It must have been so hard. I am so grateful to be friends with you, your are so inspiring...always.

cc said...Best Blogger Tips

that last comment was actually from me! lol...apparently I was signed in to my friends account, sorry, ha ha:)