Monday, August 17, 2009

End Of Summer: Blah

So we're almost at the end of summer. Or, depending on the measuring stick, we're DONE with summer.

I took the summer off to hang with the boys. I doubt I'll ever get a 22 yr severance package again. So I pushed my luck and took the summer off - meaning, I didn't look for work. I also kept the boys home from summer camps or day care. So right there I saved myself a good $1300+ a month. I have never been able to spend a whole summer vacation with my kids. So this has been worth it. Pushing the envelope or not. It was worth it.

I started looking for work two weeks ago. So for me, summer ended two weeks ago. Sadness. But oh well. It's been awesome.

And in one week, my boys will head back to school. Pokemon Boy will start 4th grade. Lil'Bro will start kindergarten. Pretty cool. They'll be in the same school but probably won't run into each other. Kinder is downstairs and 4th is up. Their lunch times and recess will be pretty far apart, too. But the knowledge that big brother is there will no doubt help Lil'Bro.

So, as the school year approaches, a part of me wonders how Pokemon Boy will do with his anxieties during this school year. Since he's been back in day care these past two weeks, he's only had a couple of meltdowns. But each one reminds me that the anxiety is still there. And I've noticed a bit of an increase in his facial tics. Nothing horrid. Just the exaggerated blinking, a few head rolls, some shoulder rolls, some suddenly widened eyes. In the grand scheme of Tourette's, these are minor and I know how lucky we are.

I think the increased tics are just stress. He likes day care generally. But he's in the "school aged" group. So ages 5-11. And those older kids, man, they push the limits for me sometimes. Girls are emotionally brutal and boys are physically so. He generally finds nice kids to hang around. But inevitably, there's a clash. And I can't fight it for him.

Recently, a boy at school really taunted him. I was told by another teacher that this boy has some kind of disability. I don't recall what kind. But apparently, he is not always in control of his language or emotions. This was actually explained to Pokemon Boy. He told me he wasn't really mad at the boy since he knew the boy couldn't help it. But it still embarrassed him. We talked about it for a while. During the conversation, I pointed out how hard it is to be "different" at all. And maybe that boy gets a lot of flack from other kids. Or worse, maybe he's ignored. So Pokemon Boy said, "Yah. I have trouble with my anger sometimes. So I know what it's like." We talked about how maybe that boy just needs someone to keep being nice to him. Pokemon Boy went back to school resolved to be nice to him. To make sure he had someone who didn't ignore him or dismiss him as weird. I was pretty proud that he was able to make the connection - to empathize with a boy who might be treated differently because he can't control his emotions. There may be more conflict. But at least I know Pokemon Boy will try his best to give that kid the benefit of the doubt.

This Friday, we find out who the teachers are. Then it's back to school. I'm sure God will rock good teachers for both. And an awesome job for ME!


C. Beth said...

I got a little teary-eyed at PB's sweetness. If he can keep that attitude toward the kids that have trouble, he'll be such a blessing. I was just thinking yesterday about junior high and how at least one semester I didn't have lunch with ANY of my friends. (I didn't have a lot of friends!) I was thinking how it would have been so nice if someone had just invited me to have lunch with them. It's a tough age.... It will be tough on him at times but if he can keep reaching out, he'll bless himself and the kids around him! What an awesome kiddo he is.

Jane said...

I've still got 2 weeks left with the kids at home. Like you, I've basically taken a break since June to be here with the kids. I'll be busting my butt with the job search very shortly.

I know how the teasing and bullying thing goes. I see it with Max a lot. Sometimes I feel so sorry for him and other times I know he has to learn how to navigate around in his own quirky world. I leave you with a little Irish blessing that I tell to the kids:

May those that love us, love us.
For those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.