Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bubble goes to kindergarten

Our beloved SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) has been threatening to make a school visit for some time.

Logistics made it difficult until lately because Bubble now lives on Vashon! She spends long weekends out here and sees Shea every Saturday or Sunday depending on what is going on.

I blubber my thanks and more thanks every once in a while because I don't have to drive Shea to the big city every week anymore and we still get to see our beloved, Bubble. I feel so dang lucky!

With all the shake up with placement for next year, she offered to go in an see how he was doing and give me her opinion of whether moving onto 1st grade would be a good idea.

She visited yesterday and then called immediately and gave me a long, detailed report.

Shea listens in class! He pays attention! He converses with his classmates! And, he raises his hand to answer questions!

Bubble says he gets along well with his typically developing classmates and they seem to like him. I mean, who wouldn't, right? But she says he smiles all the times and greets other enthusiastically, is in good humor and he draws others to him.

To say that I literally gasped with relief and joy is an understatement. For a long time I have wanted to be a fly on the wall, to see him objectively, but my presence is just too big and encumbering when I am there. Shea is way too aware of me and my being there effects how he acts.

Bubble is leaning more and more toward 1st grade for our sweet boy. And, unless some of the standardized assessments paint a wildly different picture, I think we will go for it.

Part of it is: raising the bar high. Last year, when I was sure Shea wasn't ready for Kindergarten but the school thought he should give it a try, I was joyously amazed at his progress and how far he has come. I am thinking that the tendency to coddle and protect, although understandable, might hold him back.

If his very familiar specialists feel he is ready to blaze a new trail, who am I to contradict? I am the worry wart. I am the frettful mommy always with the "What if?" rolling around in my head.

Maybe that is what happens, after a while you learn to listen. Is that age? Is that wisdom? Is that fatigue and relief that someone else is making decisions?

I have decided it doesn't matter.

A dear friend had a little dinner party the other night at her place on the beach with all my favorite people. There were tons of kids and Shea was down there doing all that they were doing; canoeing, throwing rocks in the water, helping to build a beach fire.

I was watching from the deck and thought, "Shea is 6 and Molly is almost 12." In 6 more years she will be 18." There is something about these numbers. I know I will never stop being a mother but I feel like 2/3 of my heavy lifting is done with Molly and 1/3 with Shea.

And, then that soft, sticky, cloud of doubt descends again. I know that Molly will be well prepared for life at 18. Oh, don't worry, I will still be checking in on her no matter what. But Shea? What will he be like at 18?

If this, raising the bar high strategy is any indicator, he will be just fine. Maybe not quite as independent as his sister but who knows.

There is a secure and happy place in this world for Shea. A place for us all.

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