School ended on Friday, and Atti is heartbroken. I dropped into his classroom to bring treats and as soon as he saw me he started bawling his head off, thinking that I was going to take him away from his beloved school and make him miss out on his favorite bus ride. He freaked out so rapidly and with such grandiosity that my feelings would have been crushed if it wasn’t so awesome that he loved school so much.
Along with my dreams of an unmedicated birth, attachment parenting, and organic homemade food, I once had dreams of homeschooling. I am so aggressive in my love of education, I thought I could handle it easily. I imagined laying on blankets under trees, talking about photosynthesis and reading books. I imagined teaching fractions while we baked bread and made music. I wondered at where his curiosity would take our learning.
But then he was born, with heavy heavy medication that kept me asleep for his first three days of life but that was far preferable to being dead. He came home to my dried up milk supply hooked up to oxygen but at least he was home and out of his clear plastic box. He was, and remains, so underweight that we beg him to eat ice cream and french fries and anything else that catches his fancy including boxes and boxes and boxes of cheerios. And I reluctantly admitted that I had no idea how to teach this child through the barriers of his motor disabilities.
We have been blessed, truly truly blessed beyond measure, with the teachers and therapists and aides we have worked with, and never more so than with Teacher Larry and the aides Miss Elsa and Miss Tracy. Atti adores them and feels adored by them, and comes home every day with new tricks to show me. The other day as we were shopping, obviously feeling that he wasn’t getting enough of my attention, he tugged at my shirt and said “Let me see your eyes.” He sure didn’t learn that trick from me, but now that I know he knows it? I’m using it every day.
My favorite thing is when he comes home smelling of someone else’s fragrance. I know that he’s been snuggled. I’d be sad to give that up too.
Luckily Atti qualifies for summer school, so he’ll see Teacher Larry in just a couple of weeks, and then Miss Elsa and Miss Tracy in the fall for one more year before kindergarten. They have big plans for him this year. Plans that actually match my own. They see that quick mind trapped inside the uncompliant body and their goal is to start mainstreaming him this year so he’s ready for a typical kindergarten class. I could not have accomplished that on my own. I am so everlastingly grateful I had such support.