02 September, 2010

It will be fall.. NOW

Jake is downstairs whooping and hollering, happily. Lucy is asleep in the guest room, having convinced herself that she sleeps better there. Descartes and I have taken up our places on our respective couches, laptops in laps, remote controls within reach. The beer is cold, the night is warm and we are safely snuggled back into our fall routines.

Even though the temperature hit nearly 100F in my backyard this afternoon it could not dissuade me from making home made sugar cookies and some royal icing so Lucy and her girlfriends could cut out shapes and decorate them as part of their afternoon play date. I put a ham in the oven. I contemplated the split pea soup I would make.

Jake's birthday is a month away, which means his IEP is in a couple of weeks. Which means sign ups for the amazing respite weekend camp he goes to must be soon. Then there will be Oktoberfest and Halloween, and Thanksgiving and Christmas, and while I will miss the music in the parks, a summer staple in our town, I am looking forward to back-to-school nights, and a new year of the Special Ed PTA, and the calm that will come after the weather cools and the rain comes.

I think I like fall the best. Perhaps it's because I still anticipate a new school year as if it were my own accomplishments that will transpire, and I have always been great at starting school years. It's a sort of rebirth, tabula rasa, the blank notebooks, the sharp pencils, and all those new school clothes. [here's where I would insert a picture of me wearing an Esprit color-block sweater made of scratchy wool with green corduroy pants...a photo from 7th grade when I used nearly all of my back-to-school clothing budget on one outfit because I loved it so very much. My father, a psychologist, let me experience this fully...coming home with only one beautiful esprit bag and a few basics, like socks, underwear and white tennis shoes. Later he felt badly for me and bought me a 3/4 length butter-yellow down coat to add to my wardrobe. It should be noted here that I grew up in Orange County, where the average temperature in the winter months is never lower than about 65. I was able to wear the sweater/cords outfit one time in sunny Orange County, but did wear the set in Germany in October. It never stopped itching me.]

The kids are happy in their classes. Jake's class is mostly the same, with a few minor staff changes. He fell in love with a new aide to the class, and when I met her the other day I could guess why, with her pleasant demeanor and beautiful smile. Every time I step on the campus at WunderSkool I get a little teary-eyed. The people there are so friendly and they genuinely seem to like their jobs, and their jobs are our kids. Every day I feel like Jake is cared for and learning.We are doing some new things with "talkers", and we tried out an iPad last week. He was very interested. Tonight he broke into his sister's room to sneak the iPod Touch from her, or at least see what she was playing. He seems to be more interactive in so many ways lately. He is less frustrated, maybe because he knows we're listening and we believe in him.

Lucy was so excited about going in to Room Two that she could barely contain herself on Monday. They call it pre-k, and while there's no algebra yet she does have homework sheets. We're learning together how and when we sit down for school work. When I started to get frustrated with her "I know Mom. I KNOW." attitude I took a deep breath, and remembered to be grateful for all of her words even if she was sassy. We'll get there, but she is hard on herself, and I had to talk to her about the difference between finishing first and being (or doing)  the best. First is always better in her book, and I can tell she rushes through everything. In the three days she's been there, she has already stopped scribbling everything in, and is paying attention to whether she's supposed to write a lower-case or an upper-case letter.

I am getting back into my groove too. I walked the Stanfurd dish walk the other day, which is probably no big whoop for most of y'all, but spending 1:50 minutes in a row without my children, focused on me and my health? That hasn't happened in a very long time. We also had a very productive meeting for The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. I'm so excited that this project is going so well. We have really collected a great bunch of information from parents and professionals and adults with autism.

post script: it is now 1:18 am. Lucy is next to me on the couch, unable to sleep. We are watching "Gulah Gullah Island". Not my favorite, but I figured she shouldn't be watching "Blindness."
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