May 26, 2004

a reminder

Our three year/transitional IEP meeting is tomorrow. Also known as the day things really begin, we see where we stand, we have something solid (ie: ďNo, you canít do thatĒ) and therefore get a hint of the next step in this convoluted process. And yet right now I feel calm. Even happy.

I think it has everything to do with a dream I had last night. In the dream, I was driving Damian to school but Iíd forgotten his gummy bear vitamins (an important part of the morning driving ritual) and so I had to stop and get them. Only somehow, in the logic of dreams, we were in New York and so I was going to stop at my fatherís place to pick some up (because of course we keep gummy vitamins there Ė dream logic again). New York parking being what it is, I parked a block away and went off to fetch the gummies. Leaving Damian in the car because it was only going to be a minute, after all. (Again, dream logic. I would NEVER EVER do that.) Got to my fatherís building, told him a bit about what was going on with the (see above) convoluted, freaky kindergarten situation. Then ran back to the car. Which wasnít there. Car and Damian both. Gone. In the midst of a busy New York City street.

Not a good dream. But an important one, I think. I canít lose sight of Damian in this. Yes, weíre doing all this on his behalf. Nevertheless, how he is right now, being his parents right now, helping him continue to develop right now, those are just as important as making sure his future will be okay. Iíve been distracted, stressed, overwhelmed, in intense strategizing mode. I need to be calm, engaged, playful, pushy. Iím not saying I should pretend or that I should suppress out the very real things Iím going through. But thatís not all there is. It canít be.

So today on the way home from school, I asked Damian a lot of questions about the bus he now takes from his morning school three days a week. We talked about the nonsense song he was singing (it was in Froggy Language), he told me what the various words meant. He said ďmeekĒ meant ďduh.Ē Or at least thatís what I thought he said. He got impatient with me, kept trying to correct me. Finally he said ďYou spell it ĎTee Aitch Eee.íĒ Oh. The. Which made me feel good, too, because heíd thought of clarifying via spelling. Which means reading is starting to become more internalized the way a new language does when youíre more fluent. Which is very cool.

And later we played street hockey in the back yard and we laughed and slammed the puck back and forth between us and his eye contact was great and his affect was high and we were both having fun and I thought, ďItís going to be okay, itís all going to work out.Ē Because worst case scenario? His school placement is still up in the air come September and so I home school him for a few months. That would actually be fun.

My dream was on target. I needed to focus on him again. Itís one thing to be an advocate. And a mighty powerful thing it is. Itís another thing altogether to simply be a parent. Remembering what itís like to connect with the child you love. Thatís the most powerful role of all.

Posted by Tamar at May 26, 2004 08:45 PM