Monday, August 29, 2011

Yellow Bus

Isaac is at our back door.  His breakfast sits on the table, honey nut cheerios getting soggier by the second.  A bowl of sliced bananas waits patiently next to the bobbing O's.  "Mom!  Is it time now?"

It's his first day back to school, and he's excited.  I'm so glad.  I'm even more glad that he's ready to ride the bus again.

After a traumatic experience for Isaac last winter, and his regular bus driver had to take a leave of absence due to illness, the change was too much for him to handle.  Too many new faces too frequently threw him for a loop.  He refused to ride the bus to school, so I had to drive him each morning. Of course I tried different tactics to try and get him to ride in the mornings, even going so far as to physically putting him, kicking and screaming, onto the bus and watching his face contort and cry through the bus window as it drove away.  Uh-uh.  No way was I going to do that again.  For as much as I wanted Isaac to be willing to do what I wanted him to do, I had to realize that losing a battle didn't mean giving up the war.

  As a mom of a child (with or without delays) you willingly have to make the conscious decision that your days are no longer about what is best for you.  It's about what is best for your child.

I drove Isaac to school for the rest of the school year.  He had no problems riding the bus home (which was so strange for me to understand) so we worked with what he was willing to do and tried a new tactic this school  year.

Isaac's wonderful preschool teacher created a "Social Story" book for him.  This is a story, personalized for Isaac, that he can read to himself to get mentally prepared for riding the bus again.  It included pictures to help him connect places with actions, familiar with the unfamiliar.  It gives him a context for what will happen when he gets ready to ride the bus again.

As we stand in the driveway, Isaac with his jacket and backpack, bopping excitedly up and down looking for that big yellow bus...I will be ready for more stories to come.  Battles, come what may....

Friday, August 26, 2011

Summertime...and the livin' was easy....

It's been awhile...but the while has been full of wonder...

Our family returned to Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina in July to splash and sun ourselves for 10 days.  Isaac was able to fly on a plane again, which is oftentimes the highlight of the adventure.  His best in-flight moment was actually during take-off when he announced to the entire plane, "5-4-3-2-1....BLASTOFF!!!!!" as we left the tarmac. 

Isaac's part fish, we discovered.  He puts on his arm floaties and off he goes, content to kick and swim all over the pool.  Swim toys?  You can keep 'em.  He just wanted to jump in, be thrown in or a combination of both.  We have yet to get him to remember to close his mouth though.  Every night we had to change the sheets of the beachhouse bed he slept in because he literally soaked through the Pull Ups with how much pool water he consumed.  Still, as happy as a clam...and usually as submerged as one...

One of the wonderful things we experienced with Isaac this year was FREEDOM.  We were able to see more, do more, and allow him a bit more room to explore. 

In the mornings, we'd sit on the porch with binoculars and look for dolphins feeding in the calm, glassy, surf.  When we'd walk along the shore in the early evening, we'd say, "run...go ahead Isaac, run til you can't run anymore!"  And he would.  Hot, sweaty, red faced, and a smile miles wide.  At the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium, he felt a real stingray, watched otters swim (faster than even Isaac could). He embraced it all like we did.

In Raleigh, where we stayed downtown for 2 nights after our beach trip, we enjoyed the free museums and the amazingly affordable and fantastic Marbles Kids Museum. We walked around the city as a family, had some genuine southern BBQ, and let someone make our beds and clean up after me for a change (gosh, I love hotels...especially the ones with "pillow menus":  HEAVENLY.) 

I watched as my son touched, tasted and discovered his way through most of our vacation--shells, sand, salt water, pool water, restaurants, museums, memories. 

It was a summer full of livin'...and Isaac did it well.