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....