Is it safe?
It's been hard, but I waited a few extra days. Just a couple days, although it felt like eternity. I didn't want to jinx myself, my luck and Gabe.
OK...Here goes.....(deep breath)
Gabe's in preschool.
Public school preschool. Our District's public preschool. And he is doing very well! He is making friends, petting the classroom pet Guinea pig 'Buddy', eating lunch, and going out on recess. The other day he said, "I play with my friend Gavin at school."
I caught myself thinking, "What? "Full sentences? Friends? Independence?"I couldn't help but have a big smile.
Then this weekend it was, "Santa will get me the marble roller coaster."
I guess Gabe and Santa have established a close relationship out of my radar range. And Santa must shop at Target.
This gives me hope that Christmas will be even better this year. Both Boo and Gabe will be able to participate in our traditions of hanging ornaments, decorating ginger bread houses, and have the immense anticipation of Santa's arrival. That's all the gift I will need this year.
There was one incident the first day of preschool. I thought about not mentioning it, because it is pretty age appropriate, meaning that the Autism flag needn't be raised, the 'armed' forces could lay low and I could keep my anxiety in check. But, it just so happens that it was at the top of my list of concerns for Gabe when deciding to place him in a regular preschool. I can only describe it by telling you what happened. Gabe is in a class of about 14 kids along with a teacher (Ms. J), classroom aide and another teacher (Ms. K) that floats in and out, her position is a little unclear to me, must be based on number of kids in the room. Anyway, Ms. J had to run out of the room for a minute or two, so Ms. K took the class to the bathroom before going outside to play. Two boys in Gabe's class, after leaving the bathroom, decided to run down the hall. Ms. K had to coral them back in line by the wall and remind them to wait until everyone was ready. Meanwhile,as far as we can guess, Gabe must have come out of the bathroom, while Ms. K was running down the hall. He then got into a different line, going the wrong way. It was not one going to recess, but to the buses. After counting the heads on the playground, Ms. J came back and noticed one missing too. She immediately found Gabe outside the bus, crying for me on the sidewalk. Someone must have noticed he did not belong on the bus and called the office or another teacher. Thank God . (insert prayer here) So, when I picked him up the first day he was really weepy with swollen red eyes. She apologized many times. After about 5 minutes, Gabe left my side and happily joined the other kids on the play structure.
My reaction was not of anger, because I adore Ms. J. She was so fantastic with Boo that I knew it was an honest accident, not an oversight, especially since she wasn't even there when it took place. And now that it did happen, I can let out a sigh of relief that my biggest fear is in check with the teachers and I believe now that Gabe will be given an extra hand in leading him in the right direction. Which is what we all need at some time in our lives.
Boo is in first grade. (I'm feeling faint) I keep dreaming of her in high school. I keep reminding myself that she will only be turning 6 years old this month, not 16. She looks so beautiful in her uniform. I know I couldn't pull off a plaid jumper. She makes it look like the new fall fashion must have in your closet.
I have found that my thyroid is normal (Thanks for the idea to get tested Melissa) The problem I have/had was depression. So, two months later and appropriate medication (Screw you Tom Cruise) I feel better than I ever had in my life.
I also have started looking for a part time job. My SAHM status is quickly coming to a close. With needing a new roof and Gabe's preschool costs this year, our bank account reflects that we live paycheck to paycheck. It doesn't help that the state of Michigan is something like 2 billion (?) in debt and talk about shutting down the state is being discussed as an option. SD's salary as a teacher is dangling by a thread. The schools can't balance budgets or promise much of a security, because the state keeps changing what it will provide and then sometimes doesn't give financial support at all. How do you balance a budget like that?
This school marks another massive change in my life along with having a first grader, Gabe in preschool, a possible new career path, but it is also the first time in 2 1/2 years (or ever) that I drop my kids off at school and I can go HOME. When I took Gabe to school for those two+ years, I was an hour away from home. Going home was not an option. I have been trying to get things organized, clean, clean some more, do laundry, mow the lawn, do some PR for the family and kids and establish connections in my children's classrooms. It has been a lovely ride, sweet, but too short.
Some of you maybe wondering, what did happen to my crazy hair? I hate to admit this, but I ended up dying my hair four times. I'm a nut when it comes to my hair. It was a week of my daughter giving her encouragement through each change of hair color. "I think it looks nice mommy", she would smile. I had gray hair, green, grayish, greenish, brownish, reddish hair, dark brown hair (picture a witch) I was looking for carmel and got a mixture of Gothic and heroin addict.
I ended up stripping all the horrid colors out of my hair to reveal the lightest blonde ever with streaks of light orange where the red from one of the hair colors would not come out without loosing my hair. I settled on blonde for the vacation. And was I blonde. Barbie has nothing on me. I surpassed Barbie as a Blonde. She looked like a medium to dark blonde next to me. It was frightful, luckily we were where it was warm, sunny with an ocean. I almost fit right in as a surfer girl. In Michigan, I looked like a pole dancer. I currently, yes I actually dyed it again, a dark, neutral blonde with a hint of gray (color has a hard time now sticking to the lightest part of my hair. It's not perfect, but then no one's throwing change at me anymore.
I'd post the new look, but I haven't had a good photo op yet. I always look goofy when I take it myself, ya know, forehead missing, chin cut off, odd strained smile while attempting to look easy going when you can not find the button to actually take the picture. So until then, know that I have been following every one's lives and am so excited to look forward with all of you to another year of special moments with our children.
Oh! Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Mom-Nos for the award of
This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.
I am so flattered. I am in fact speechless, which is rare. Who knew that over two years ago, when I searched the word Autism through Blogger that it would land me here? Where years earlier Mom-Nos brought hope to me that my journey with Gabe was not meant to be dark and lonely filled with isolation and dread. But a chance to embrace my fears, not let go of hope and still plan celebrations each and every day. Thank you, thank you Mom-Nos and all of you have either stood behind me pushing me forward, stood beside me letting me lean on you and those of you with strength that kept pulling me forward. Thank so much.
I nominate the following seven bloggers that have helped me along the way, many before they even new it. You deserve the NICE MATTERS Award!
Gretchen from Gretchen's Blog
Lora from My Beautiful Child Griffin & Autism
Stephanie from If It Ain't Broke
Kyra from THISMOM