Jake has been in school for 10 weeks and I don’t think there has been a day where he hasn’t amazed any of us!
I shouldn’t be surprised by what this boy knows or by what he can do. There aren’t many days where I don’t think “wow that is huge! How does the know that?”
Jake has only been independently verbal (my word) for about 6 months. Meaning, he can now choose his own words and have short conversations without prompting. Sitting around the dinner table is when he talks to us the most. We will ask him questions about his day and he can reply with words of his choosing. Sometimes it takes him a while to find the words but if we are patient and wait for him to figure out what he is trying to say it is nothing short of astonishing.
Last week Jake brought home his first report card. He has no idea what a report card is so when I looked it over, explained to him what is was and told him how proud I was of him, he didn’t seem fazed. He just looked at me and continued playing. I read to him the different items on the card telling him how well he did. He didn’t react; it was as if I wasn’t even talking to him. I hung his report card on the refrigerator. The other day he was playing in the kitchen and he saw his report card and asked me “what is that?” I told him that was his report card. He looked it over, reading almost every word and said “Jakey got a lot of M’s and S’s”. I said “you sure did, buddy. That means you mastered every goal for your first 9 weeks of school and the S’s mean you did everything you were supposed to do!” By the look on Jake’s face one might think he didn’t understand. He looked at it one more time and ran off to play. On Saturday Jake was staring at his report card again and we repeated the conversation from a few days before. I got the same response from him. Someone who doesn’t know Jake might think that he doesn’t grasp what we are trying to say. When, in fact, he does! He gets it but is processing the information. It takes time for him to understand completely. It takes a lot of talking things out for him to be able to show us that he understands.
Sometimes being patient with Jake is hard! We want to finish his sentences or show him the answer. But if given time, he will say what he wants to say and get to the answer on his own. For years we have repeated everything, saying the same thing over and over again. Sometimes it is for his reassurance but most of the time Jake needs these extra words from us and the extra time for him to process all of the information. But once the boy knows it he never forgets!
The first few weeks of school were a little rocky. Jake started kindergarten, he had a whole new staff working with him and he had an entirely new routine. Jake struggled and I had to wonder if he was going to be okay. During the first few weeks of school I wasn’t sure if we had made the right decision sending him on to kindergarten. As his mom I wanted to protect him, keep him safe but more importantly I wanted him to feel safe.
Then Jake changed kindergarten classrooms and I thought this is it; here is where his teachers will see his full-blown meltdown as well as see the “real” Jake. But there were no huge meltdowns. Jake showed everyone, including me, that he was up for the challenge. His new kindergarten teacher welcomed him and made him feel like he was a part of the class. She included him every part of the kindergarten day. Every day for the first 9 weeks his aid, kindergarten teacher and resource teacher would tell me he had a great day with minimal behaviors. I shouldn’t have been surprised but I was. I found myself waiting, each and every day, for the other shoe to drop. I waited for the phone call, the note home or the handwritten report telling me Jake was having a hard time, his behaviors were hard to manage or the worst… he can’t be in a typical classroom.
I sometimes wonder if I don’t have enough faith in my boy. Do I expect the worst when I should be expecting success? And I ask myself ‘why are you surprised? You know your baby and you know what he is capable of doing!’
Hope is my anchor. The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that there is faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love! For me, without faith, hope or love I wouldn’t be able to be the mother that my kids need.
My love for Jake is truly unconditional. I have hope for Jake’s future. I have faith in Jake. I know he can do anything that is presented to him and I know he is capable of far more things than I can even imagine. I know I need to let things go, Jake will be fine and I will be fine. But it is hard. You know when you are used to things being a certain way then when they almost suddenly change and you find yourself kind of waiting for the bad to happen. That is where I’ve been. Just waiting. Fortunately the “bad” has not happened and Jake is showing everyone he is able to do most things with no problems.
I am really proud of Jake, I mean really really proud! He is one of those kids that tries his best. And when given the opportunity to process all of the information before him he excels. He can shine like nothing you’ve ever seen before. He knows things and I have no idea how he learned them. His behaviors are so minimal that his aid is nearby waiting to assist him but does not need to be hands on all of the time.
Jake’s report card does reflect the “real” Jake. He really does love learning, he loves being with other kids and loves loves loves being more independent.
No more waiting for this mom! I will start accepting each day for what it brings, revelling in the glorious reports and shining with pride! When the “bad” days come; it will be okay. We all have our own bad days. I will get through it and wake up ready for the next day with no expectations, just taking it one day at a time.
“we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Hebrews 6:19