Here it is May and kindergarten is almost over. I’ve spent the morning in Sam’s classroom helping them get ready for the rising kindergarteners coming tomorrow for orientation. It doesn’t feel so long ago that I was bringing Sam last year, the memories are still that sharp.
But what happens when you don’t blog as often as you should is that you forget what your reader knows and doesn’t know. You forget if you shared all your fears for this year and how some of them came true and how some didn’t. You forget if your reader understands, really understands, how grown up he is now — even though he is still my baby.
You forget so much, I forget so much. My life sometimes feels like a series of faded snapshots.
The best thing I did this year was volunteer in his classroom. There’s nothing like knowing all of his classmates by name and seeing that quirkiness is a trait that all children possess to a certain degree, not just the spectrum ones. You could say that “neurotypical” is also a spectrum, a discovery both eye-opening and comforting.
I knew that academically Sam would be fine. His areas of interest continue to evolve but he is primarily fascinated with:
- Outer space
- Earthquakes and other “violent weather”
He declares, “I don’t like fiction, Mom. Is that a fiction book? I only like non-fiction.” The other day he told me that two glasses were “congruent.” He knows more than his father and me combined.
So no, I knew he’d love school for the learning. My fears were of the quirky and social kind, especially since he is so motivated to be social — would he have friends, would he be happy?
Well, yes and yes I suppose. He moves about the class and seems to be liked by all. He plays with the same couple of kids every day at recess. I’ve noticed that over time the group changes and I don’t know if he’s being left out or not — my own, hard memories making me anxious on his behalf. Even though they are 5 and 6, some boys seem more socially astute. I’ve caught a few rolling their eyes at other kids and sometimes at Sam. It’s a slippery slope to teasing and worse.
One day a few weeks ago I picked him up and he had scraped his nose. I asked him what happened and he said, “I was out of control, Mom!” When I asked why, he explained that so-and-so were playing a game at recess and he wanted to play too but he couldn’t figure out how to join in and they weren’t helping him. Frustrated, he took off running and collided with the playground equipment.
“Mom?” he said, “Sometimes I don’t know how to play.” I guess he’s astute in his own way too.
He is earnest and enthusiastic, loving and sweet, quirky and one-of-a-kind. He’s finding his way this year and I’m finding mine too. When I watch him at school, I find sometimes that I’m holding my breath. Guess I should work on letting it out.