Thursday, December 24, 2009

Back at School

So the Z's are all back together at school again.  We take two cars so we have an exit strategy if needed, and we pack enough stuff for a week each day, but we are at least back!  Brian is settling into his school year, meeting his class and working out where everyone is up to in terms of curriculum.  Jack is getting used to sharing my attention each morning, and Sammy is just discovering the wonderful world of Kindergarten.  I am a deranged wreck trying to juggle way too many balls and dropping them fast, but do appreciate the fact things are going so well. 

The thing is, Sam has a lot of needs and it is hard to do everything for him and be in charge of a classroom.  Mornings are rough, I usually don't get to visit the bathroom anymore or top up my coffee before beginning the lessons.  Instead, I'm dropping off the boys (cajoling Jack to get himself ready to go outside or get to the auditorium to meet his class on time), then get Sam , who takes a long time to walk anywhere, particularly with lots of stairs, down to KP in the basement level (I'm at the top)! We go through the whole drop off routine:  coat on hook, into classroom to unpack snack, lunch and folder, then back to hook for bag, then back to classroom to hug, then back to classroom for more hugs, them back to classroom for a quick reassurance with the crying, then...finally up to my room where 20 fifth graders are unpacking and getting ready with one of the amazing staff helping me by keeping an eye on them.  The day begins...I am not as ready as I used to be!  Thank goodness I know the grade level and the children so well! 

There are phone calls from the teachers to let me know how Sam is doing.  Usually well.  We have had one day where he spent almost all of it on his mat resting as he was just plain pooped!  Other times, I hear how he was joining in from his mat, or singing in music, or painting a beautiful picture in art, or having fun with Legos.  Much more normal things.

Yet it is not normal and won't be for a while....Sam cannot sit on the floor for long; it makes his neuropathy kick in with a lot of pain in his legs; he has to have everything sanitized including a mat at the lunch table; he sits and watches PE; he needs either Brian or I to be his monitor at recess so he can try to play on the playground, and he cannot eat the myriad cupcakes that come in to celebrate birthdays.  We have a stash of things he can eat, but he knows he is missing out.

Some good, some not so great, the result is our boy is back and it is WONDERFUL!  I wish I could find more happiness in it, but I am saddened by his wobbly legs trying to keep up with the class and constant "no's" to things the other kids do.

BUT, we are so lucky to be able to have Sam and Jack in the same school so we can take care of the situation and know everything is as it needs to be.  We try to keep to the rules regarding keeping Sam safe, and bend them when we can to give him as much of a normal experience as possible.  The best was yesterday when KP made their Gingerbread Houses.  I had Brian and then a friend cover my class so I could pop down and help Sam decorate with vanilla icing and all sorts of candy.  We had so much fun, even licking fingers (Yummy but against the rules)!  We also had the holiday sing-a-long; a long-standing tradition which I was so worried Sam would miss.  Yet I was able to sit with both my boys, alternating turns, and we sang holiday songs, Santa hats on, at full belt.  School is not easy but this last couple of days, Jack's International food-tasting, the Polar Express party, Sam's Candy Houses and, of course, the sing-a-long, made me smile and find a few moments of normalcy within the madness!

1 comment:

  1. Hey My friend,
    You must be LOVIN' break time. I know I like to sleep past 5:30, and not wake up to an alarm clock. But the kids still manage to make enough noise before 7:00, oh well, beats 5:30. Glad you have a good Christmas. How often is Sammy going for Chemo? what's the schedule? Do you have time to get together? my schedule is very flexible. Call or email me.
    Love, Sue


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