One day last week, as I was dropping Squeaker off, his teacher pulled me out in the hallway. I thought that maybe she wanted to tell me something out of earshot because, well, who knows. My heart jumped right into my throat. He was having a good morning, though. He was excited to do his morning work on the floor in chalk.
Anyway, like I said, it’s the beginning of the end of the year, and she wanted to talk to me. And I have to admit, while I’m usually more than ready to chat with her about him, these days, I’m getting him to sign in, get his stuff put up, and I’m out of there. So, she starts telling me that she had them make Mother’s Day gifts for us, and she wanted me to know that she trusted him to give me mine and what a big deal that was. She said that earlier this year, she would’ve handed it to me herself for fear that it wouldn’t have made it to me in one piece.
Sidenote: I wish I’d had time to take a picture of the Mother’s Day gift it before the kids had gotten hold of it at home. It was a little bucket of marbles with flower pens in it, and it did get ransacked once we got home, but at least it made it there, right? And, I mean, who cares if Squeaker ate a marble and we have to watch his poop for the next week? C’est la vie. This little munchkins are my life.
Anyway, she said that she knows that things are hard, and that we go through a lot with him, but that she also knows it’s so important for us to recognize the little things. I told her that she was right. That we definitely notice the little things more. I’m not sure that parents of typically developing children see the little things as much as we do. Little milestones are huge to us. I make a big deal of him using his polite words instead of shouting at me to get him something. That’s huge progress for him. Yeah, maybe someone else’s child does that naturally, but it’s hard for him to remember that sometimes, and he’s darn proud of himself when he does it.
So yes, she wanted me to know how much progress he’s made. All of the little things. And that we’re wonderful parents for being so involved and working so hard with him. And this is where I started to tear up. And that she knows what a big deal it was for us to entrust her with our child, especially with her being a new teacher. She said that she has truly enjoyed working with him this year, she loves him, and that watching him grow so much has truly been a joy. She asked that I please call her during the summer if I ever needed a break and that she would love to have him over to play with her boys.
She really cares a lot about him, and I’ve seen that in the way she’s taken the time to talk to us when we’ve needed her ear and in the way that Squeaker runs up to hug her in the mornings. He can’t wait to see her. And he’s grown so much academically this year that it’s truly amazing. Behaviorally, he’s made strides as well. Yes, we still have our hands full, and he comes up with new and interesting ways to challenge us. But, those little things keep us going.
I can never say it enough. You’ve got to pay attention the growth, no matter how small. Growth is growth. And even if our child is not mature for his age (I’d say that he’s got the maturity of a 4 year old and he’s 6 years old), he’s still maturing, and as long as he continues to mature, it’s still growth. Would it be nice to close the gap? Sure it would. But we’re working on it.
Today we got a referral to a social skills group outside of the school system. We’ll have to pay for it, I’m sure, but it’s something. No stone unturned. And we’ll just keep looking for that growth.