Saturday, April 9, 2011

Darn You, Emily Perl Kingsley!

I was all set to moan and wail. Why me? Why my kids? Having just discovered that now Micah is having some issues, specifically related to test-taking (more below), I am just exhausted.

Then I came face-to-face with a poster of Welcome to Holland, Emily Perl Kingsley's poem about parenting a child with Down syndrome. (For a lovely discussion about whether Ms. Kingsley's glasses were too rose-tinted, see this blog. I especially agree with the comment from my friend Tara Marie).

So anyway, I have known about Welcome to Holland since I first received Sofia's amnio results. It's that standard go-to text for encouraging new families.

But what I had not really noticed was that the poem does not specifically say "Down syndrome". Rather, the poem opens with "I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability..."

Disability. Not anything specific. Could be talking about any of my kids.

So darn you, Emily Perl Kingsley, for putting things into perspective just when I wanted to whine and complain!

As for Micah, I think his problem - failing tests at a rather alarming rate - is a combination of perfectionism and defeatism. "If I can't get a perfect score, why should I even bother to try?" How the heck do you work around THAT?!

Really, if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. The school staff has been brainstorming, David and I have been brainstorming. No clue what's going on in that little mind. He clearly knows the work - when they "ask" him specific questions, he gets everything correct - but when faced with a quiz or test he just totally blanks out.


Sam's making good progress with his reading - he actually CHOOSES to read sometimes, which is really a first for him - but it's still a long process.

Sofia is making great strides in everything. Now we just have to work out all the details for getting her successfully into the day school next year. Which supports will be at MWJDS, which will we have to go back to Ashland for, who will provide (and pay for) the supports at MWJDS, where will the required staff come many as-yet unanswered questions. But we all want it to happen, and it CAN happen. Just have to move forward.

Ok, Enough of that.

Nice Shabbat - friends last night here, services this morning (I read Torah, it was my friend's daughter's bat mitzvah), then home for relaxing, a nap, and unpacking Passover dishes (in the garage). Drove David to the airport tonight - he's off to Copenhagen for the week. Tomorrow, Micah is working on his science project with his friend and Sam is going to see another friend's show. FINALLY nice weather!

Thursday morning I took Sofia to the Big Apple Circus for their "Circus of the Senses" special need performance. We get free tickets from the D.A.D.S. group - at the last minute the Dad in charge had to stay home because his child was sick, so I ended up in charge of the group. Circus was fun. Sofia was somewhat afraid of the clowns, and very afriad of the high-wire lady, but she loved the acrobats and other acts. It was so fun to see it through her eyes. When the juggler was using dinner plates, Sofia got quite upset and started yelling "No! Table!"

Took her to Brookline for kosher shwarma (YUM), and had a nice time on the playground at the boys' school for a long time, first with two other girls who will be in her class next year, and then when all the kids came out. Then we dropped Micah at gymnastics, and went home to clean my car! Best thing I purchased last year was a $10 car vac from CVS. Totally cleaned out all the crumbs and trash. One nearly-Passover-ready minivan (I'm sure it'll need another quick cleaning before the holiday starts!).

Good night!