Sunday, July 3, 2011

Proud Moments

Like I said before, there have been many things that have been happening over the last couple of weeks. My last post described a rough morning. Today, I want to share with you an example of a GREAT day.

First, let's talk about Rachel. She has been attending The Little Gym of Germantown for about 3 years and has been watching her older brother for an additional 9 months before she began classes herself. This is one of her favorite places on the planet. And they have a dance/party room in the back with a mirror that takes the entire back wall. She LOVES to go back there and pose for herself in that mirror. But she has always had some behavior issues there. She spent far longer in the parent assisted classes than one would expect because of the honest expectation that she wasn't ready to progress to the next level yet. Then, this last school year, we put her in the "Funny Bugs" class (for 3 and 4 year olds). This is the youngest gymnastics class they offer that the children go in on their own. Throughout the school year, she has grown into this class. She has difficulty following along, but is not too much of a disruption to anyone that they continue to allow her to stay where she is.

The Little Gym runs a summer camp. You pay for each day and the sessions are 3 hours long. You have to be potty trained in order to attend. We decided to see what would happen if she went. We purchased 10 days in total, hoping that she would go for 5 and Daniel would go for 5 (but willing to give 9 of them to Daniel if Rachel didn't like it). Rachel's teacher for this school year runs the camp on Wednesdays, so on June 22, we dropped off Daniel at this camp, went to the "cookie store" (translation, grocery store in the same shopping center) to get cookies for the 3 kids, and then dropped her off to spend these 3 hours there with her big brother. We dropped her off later because until about 15 minutes into the camp, there is another class ongoing in the gym itself and her teacher and I both felt that it would be better if she went directly into the gym rather than into the back room to color (an activity that Daniel enjoys, so he went right in). She arrived right around 10:45, and her teacher was ready for her. I made sure she was settled, handed over her lunch, gave some little instructions to make things easier for everyone (like how she prefers to eat her lunch and how someone will need to go with her to the bathroom so that she doesn't clog their toilets using an entire roll of toilet paper), made sure they had my cell phone number and left with Simon.

Simon and I spent the next few hours running some errands and spending some quality time together. It was nice to give him that Mommy time while still getting some chores accomplished. And the phone was SILENT. But 1:30 came soon enough and it was time to pick up the 2 campers. I drove over and got Simon out of the car, just as they were dismissing the group. Daniel came running over to me wearing a newspaper pirate hat and doing his best pirate impersonation. I knew he was going to have a good time. He's done this camp the last 2 summers and Pirate Week is one of his favorites. But how did Rachel do? I found Ms. Katie (the teacher) and she told me that it went better than ANY of us had expected. She knows Rachel's issues as she has dealt with them for over a year. She knows how to pull her in and when to back off. Rachel came over and gave me a HUGE hug. She told me that she had FUN. She told me she wanted to go AGAIN. Her teacher told me that she participated in most of the activities and listened reasonably well. She also told me that Rachel behaved during lunchtime and really ate up the entire experience. We signed her (and Daniel) up for another session on August 3.

Now, I know we stacked everything in our favor for the experience to go well. We sent her VERY soon after the end of school to minimize any chance of regressions. We sent her when we knew she would be there with her favorite teacher. We selected a day where the enrollment was relatively low so there wouldn't be too many other distractions. We sent her with her brother so there would be another kid present who was an ally and would help look out for her (and was he EVER a GREAT big brother that day). And we also made sure to send her on a Wednesday so she would be working with Ms. Katie. All but the first of these will also be true on August 3rd. And it will be shortly after the end of ESY (Extended School Year [summer school]), so again, we have that reasonably covered. But I was smiling about our success here for 2 days!!!!!

Now Simon has also done something of note that I haven't had the chance to talk about. He started taking music lessons at The Academy of Fine Arts back in November. That, despite a difficult first session, has been a huge success for him, as we had anticipated. He's extremely musical and he really can grow into this allowing music to be a powerful voice for him when all else fails. He had his last class for the spring on June 22 (coincidentally the same day as Rachel's camp experience) and at the end of the class, he was asked to come up and play for the entire class. He had been invited to this once or twice before, but they were always disasters. He had trouble with all the steps -- walking up to the piano, sitting on the bench, playing the requested music (in all cases, a C-Major scale), standing up and bowing as the audience applauded and then coming back to sit down. I wasn't sure what to expect this time around. Then, this happened.

Oh, My GOODNESS!!!!!! That CONFIDENCE! That SMILE!!!!! That BOW!!!!!!! That AMAZING little boy!!!!!!

And, to top off the day, Daniel had his 2nd EVER swim meet after Simon's last class was over, so after heading home, Daniel and I got into the car and drove to the away meet. He's a kickboarder on the Stratford Knolls Sharks. When he started on this team on June 1, he couldn't put his face in the water. But he's been working at it and he came in 2nd in his heat!!!! He had a coach beside him, but she didn't lay a finger on him the whole race. This is the last time he had a coach beside him while swimming kickboarding.

So, June 22 was a WONDERFUL day!!!!! All 3 of my kids made me one of the PROUDEST MOMMAs you could find anywhere.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of exciting things indeed! Tinkerbell and I enjoyed Simon's piano recital--many times! LOL