We're alive, mostly well, and enjoying the company and respite that my visiting mother provides. Our girls are in Heaven having their newly retired NeNe to pal around with. We have been busy and utilizing our "help" wisely but making sure to squeeze in plenty of fun and memories, too.
Now, I bring to you a random mumble of thoughts and a few updates regarding all things Teaster.
Two "boots" reside by Oia's bed.
Oia's first nine weeks of school are behind us. It has literally been a day by day experience for all, teachers included. The transition period into Kindergarten has proven a hefty one. And although transition periods are inevitable and necessary, they happen to be somewhat of an emotional overload for me. From my end, much faith and trust goes into the process of someone new "learning my child" as there is much to learn, and so much to understand about this one person I call mine. The vision quirks, the mobility issues, the language challenge, the ADHD, the cognition gap... it's all so complex yet somehow she is still so simple.
Although not perfect, the beginning days and weeks of K seemed to pass as well as expected and without a major hitch. Aside from the usual "she's so easily distracted" report, which still comes on a daily basis, and the "she's not making the progress we'd like", things were okay. Just okay. I still leave car circle most mornings with a pit in my stomach (and admittedly crying). The physical challenges she battles with barely faze me in the least anymore. But I swear, the cognitive and expressive language delays pack enough punch to level me at any given moment on any given day. That shit's the hard part. And frankly, I don't see it getting any easier any time soon. But I'm working on it.
I don't make excuses and I'm decent at viewing the whole picture. I know areas where improvements from our team are necessary. But at the same time, I also must remind myself that her teachers have likely never had a student like my child. Oia's mold is unique to her. This reality is why I beg to work with them, require a daily communication log, offer suggestions, and demand daily academic modifications. I've walked a fine line now for 9+ weeks teetering on when to step in and when to step back, and honestly, I've done more of the latter. It's so damn hard. But, I know Oia best. And I bear the weight of her burdens almost entirely so I speak up when I must. I pray that our behavior plan/IEP meeting scheduled for next week will be highly productive. There is a little girl who needs us and this team of hers needs to be innovative and novel at figuring out what makes her tick and for ways to better work with her, all while carrying bucket loads of patience alongside of them. She lives outside the box and we love her that way. And I want everyone else to join her outside the box, love her, and love teaching her, too.
And little Esme. Oh goodness. She's a real piece of work, just as her big sister is. Words, and astonishing amounts of soaked up knowledge, flow effortlessly from her tiny self. The sweetest sound of all is the slight lisp that seems to gently kiss many of the words she speaks. We adore it.
Oia is still receiving private OT and speech each week. It's a rat race to travel 30+ minutes each Tuesday and Wednesday to get to after school therapies on time but it still must be done. Oia is not currently attending private PT (hasn't since school started) and will be discharged from private PT by the end of the year. That feels so weird to say but both myself and Oia's PT feel confident in the decision. Physically speaking, Oia is who she is. Thankfully mobile and mostly-able. We will continue to work on bike riding and other gross motor activities as a family but there is not a need to continue sessions to do so. What a blessing.
And speaking of blessings, each Thursday guarantees at least a couple of 'em. Our buddy, Landon, comes home with us after school on Thursdays so his momma can attend weekly meetings and my girls love this. I do too. We snack on popsicles and just be. Thursday's are a nice break from the rat race and these three together are a triple dose of all things right and good in this world.
Until next time. (Which won't be as long, I promise.)