Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time Goes By, So Fast….




I have always been left almost breathless by the riddle I find time to be. It moves fast. It moves slow. It stands still. And on a few occasions it seems to just disappear in one direction or another with no sign of what happened to it.

Kids are a good marker for the oddity that we call time. It’s always just yesterday that they were those sweet little babies that we held so tightly in our arms. Time quickly takes the baby, but is slow to take the teenager.  Time ebbs and flows at it’s own whim.

This last weekend we celebrated yet another birthday. One more year gone by. On one hand 12 years has come and gone, on the other hand there’s 6 more left. Time is so short or so the saying goes. Is it really though? Perhaps if you aren’t valuing the time you have. I could see time being very short then.

It’s hard to believe that the adorable little baby that Tyler was is now this 12 year old half man child. Yet, he almost seems to have always been just this way. I look forward to the changes that time will bring to him. Already time has taken away so many of the troubles of his youth. I can only imagine that time will be kind to him in the future.

I always viewed time as something that took away. Time takes away the beauty of the youth. It makes once firm things soft. It takes away all the shiny and new, and leaves you with what really matters. The trouble is seeing that. The what really matters, that is. Most don’t see what really matters until time decides to take that away too.

Complain less about the things that time will soon enough take away from you. One way or another. Appreciate the hard things. For one day they will be gone and you’ll find yourself missing them. Count your blessings, not your struggles. In the end, all struggles will come back to bless you. Slow down. Take the time to enjoy nothing. Ahh, nothing beats an afternoon of nothing.

I don’t know. This post isn’t really about anything. Just…be happy with who you are folks. Don’t hide who you are. Be honest with others about who you are. Be honest with yourself about who you are. Or before you know it, you’ll be looking back and wondering when time robbed you. The truth is though, it would have been you who did the robbing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A phone call from the school counselor.

Last week I sent an email to Tyler's main teacher and his Speech teacher. I told them about the event causing the email, but explained that most importantly that this represented an on going problem. I expressed my frustration in what I felt was six years of failed policies. How I felt that bullies get off and victims are left holding the bag. How time and again Tyler gets punished for being bullied while his tormentors go unchecked.

I went on to explain how then people are bewildered when high school students shoot up their schools or commit suicide. How they tell themselves that they had no idea the student was so unhappy or how bad things were for them. It starts HERE. Here in elementary school. We are teaching bullies that it's ok and we are telling the victims to keep their mouth shut.

Bullies even get the green light to physically assault someone, because if the student tries to defend themselves they will get in just as much trouble as the bully...if the bully gets in trouble at all. You can't even call them a bully, or call it bullying behavior. Why? Because it might hurt their feelings? So, I told them they really needed to re-evaluate their bully policies, because their system is clearly broken.

Due to the holiday I didn't fully expect a reply any time soon. Come Monday though... I figured I'd hear something. Well, I never did get an email back...from anyone. However, the email I sent to the teachers made it's rounds through the school. I don't know who all it went to, but I know the counselor got it from the principal. 

I got a call yesterday afternoon about two. My phone was in my room though so I missed the call. I didn't notice it until about 3:30. Too late to call back, so I called this morning and left her a message. She called back:

We talked quite a bit. She insisted that things were getting better with Tyler, but it would take time. Funny. She wasn't the counselor here until some time last year. She wasn't there for the two years the school was rejecting Tyler's two separate autism diagnosis'. She wasn't there when the school board came in and said he was, indeed, autistic. She wasn't there when they insisted that Tyler was SO high functioning that he'd be in and out of the program within months (it was the end of the school year and they expected to not have him back into the program come the new school year) and would suffer NO regression.  Now it will take time.

She threw out the one thing that makes me SO stinking mad for anyone to mention like it somehow makes EVERYTHING ok. He's such a happy kid. Every time I see him. He's smiling, and just...happy. Umm, that's his personality. He's happy with life, with himself, he's infectious, vibrant, and he just loves life and people. BUT as much as he likes to talk, talking to people about random things is not the same thing as sharing your inner most things with. He will NOT just walk up to anyone in that school and share those things with them. That's my job. That's our relationship. He uses me as a filter, of sorts.

I told her about two teachers who contradicted each other. One who said that oh Tyler loves to talk of course he'd come tell her if there was something wrong. Then the very next year his teacher admitted that yes Tyler loves to talk but that there was no way Tyler would share those things with anyone. That he'd tell me, and I would have to email them. I told her about how earlier this year Tyler had gotten upset in class because of something going on with other students and he demanded to call me. He was sent to the office. He was sent to the Nurse. The Nurse asked him why he HAD to call me. He then explained to her that he had autism and that talking to me just makes him feel better.

I didn't tell her about the whole conversation with the Nurse. Which included him explaining to her that I wouldn't come take him home like he'd like, but that I would tell him it was ok and such. He'd feel better. Then, he'd be ok. But, I told her for myself that I would handle it in just that way.

In some meeting, in some year, they all get to feeling the same... I had explained to the group that Tyler would not just come to you and tell you he was having a problem with a student. He wouldn't come to you and tell you he was having a specific problem with his work. I asked them that if they could just take a moment out of their day to ask him VERY specifically about his day, that it would go a long ways. Ask him if he's having any problems with another student. If you already know of a particular student he's been having trouble with then ask him specifically how things are going with that student. Ask him if there's anything about what you're teaching that he might be struggling with. Just, ASK him.

No one ever did. No one has time for such things. Tyler went back under the rug, and his problems went back to mounting.

I explained to the counselor how Tyler views his days as good or bad based on whether or not he had any trouble with a student that day. I told her how yesterday he came home and said it was a good day because nothing bad happened. She seemed surprised to me to hear that my little sunshine was basing the goodness of his day off these bad events with students. I told her that well, that's just the way he views his school life.

Then, without even knowing all my previous attempts at getting the school to be proactive in figuring out how things were going for Tyler at school, she asked.

What if I talked to Tyler every day to ask him how his day has been? What if I asked him if he'd be ok with letting me be that person for him? So that maybe he wouldn't come home and dump these things on you, and then I could help him start to process those things. Then maybe he wouldn't feel like his whole day was ruined.

:-O I would LOVE it if someone would take the time, it only takes a few minutes, to just talk to him. On a daily basis? He NEEDS that. He needs to be able to know that he has a designated time to sit down and tell someone about his problems. If you read yesterday's post, you'd have seen that this was exactly why Tyler didn't tell the teacher about the boy hitting him.

She said she'd talk to Tyler today and see if he'd be ok with it. Tyler will say yes, if for no other reason than to get the few minutes out of class ;) but I hope it proves useful to him, and I hope it isn't a novelty thing that comes and goes and gets discarded. I hope she asks him the right questions. I hope she sticks with it and forms a relationship with him that makes him feel like talking to her about those inner most things that you don't talk to anyone else about.

*crosses her fingers* Here's to helping the individual child and not trying to cram him into a box!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Stuck Between Rules and Bullying: Which rule to break?

Bullying. What more could possibly be said on this subject that hasn't already been said a million times? Bullying & Autism. Once again, what more could be said that hasn't been sung by the masses? Autism & Rules. Heh, that's the name of the game, isn't it?! But, what's it like? You know, for the autistic. To be in that moment. Stuck between autism, the rules, and bullying.

How frustrating it is, as the parent, to try to teach an autistic child coping skills, the proper way to respond to certain things, what to do about bullys... When, no matter what, there will be a factor that wasn't a part of any lesson. Go to the teacher. That's the first rule. No matter what, tell the teacher.


So, at the beginning of the year Tyler had been having some issues with a particular student. As the weeks have passed on those things have seemed to abate. Then, a new student arrived and things have since climbed far beyond the previous issues with the first student. Most days there's something. It's because of that I refused to allow the school to take him on a three day trip away from home. Three days? Completely off his schedule? Locked in with the bullies? No place to run? Forget it!

Tyler stays after school three days a week for tutoring. It's offered to everyone and only certain students are required to go if they are struggling. I have Tyler going to help make up for any missed class time from him going to Speech. He goes to Speech to work on social and life skills. So, Tyler's tutoring is on a voluntary basis.

Last Monday there were some students hanging out in the classroom waiting for tutoring to start while the teacher escorted the rest of the class outside to be picked up by their parents. The new student that Tyler has been having all kinds of trouble with was in there. He began hitting Tyler. Anyone who knows Tyler knows he doesn't like to be touched, especially by other children, but this wasn't his first rodeo with a student attempting to physically hurt him.

Tyler, by no means, is a small child. He's a big boy. The kids who pick on him have no idea that it is his autism, and his autism alone, that saves them from getting the face pounding of their life. Tyler has always shown great restraint when it has come to kids laying their hands on him at school. Now, if this wasn't school, they may not be so lucky. May autism take mercy on the kid who ever finally evokes his fury.

True to Tyler's fashion, he said nothing to the teacher when she returned. I heard all about it after school. I sent an email that night. I didn't discover until later on in the day on Tuesday that I had apparently typed in the email address wrong (I didn't get a mailer demon back, that's why it took me 24 hours to realize it hadn't been received by the teacher.). I sent out another email knowing it would be far too late to do anything seeing as how the kids would be out of school until today.

Today at school Tyler got talked to by a lot of people. All telling him he needs to tell a teacher. First rule, remember? Insert the following conversation:

D - Tyler, is the reason why you didn't tell the teacher because you didn't know that's what you were suppose to do?
T - No.
D - Exactly. So, why didn't you tell her?
T - Because tutoring was about to start. And, that would have been "off task". You can still get marks in tutoring you know?!

See? Always some factor you didn't consider during your lesson. He didn't tell the teach because there was another rule stating that if you are "off task" you get in trouble. This issue would have derailed tutoring. How much more "off task" can you get? Well, guess I can't tell the teacher this kid hit me.

I've been sitting here thinking. Why can't they ever stop and think, just for a moment, about him having autism? How easy Tyler is to understand if you just educate yourself to what autism really is and then look at how it applies itself to him. They might actually be able to help him!

While thinking about what I think is wrong with the whole process I had myself a little light bulb moment. I always relate to Tyler. He is so much like me, but in a much more loud and vibrant kind of way. But, I identify with him. With all the rush a memory could muster, it dawned on me why Tyler behaved the way he did in this situation. And, many others like it.

Once, when I was in third grade, my class had gotten on my teachers last nerve. She demanded class room silence. She stated that unless you were bleeding or the sky was falling there wasn't to be another sound out of anyone. To put the period at the end of her very real statement she wrote it in big letters across the blackboard for anyone who was confused as to the times talking was now appropriate could refer back to.


I had bought myself one of those nifty pencils, at the "school store" (a little shop set up in the cafeteria) , that when the lead wore down you pulled it out, stuck it back into the top and a new, very sharp, piece would pop out. I sat there at my desk doing my work, ever so silently. The teacher then told us to get something out of our desk. With my pencil in my hand, my elbows bent, I began the process of going into my desk to get said item. That's when my neighbor bumped my elbow. Shoving my brand new, very sharp, pencil right into my leg.

I raised my hand.

Teacher - Are you bleeding?
Me - *looks at my leg* - *shakes head*
Teacher - Is the sky falling?
Me - *shakes head*
Teacher - Then no talking. Get back to work.

But, gosh, my leg did HURT. It wasn't bleeding though. There was a little ring around where the pencil went in, but the hole was sealed shut when the pencil broke off. But, it really does hurt.

*rinse and repeat the above conversation*

I don't recall now how many times we went through that. The rules stated I couldn't talk, but there was something seriously wrong. I was in mental agony as I tried to work out what I was supposed to do. I finally fell on the technicality of "sort of". I mean, there was a LITTLE blood, although I wasn't actually BLEEDING.

After making my "sort of" plea I was allotted a moment to explain myself. She was then absolutely flabbergasted as to why I didn't say something sooner. Umm, you said NO talking. Remember? Not unless we were bleeding or if the sky was falling. Remember? You said that. You even wrote it on the board so we wouldn't forget. How did you forget? Maybe I should have pointed to the board for her...

I know what it's like being stuck between two rules. Not wanting to break either. Not knowing which one to obey and which to disregard.

There are always factors that are unforeseen. On both sides. I just wish the school system was more willing to look with their eyes, instead of trying to make everyone fit into boxes that their book says they should fit in. Maybe then, they'd understand what it's like. Maybe after having that understanding they'd be able to help individual kids.

*shrugs* But what do I know. I'm just a parent...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sarah, how could you be so heartless?

I've had something on my mind lately. When I say "lately" I mean, for a good while and consistently. Every time I think about getting around to saying it something happens in the personal life of someone I know that would brand me as insensitive if I were to say it. The truth of the matter is...no matter when I say it I am likely to be branded as insensitive.

Then, something else came across my mind and the two subjects kind of overlap from time to time. I figured I'd knock them both out at once. I'm going to be insensitive and sentimental all in the same post. Try to bear with me, as I am not quite sure yet how this will work out.

I've always been free of the burden of feeling "Aww, that's so sad..." I have also always been adaptable if nothing else. When going through hard times outsiders would be given no clues. I was an honor student with unfaltering grades. My moods were steady. And I never talked to anyone about what troubled me. Looking back at my youth the most emotion I think I ever showed anyone was when my grandmother was in the hospital dying and they refused to let me go see her. I was furious. But, when her funeral came I skipped and played at the graveyard.

Don't get me wrong, I miss her, it's just... We're all born dying. Death is promised to everyone and everything that lives. In fact, it really is the only promise you can count on. I go to funerals and everyone is always so sad. I can never figure out why and struggle to follow the social protocols to console them.

In my adult life I had a dog that died suddenly. He was young and I had many years left to be with him. I felt robbed. His breed can live up towards 17 years and yet he died at the ripe old age of 2. I had never lost a pet like that before. On top of that I had dumped every emotion I had about not being able to have another baby into that dog. When he died he took with him that baby I'd never have.

Since then I have become quite immuned to those feelings. It only ever takes me one time of going through something for my inner-self to develop some coping mechanism against it. This does bother me from time to time. I face something that I know is suppose to be sad, but I don't cry, I can't cry, and I wonder...does this make me heartless? The truth is, I'm always too sensible for most feelings.

Recently while driving down the highway I saw a car in the emergency lane, it was slightly sticking out into the next lane. We were in the next lane over. I expected the car that was in the lane between us and them to move over in front of us to go around the car that was partially sticking out into their lane. The car never moved. At the very last minute when you could no longer see space between the two cars the one in the lane next to us suddenly swerved and smashed their passenger side into the other car. It sent them across the highway. They slid down the passenger side of our car as my husband tried desperately to avoid them.

The entire time I stared out the passenger window, watching every moment of it unfold. I felt everything. And all I could do was scream as I envisioned what would be next. Afterall, I had been in an accident at these speeds before, and I was lucky to live through it. When we came to a stop I was a shaking mess. My husband ran back to check on the people who slammed into the other car. I became Miss Practical, again. There were things that needed to be done. I called 911, reported the accident, told them what happened, gave a description of where we were, and then waited for the cops to show up and talked to them once they were there.

I was the same way in my own accident. There were phone calls that needed to be made. Kids that needed arrangements made for them. I was very likely bleeding to death, but I had things I had to do before I could die. Always taking care of business...

I worry about my health. More than anyone knows. My husband and I talk to each other about everything. If you say something to me, he knows it. If you say something to him, I know it. That's just how we are. I don't burden him however with the things that plague my mind. Especially when it comes to my health. We're all born dying, remember.

My whole life has been plagued with health problems. I was born with an extremely rare blood disease that almost killed me within a week of being born. Then they discovered I had a heart condition. Then I had the most normal thing go wrong and had to have my tonsils removed. Then cancer. Cancer took up ten years of my life, and resulted in me having to have a hysterectomy. And because life wasn't throwing enough life or death curves at me, I rolled my car at about 75mph. I have a lot of family history of health problems. The odds aren't in my favor to die pleasantly in my sleep at an old age.

That doesn't bother me. I'm ok with dying. I've had a lot of experience with it. The other day I told my husband that I only wanted to live long enough that my Ex couldn't take Tyler away from him, and short enough that I wouldn't have to live a day without him. Let me tell you why.

I wish I could say that I don't want to live a single day longer than my husband because I'd be so devastated that I don't think I could go on. That I'd lay in bed day after day feeling like I couldn't breathe. That I'd cry until I stripped my face bare. But...what I fear most is, life would go on. I wouldn't cry. I'd be repulsed by people trying to hug and comfort me. I would most certainly be pained beyond belief on the inside, but on the outside...life would go on. What kind of monster wouldn't weep for the loss of their love?

The only redeeming factor I can find is the fact that my husband is the same way. Yesterday in a text he told me: "Keep in mind, we are all on borrowed time. Just because I don't have health problems doesn't mean I'll outlive you. Life is anything if unpredictable and thinking you know what the future will hold is almost certain to make you look foolish." I read that and thought, 'Ugh, why does he have to go and be all smart on me?!'

This brings me to my most recent thoughts. So often in life things happen and we think things like, "I gave him the best years of my life and...", "I've wasted the best years of my life..." or something similar. I too have thought such things. That I wish I had found my husband sooner. I wish I could have given him more of my better years, as if youth equates to better. Whereas I may have had better years if I had found him sooner, the truth be told that those years as they were are not my better years.

I have given him some of the best years of my life, and will continue to do so as time does what it does best, march on. These are the best years of my life, and I have saved them all for him. Life, come what may, I will do the best that I can with the time that we have. And if the day comes that I have to face a day without him, I hope I can do it with courage and without shame, because he never thought I was heartless. It's about time that I stopped thinking that I am.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A joyful sound to a joyful heart.

The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe

My husband and I celebrate our birthdays every year by going to Oktoberfest. My birthday is usually the week after and then his birthday is about two weeks after that. He gets to get some German beer that he says is quite tasty, I'll have to take his word for it, and I get to browse the tents set up by merchants who all hand make their items.

Tyler has always been gone that weekend so we usually go on Saturday and take Blonde Eyes with us. She get's her face painted and we eat some German food. This year Tyler was home, but we had spent Saturday at the zoo with him while Blonde Eyes was working. We decided for our date night that Blonde Eyes would babysit Tyler and we'd go to Oktoberfest alone. I always end up buying a piece of jewelry from the same vendor. I buy it because I like the particular stone he uses, and it's not something you see a lot of.

I'm not a jewelry person though. I have some. I just don't wear it. I wear my wedding rings, and that's about it. I sometimes think about putting on the necklace I got one year from Oktoberfest, but...it's not often. I have a selection of rings. I use to wear a watch religiously until I was in that car accident some years ago now. I have a watch, that I like, but once again I just don't wear it.

I'm just not that kind of girl I guess. The husband and I were talking about that this weekend. How I buy it because I feel like I'm suppose to because I'm a girl. What a silly reason to do anything, really. I didn't get me a piece from the same ole vendor this year, BUT I did get me another piece from a different vendor. One that hadn't ever been there before. This time, I got something not because I'm a girl so I'm suppose to buy jewelry, but because it spoke to me....

It was just a charm and there was a selection of chains you could get with it. I opted for just a black cord, that seemed more "me". The vendor had a wide selection of charms, for that was their nitch, but the charms were all in the shape of a bell. Each bell had a theme. There were daughter bells, friend bells, BEST friend bells, bells for your wife, bells for your girlfriend, and probably bells for the bells. There were smaller bells for children, and larger bells for adults. Each bell had it's own engraving that made it stand out from the other bells as well as the little piece inside that makes it ring was shaped as something that went with the theme.

My husband pointed one out to me. It was the only one that I read the accompanying poem for, it was the only one that I really noticed. I had looked at some of the others, but really only in passing. The way one does as they a walking by something. But this...

We walked on. We had almost reached the end of the vendor tents. The Hubs decided he'd go get himself something to drink. I told him that well I would finish walking the row of vendors, but that if I wasn't there when he got back I guessed I'd go back to the bells. I walked on by myself and I don't think I looked at anything. I didn't walk into a single tent. I walked to the end of the row and turned around, and began running back to the bells.

Running....as much as one could possibly manage to do so in a crowd as thick as the chunkiest stew ever. I quickly zipped in and out of people. Being so short I manage well in such situations. I over shot the bells, and had to re-orientate myself and backtrack. I walked up to the tent and immediately said "I want this one!"

I made my purchase, and she boxed everything up and put it in a bag. I turned my back and stood there in the crowd and began digging through it. The box the charm was in was nicely closed shut with a ribbon. Off it goes. It was sealed inside a little baggie within the box. Not anymore! I put the box back in the bag. I got out the cord and slipped the charm on the rope. I then put it on. I stood there relishing in my new lovely amid all the nasty smells that were bothering me, the crowd that was too much, but I had this new lovely, and that's where my husband found me. 

We talked about it as we left. We talked about how I don't wear jewelry, but how he thinks I'll wear this because it has meaning. I've yet to take it off. We talked about my silliness in the past about jewelry. I think those days will be behind us now. I don't fit in with my "peers" as is, jewelry won't change that.

As I cleaned on Sunday Blonde Eyes noted the jingling I was making. She assumed I didn't know it would do that. Umm, it's a bell. As I bent, causing the bell to hang freely, and moved about it chimed it's soft reminder. Blonde Eyes joked that they'd always know I was coming. That's fine, I don't mind. I reach up periodically to gently grasp the bell in my fingers and slowly spin it as I reflect on how much my life has been centered around it's theme, even before I ever realized it.

The bell is engraved with puzzle pieces and the inside piece is of someone sitting holding their knees. I don't view Autism as a bad thing. I don't view it as a curse. I don't think it's a disease or a disability (severely autistic aside). **Note** The reverse side of this bell does say cure autism, of which I have immediate plans to cover it up with enamel. It's a different way of being. A way that I like just fine.

We watched the X-men movie this weekend too. Mutant and Proud was the message. Autistic and Proud. I like that. Now when my bell chimes, I smile. I think of autism...and smile. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Baby Cheetah's!

We got to meet some amazing creatures today. All their cuteness may be enough to rot your teeth out so be sure to brush your teeth. While you're trying to withstand the barrage of cuteness listen to the Keeper to learn lots of information about this critically endangered species. 

The debut of:

 Amani the Black Lab, Kamau & Winspear the cheetahs at the Dallas Zoo.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tyler goes to Fifth Grade

Over the last week Tyler has been rather ho hummy about going back to school. This was a first for him. He's usually so excited to go back. Then as it neared even closer he began going back and forth between statements such as, "I think we need eight more years of summer" and "I'm ready!!" Last night he wasn't so ready again.

As he was getting into the shower he asked me to remind him to put deodorant on in the morning, because he knew I'd be up there singing in the morning. Traditionally my husband's mother would sing to him on the first day of school. We've adapted the tradition and sing to them every Monday morning.

School Days, School Days, WONDERFUL WONDERFUL, School Days, School Days. There's reading and writing and a-rith-me-tic. It's enough to make youuu SICKKKK!

Six am came mighty early for me this morning. Per usual I woke up in the middle of the night. WIDE awake. No going back to sleep. Also per usual, I was beginning to get tired again long about the time the alarm went off. The Hubs got up and went up stairs to get Blonde Eyes. He sang to her. She threw things at him. He continued singing.

I laid in bed till the alarm went off again fifteen minutes later. I found Tyler sitting at the table eating a bowl of cereal. HEY! I thought I was suppose to come sing to you. WHY are you down here? He proclaimed that he just woke up early. Fine, Fine. Blonde Eyes announces that she is really too old to be sang to in such a fashion. *busts out my best obnoxious singing voice* Blonde Eyes took this as her queue to leave. Tyler sat patiently eating his cereal and listening to me. Tradition is tradition is tradition.

I had bought Tyler a lunch kit that came with 4 containers that hook together and an icepack that also connects to them. I prepacked Tyler's lunch last night. His left over chicken strips, baby carrots, baby tomatoes, mixed fruit (in juice NOT syrup). I got up this morning and put the ice pack in between the containers and grabbed him a juice pouch. Wrote him a note and stuck it inside his lunchbox. Tyler then asks what could he take for snack? 

M - What makes you think fifth graders get snacks?!
T - Well, I could take a snack and ask when we get there. If she says no... you could take it back.

So, I let him grab a bag of pretzels. He fills up his water bottle. I grabbed some of the special paper that they started having him write on last year.

Waiting for Grandma. It was REALLY bright outside. Tyler did NOT like facing the sun for this picture.

Tyler had insisted that he ALWAYS gets a ride the first day of school so Grandma came and picked us up. (For those who do not know, I do not drive and am perfectly fine walking.) I had told Tyler he could sit up front so he could chat with Grandma on the way to school. She told him since it was the first day of school, and with him having a game this afternoon that she decided to work from home. She offered to pick him up if he'd like. SCORE!! His dreams are all falling into place.

We get to his class, and his teacher is standing at the door with a cup of popsicle sticks. On them she has written the names of colleges that coincide with college stickers on the desks. This is her method of seating. Tyler picks the stick for South Alabama. This happens to have been the school the teacher went to. Which makes him elated until he notices other college options that he missed out on.

He sits his bag down on his chair and starts pulling out his stuff. He get's his coveted Trapper Keeper out. He begins telling a boy about his BRAND NEW JUST GOT IT SATURDAY backpack. The boy says, I'm just using the same one I used last year. Oh, that's sad. It's going to break... 

He finds the bag of pretzels and rushes over to ask if fifth graders still get to have snacks. He runs back hollering about snack and stuffs his pretzels in his desk. I showed the teacher the special paper and explained to her how Tyler has some real handwriting problems, and how to combat that he needs reminders to write neatly and slowly. Also this is some special paper they started having him use last year that I will leave with him but they said you can just get it from the handwriting specialist. She said awesome and that she would pass that info along to his Language Arts teacher.

We get his box of supplies that we ordered from the school and set them on his desk. Tyler then asks the teacher if he opens it now or later. She told him that they would open them after specials so for now just set the supplies on your desk. 

Specials? Specials? When are we going to specials? 
What special do we have today? 
We have... *turns and points to a specials schedule on the wall* 
P.E.?!?! First day of school and we have P.E.?!

At this moment I am quite certain that the Heavens have opened up and have poured their blessings down upon Tyler. You could almost see the artificial lighting honing in to encircle him in an exclamation of the universe coming together JUST for him. I think it's safe to say that today, at the very least, will be ok for him.

Tyler & his primary teacher. By the way, he likes her because she's probably the tallest teacher in the school.