Friday, June 26, 2009

Where did I GO?

If you've been wondering where I've been (cause I sure hard is it to post an update now and then?) here's what's been happening this past month.

At the end of May, I attended both showings of the 5th grade play -- The Courthouse Catastrophe. Here is Abe playing a "nerd". He was actually rather convincing.

A few days (or weeks?) later I sat proudly at 5th grade graduation. Abe chose a navy blazer and a cream colored tie covered in baseballs, of course. Each graduate was called to the podium while their uber-talented and ever-patient teacher spoke about them. (She managed to make them all sound angelic and brilliant.) After they received their diplomas, they were individually congratulated with a handshake or hug by every member of the school staff. I watched Abe walk through that receiving line and realized, again, how rich the elementary experience was for him. Lucky boy, lucky us!

Somewhere in there, I listened to Oscar read his poetry to groups of classmates and parents at the 2nd grade publishing party. The school director and fellow parents celebrated alongside me the huge progress this kid made again this year. Such confidence he has! And he's reading, really reading, now.
In honoring circle, on the last day of school, he thanked his classmates for being good friends and supporting him this year. Wow!

He also said "so long" to some beloved teachers: He's a third grader now!
(Sean, one of the teachers, gave Oscar his giraffe hat...Have you ever seen a happier boy?)

Of course, I've also been watching a lot of baseball. Abe's into the post season and playing on the 9-10 All Star Team and the Thunder, a travel team. He's at the fields for hours each day and has never been happier (or dustier, or sweatier).

In his spare time he's reading Alice Water's Edible School Yard (he'll be working and learning in that garden next year at King Middle School) and trying out new creations. He called me on my cell today to report the smoke alarm was going off. Perhaps I should not have left the soon to be 6th grader home alone cooking? Hmmm.

I'm watching Ruby become more of an artist every day. She paints, cuts, glues, tapes, and draws for hours on end. She makes presents for every occasion. If you are lucky enough to receive one, it will likely include a drawing of you with a few adornments (flowers, a rainbow, a butterfly, or perhaps a sun), a Prader-Willi awareness bracelet, possibly some spare change, and either short length of pipe cleaner or some googly eyes. She will have wrapped it herself (leaving my wrapping paper a mess all over my bedroom floor) and asked me how to spell your name so she can write it and tape it on to the package. If this sounds appealing, I think just one little hint will ensure receipt of such a package.
She's also been sporting some frilly dresses (mostly hand-me-downs from her cousin and friends) and not letting that stop her from riding her scooter, swinging from the monkey bars or climbing rocks.

When the kids are happy and occupied, I'm trying to finalize the IEP, complete respite forms, find an aide for next year (almost have that worked out -- YAY!) and keep up in my writing class, which I am thoroughly enjoying. In a good week I get to spend a couple of hours alone in my new favorite "office"...a cafe in Berkeley with small wooden tables, generous windows, free internet, outlets (!!), and a quiet buzz that somehow helps me focus on the task of the day.

Things are going well....just busy. I look forward to getting back to writing here more regularly!