“And do you know what else?”
“What’s that, Declan.”
“That sign. It means there is no dancing in the street.”
I took a peek at the sign Declan pointed to and smiled.
“Oh. I did not know that. Thank you for letting me know.”
“Mmm-hmmm. And guess what else………….”
We were on our way to his afternoon Kindergarten class. The school is close enough for us to walk, which Declan loves to do if it is not too hot. If Declan feels like his feet are “melting,” then we drive.
I love the walk too – especially since he likes to hold my hand and I can listen to Declan chatter the entire way.
“Guess what else?”
“What’s that, Declan.”
“Yesterday we had art. Do you know what we did in art?” Declan asks and spins around.
Declan stopped mid stride to sing scream, “We played CATCH UP!” Then he begins to walk again, shrugs and adds, “Although we didn’t actually play with any ketchup.”
“Oh!” I say and laugh a little, “What did you do?”
“I drew a picture of my family.”
So far, Declan has had a great school year. I don’t get too much information about his day when he comes home. To any question I ask about his day, I usually get,
“I still like Kindergarten.”
Only once did he tell me he didn’t like Kindergarten anymore. A day that there was a substitute and things were handled differently. Declan had a hard time adjusting and was removed from the classroom.
Once I convinced him to try again and he had a good day with his regular teacher, we returned to,
“I like Kindergarten again.”
I like that he is enjoying school. He is surrounded with support and given the tools to succeed. And it shows!
His 1/1 aide says that Declan is, “precious.” When it comes to transitions, and Declan is getting agitated, his teacher says, “I can give him some more time, that is fine.”
Declan started school knowing one letter. The letter “D.” His self-proclaimed “favorite letter” as it is the letter that starts his name.
Now he knows at least half of the alphabet, and their sounds.
I help in his classroom a few times a month. I see how well he is doing with his peers and following directions. Declan is not in the classroom the entire time I am as he does his learning in another room, along with his speech, occupational and behavior therapy. But when I do see him, I see him trying to be a good student.
I know it comes at a cost. So far, every Wednesday and Thursday evening we have had a meltdown. Those are the days he can hold it together no longer and breaks down. I am okay with that. Because to be honest, I didn’t know he could hold it together before.
It is also good for me to be in the class with his peers. As I help them in their centers I see that not every Kindergartner can write their own name. Some have a harder time with directions. And some do not know all their letters either.
But they all say A LOT of funny things.
“And you know what else, mom?” I hear and come back to Declan who is still chattering away.
“What sweetie?” I ask as we turn the corner to his classroom.
“My eyes are almost all blue. See?” He says and opens his eyes wide.
And as I looked down into the deepest brown eyes ever, I smile.
“Almost!” I say and begin to give Declan his backpack and transition him into another day of learning.