Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It Shouldn't Be So Difficult

One of my Young 5’s students is struggling.  He came in with very few skills and while he’s grown, it's such a tiny gain he is so far behind the other students.  Rarely a day goes by where he doesn't cry.  I try to strive to build independence, but he doesn't dare try anything without my reassurance or help over his hand. "You help me?" is his frequent request.
 As the half year mark of the year approaches I’m amazed at the growth most of my students have made.  My little friend is not one of them.  He gets every extra program we have in place.  I “play” games on the Smart Board part of playtime to help him learn but he isn’t learning.  He works with a loving volunteer to learn to write his name.  I’ve got him staffed into speech services. He sits next to the kindest students I have.  Yet everything, every game, every project, every transition is difficult.
While I know the process to get him extra help is underway he’s breaking my heart. The holidays and schedules put another month of hardship in front of this little guy.  As last week came to an end he left for the bus in tears, twice.  In both situations I know I did what I needed to do, but I still feel sad he is so overwhelmed.  Even in specials classes he’s in tears. 
Over the weekend I thought of him often, I made another plan of how I was going to try and ease his situation while we wait. Monday morning I stood ready to greet him with a need to make his week a wonderful time.  He was absent.  Now I wonder if I’ve misread the situation Thursday and Friday, was he so emotional because he was getting sick?  Maybe, maybe not.  Today I’m going to greet him at the door with yesterday’s resolve to help him have the day and week he deserves.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Moving Day

Our youngest child recently moved into her first post college apartment.  We knew this moment would come and while we did not look forward to the day, we knew it was a natural, healthy step for her to take.   We prepared for the move when we stored our old furniture this summer so she’d have a usable couch and loveseat for her new home.  The Friday after Thanksgiving my husband loaded his pickup truck with furniture, my car was filled with kitchen supplies and our daughter’s car was full of clothing and bedding.  We drove to the building and made countless trips up to her third floor apartment.  As the afternoon became evening we agreed to wait and move the couch and loveseat the next day.  Our aching legs and arms were ready for a break.
The couch and loveseat while rather worn are still usable and solidly built.  They are overstuffed and we had a difficult time moving them out of our house in July.  They’d been stored at my mom’s house for the past months but we still remembered the struggle we had getting them out our door. 
When we first entered the apartment we worried about the small door size and a pesky wall we’d need to negotiate.  As we measured the door we realized the loveseat might fit through the door but we were certain the couch was not going to fit.  Our daughter fretted that her budget would be broken if she had to purchase new furniture.  I dreaded lugging them to the top of the building to find they wouldn’t fit and the subsequent trip back down those three flights of stairs.
That evening as my husband sat at the computer I heard him laughing.  He was watching videos of people moving furniture, researching how to get a couch into a small space.  As the next day dawned my husband had formed a plan to use ropes to pull the furniture up the side of the building to the balcony and in the large slider in our daughter’s apartment. I was skeptical of the plan. “No good ideas start with a You-Tube search”, I declared as I insisted he call my carpenter/handyman brother-in- law, the crazy laughter of the videos still ringing in my ears. 
When Dan agreed it was a good idea to pull the furniture onto the balcony I was certain it was the most foolhardy idea ever sanctioned by my usually wise brother in law.  I filled my car with the remaining things from Amy’s room and followed my husband to Mom’s to load up the couch and loveseat.  Once we’d flipped the loveseat on top of the couch like an oversized Tetris piece we headed off to pick up Dan, they guy with the rope and brawn for this experiment. 
As I followed the truck I fretted about the likelihood of the furniture falling or a rope breaking, so many calamities I was sure could befall us.  The guys began to drive faster, I saw the loveseat move, and it began to shift.   I watched in horror as the loveseat lifted up.
 I knew they needed more straps! 
Nobody ever listens to me!!!
The loveseat was airborne, and flipped over as it flew off the truck.  Landing on its legs, it slid across the mercifully empty passing lane and came to a rest in the grassy median. 
I sat in my car, speechless as I watched Dan and Wayne pull over, jog back to the loveseat and pick it up.  Amazing, the piece was still intact.  The legs were undamaged, the arms were still attached.  The guys flipped it over re stacked it atop the couch, added several more straps, previously unused, and walked sheepishly back to the truck.
When we arrived at the apartment my inspection revealed one scuff mark on the corner of the loveseat, but it was certainly usable.  Dan quickly formed a slip knot, loped up the stars, and caught the tossed rope.  He quickly pulled the rope hand over hand, within moments the couch and then the love seat were sitting in the third floor apartment.