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Four years

It’s hard to believe it, but time doesn’t lie. Four years ago was one heck of a busy and hectic travel day. I will soon say that I’ve known my kids for more than half their lives and that’s a milestone I am looking forward to bust.

Looking back at the past four years, I can’t say they were all rosy, but I can’t see it being any other way. It’s like sour candy: you pucker and question why on earth you bit into it, yet you finish it up and long for more.

If I had to plot out the feelings of dismay versus feelings of pride and happiness, I would say they balance each other pretty good. How do I know? Because depending on whether it’s a good or a bad day, feelings swing either way, so I suppose it must be pretty much right down the middle! There have been very frustrating days where things just seem to get from bad to worse, but somehow they turn around and you feel like everything is inching slowly forward. Don’t get me wrong: the feelings of disappointment simply stem from the gap between my often unrealistic expectations and the burning desire to see them succeed and make significant progress, whether academic, physical or behavioral.

Whether you like it or not, as a parent you inherit your kids’ struggles and you have to learn to distance yourself from them and do the best you can to overcome them, even though the realized gains are often had at an excruciatingly slow pace. I keep telling myself this, but end up doing a horrible job of actually walking the talk. It does get easier though when you can look back at four years and see the progress had over this journey instead.

Enough sour candy and philosophy! It’s summertime and the kids are out of school. Oh yeah, about that…we were in a little bit of a bind at school’s end. Someone was going to watch over Isaac for the summer and then bailed out a day before the end of school. How about that for a heads up? Luckily Lori managed to find a really good daycare that accepts special needs kids and doesn’t look like a dump. It’s actually very nice and the lady is plain awesome. She used to work for Houston ISD as a Special Ed. teacher and now does this full-time, and also for siblings of special needs kids. She knows how to deal with their behaviors and Isaac has taken to her really well. So far it has been a pretty smooth first month with a couple tiny dips that she knows how to handle with grace. The great thing is that there are only 2 to 4 more kids, sometimes even less, which is the kind of environment that Isaac fits in the best it seems. She is also making him work rather than just “deal with him”, which is what past daycares did really, such as put him in a high-chair and let him suck his fingers in front of mindless TV. How about that for “Montessori”?

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Isaac is engaging in communication a little better these days and is starting to make a sincere effort at making certain sounds as he tries to say complete words. I can’t wait to see this little clown finally able to express himself. He’s doing better at eating (thanks to a secret helper in the form of a white, creamy liquid!) and is finally outgrowing his clothes and thickening. He doesn’t seem so fragile anymore, thank goodness.

Isabella goes to her school district’s summer camp. She was in the same program last year and loved it. We started well this year and went downhill pretty fast. So fast in fact, that she came very close to getting kicked out. It seems we have to re-live this script every year and it gets quite…shall I say, annoying? After several speeches involving phrases such as “this is your LAST chance and you’re out”, it seems to have finally sunk in. Fingers crossed as in a week or so her offenses get re-set, but she doesn’t know that and we’re not about to advertise it! But as parents, we can breathe a sigh of relief if she gets through unscathed. Here she is on Galveston island at the annual AIA Sandcastle competition.

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We’ve done a little bit of swimming and Isabella got her first US ear infection last week. We had to go to the doctor this weekend as it got pretty bad, but I’m happy to report that she’s already feeling much better. The kids have also started to go to church with their mum a couple times a week, where Isaac participates in a special needs kids program. They both enjoy their time there and seem to be making lots of friends. This gives me some nice alone time to catch up with my other intellectual endeavors. What, you thought I was going to say “to catch up with cleaning”?!

Isabella and I still go ice skating every Saturday. Since they have now changed their coaching policy (no coaching during public skate), we started going to the longer, quieter basic freestyle session and I am personally enjoying it a lot more. Isabella likes to tag around and play a lot more than she likes to practice, but what can you do? I nag her and sometimes she does practice a bit, especially when it quiets down towards the last hour and I become her victim to be pestered as I try work on my crossovers. Skating is the only time where I feel I could possibly be the one disappointing my daughter, but I’m giving it my all to make her proud.

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2 clicked here to comment!:

Thomas Furgason said...

It looks like they are coming along great! I recently found your blog and have been reading it over the past two days and it’s just amazing. My wife and I are planning on adopting and this has provided great information. I hope that you keep your blog updated as it provides helpful information.

Dave Baldacchino said...

Glad you find it useful! We found out about Ukraine and the ins and outs through reading other family blogs as well, so I thought it would make sense to pay it forward somehow :) Good luck on your own journey!