This is my favourite time of year – cool, foggy mornings! crisp evenings! coloured leaves! Thanksgiving! hoodies! – except when it comes to my boy.
Pertaining to Max, this is one of my most hated times of the year. Changing routine! New classes! New teachers! New EVERYTHING! Anxiety! Hype! MELTDOWNS!
Historically, Back to School has been hard, and I’ve typically met it head on with a set routine, a bottle of wine and a box of Kleenex. But this year? I almost don’t want to even risk typing this, lest I jinx everything, but…this year has been off to a pretty good start.
This has, in fact, been the best start we’ve ever had.
Now, I’m not so naive that I don’t realize it could all go to hell in a flaming hand basket real quick – we’re not even two months in, there’s still plenty of time! But it’s going good, dammit, and I’m going to ride this high for as long as I can. There’s been a lot of change for Max to adjust to this Back to School season, and I’m really, really proud of him for the way he’s handling it. Sure, there have been some bumps in the road and a couple of (real nasty) meltdowns, but for the most part, he’s gotten through the first month and a half of school much better than I thought he would (and has in the past). The notes his EA have written in his communication book have said things like, “Great day today!” and “Max worked very hard today!” And the most shocking of them all, “Max worked hard on improving his work effort and behaviour this week.”
I read these notes and part of me wonders, is she delirious? Does she have the right kid? But I see a change in him too, a maturing – a growth and understanding, of himself and his surroundings – that makes me realize how fortunate I am to be a part of his life, the journey he’s on. And how proud I am of him for being so awesome in the face of adversity.
Last week we were sitting on a bench outside the change rooms at the pool, waiting for Vic to finish up after her swimming class. As a woman walked by with a achingly beautiful baby in her arms, I leaned over and said to Max, “You were that small once, you know.”
To which he replied, “Babies are like dolls. Except they grow up, and then they die.”
This? Is one hell of an interesting journey.