Thursday, August 21, 2008
Magic School Bus
On Saturday we took Amelia(o) back to the feed store, where he was warmly received. They remembered Pip and assured us that he went to a good home. Amelia(o) looked big and lonesome in the cage we brought him in, and it was hard to walk away from him in his new cage at the feed store. There were still plenty of new chicks, and even quail chicks... so small they could fit in a teaspoon. All very tempting, but I've finally learned when to say "later."
I marvel at my ability to overlook the obvious, to remain hopeful in the face of sad, and glaring reality. I made one last visit to the yard to look for some decisive evidence, something conclusive to convince me that Amelia(o) did not have to leave. I was hoping she would be sitting on an egg, but instead I found her doing a series of poses and postures that were decidedly cockerel-like. Argghh. If you are reading this and thinking,"Geez, what's the hold-up? Of course he's a rooster..." well, what can I say? It's no fun to let go of someone everyone in the family loves, a companion to Betty, a fine bird... hen or rooster. So, yes, I stalled. And when I look back, I realize I've known all along this little fellow was no chica.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, you might ask: Which comes first, the home or the school? There are 2 distinct cities we seem to have narrowed our search down to for finding our house. They are far apart, in many ways. So when we thought we were settled on City 1, I enrolled the boys in school and immersed our lives in all the details involved with registration and commuting and tracking down transcripts. It was a total shift in geography and forward thinking... cart before the horse kind of stuff. I will spare you the details, but it did not work, so I had to hastily, apologetically revert to moving back to City 2. City 2 schools are really peeved with me for being a last minute entrant... imagine the thrill of being on the bad side of 3 different registrars.
Max is in school now, and looking about as small and lonesome as Amelia did. It's a very big school, with a lot of students. His personality, his particular vulnerabilities, make "normal" situations especially challenging for him. I don't think most people can appreciate how hard he works just to do things most of us take for granted. Crowds and stimulus are overwhelming for him. Disruption, changes and new environments are painfully difficult for him to adapt to. He struggles to cope with unruly behavior, with loud noises, with the pressure of typical social interactions. And he will muster all of his courage and effort to comply and do everything right and good, so much so that he will agonize over the littlest details. Sigh.
When he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, they recommended homeschooling for him and I think it has made all the difference. His year in Montessori was good too. He was able to branch out and his world grew with his confidence. If his new school interferes with his confidence, with his ability to learn and feel comfortable, we may return to homeschooling. Sigh. Lots of sighing, I know. It relieves pressure.
OKay. Who remembers when we brought home 2 little bantams, and named them Fantam, the Dark Bantam and Buttercup? Do you see any butter here? Can you even tell which one we would have named Buttercup? Fantam is the rounder, plumper, fluffier chica in the foreground and Buttercup is the lean and lanky, very dark chica in the back. We've talked about holding a chica re-naming contest, because she is so very unbuttery!
Betty and Amelia paired-off and henpecked the 2 bantams, but now Betty is without her companion. I think she is slowly warming up to Buttercup and Fantam. She still lets them know she is top of the pecking order, but I see them together in the same areas of the yard, so hopefully they will develop a happy, friendly dynamic.
William and Alex start school on Monday. They are each going to high school this year, and they will each attend a campus best suited to their needs and interests. Naturally their needs and interests are the point and foremost in our thoughts, but please, let us pause and consider the tactical, logistical tangled web I am facing. 3 campuses, 3 start times, 3 pick-up times, 3 compass directions + 1 super mom to coordinate it all and 1 super sister who is already heartbroken to be missing 1 brother. I am filling calendars and drawing up flowcharts, but I cannot help but believe that magic will have to come in to play, somehow. I may have to start drinking coffee after all.
When I asked for your help and encouragement, well, I had no idea how much support and good thoughts we would receive. Every bit of it is appreciated, very much. The comments and exchanges keep me sane and reassured, you give me an extra reason to smile, to renew my resolve. So, thank you. Thank you.