A Good Ending

Charlie’s last day of school was yesterday. The best part of the end of the year (for me) is the beautiful memory book that his teacher and aides put together for the parents. There’s a page of pictures for each month and a piece of artwork as well. Most of the artwork is done using the children’s hand prints, which I’m sure also provides them with great sensory input–pretty sure Charlie hates all that input (insert evil mom cackle).

Three boys sitting on a bency

Not from school--just a gratuitous picture of my spawn.

The pictures show Charlie doing all kinds of things–brushing his teeth, wearing a Dr. Seuss hat, sitting in the sandbox with other preschoolers, his feet in the grass, sitting in a bounce house with his teacher–the list just goes on and on.

I’ve taught before and I know just how draining it can be. I know how easily one can slide into complacency and how you have to actively shake yourself to stay your best. I look at these pictures of my boy–engaged in play, making faces at new experiences, smiling in the crowd–and I am humbled by the work his teachers have done. And weepy.

We have been so blessed. It’s easy, I think, as a special needs parent, to focus on what’s wrong with the system. We focus on what our child isn’t getting or the next hurdle we have to leap over. I’m guilty of it too as my mind recently has been occupied with trying to figure out what will happen to Charlie once he leaves Early Intervention (that thought makes me weepy too).

Tonight, however, I’m letting myself be happy–my boy has been treated so well. He has seen so much and been involved with school in ways I could have never imagined.

And now I’m weepy again.

metal necklace that reads "A+ teacher"

End of the year gift for Charlie's teacher and aides.

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  1. Great post :) You desrve to let yourself be happy…I still chuckle at how much August looks so much like a mini-Charlie.

    • I think he’s a mini-Charlie too! But I thought that the second I laid eyes on him. Question is. . . who does Lou look like?

  2. Bugladynora says:

    I am so glad Charlie had a great year and that you are just enjoying it for a minute. I have read your blog since before Charlie was born and I remember your anguish at the complications and your determination that he would be all he could be and more than what the doctors said. I tend to weep at these kind of posts too because I am happy for you. Coincidentally I have been subbing as an aide in a D level room for the last six weeks, and have fallen for all the kids in my room. It really is a wonderful experience I have learned so much.

    • That makes me so happy Nora! I really do think that special kids can be so engaging and interesting, but often it takes a while to get past all the equipment/disability stuff to see it.

  3. You are blessed to have such amazing teachers for him. I’m so glad that you do, for both of your sake.

    I know what you mean about the memory book. G’s teachers did an entire binder of pics from his school year and I’m so thankful for that. And B’s teacher did a CD of pics! Teachers do SO much behind the scenes. I’m in awe.

    • Elementary school teachers blow my mind! They do SO MUCH! I taught older kids and I can promise you, we weren’t doing any of those things. We did stuff, but not memory/keepsake kind of stuff.

  4. Very good blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Bless you!

  5. Your boys are just so adorable. Absolutely. I love this post. We have a really great pre-school for Sebastian and I’m so thankful. We don’t get a memory book but the teachers post photos in the hall of the class and it is so awesome to see him being a kid and learning alongside his peers.

    • I think that is just THE BEST feeling–knowing that your child has been integrated into the school and community. Makes me just SWELL with happiness.

  6. Beautiful post, Katy. So glad that Charlie has such wonderful caring teachers, who not only care about Charlie’s learning experience, but who also care about sharing those experiences with you in such a thoughtful way. Awesome!

    • Awesome is right. It’s so funny because last year I expected nothing, so I didn’t even see the dang book for weeks. This year I was like, “ooooooh. . . where’s the book?”

  7. This post brings tears to my eyes. Sounds like a wonderful school. What a blessing it is to know that your son is in good hands!

  8. I’m a teacher who stayed up into the wee hours of the morning earlier this week finishing up our memory book to send home on the last day of school. Thanks for this post- it feels good to know how much families enjoy seeing the pictures and what we’ve done all year!

    Enjoy a summer with your three little guys- they are adorable!

    Luckeyfrog’s Lilypad

    • Jenny:
      Thank you so much for all the work that you do! It is appreciated SO very much. You can’t imagine the joy that I feel not only in seeing the memory book, but in seeing how much work in put into making my child a part of the school environment.

  9. The boys are so beautiful, growing so fast. I, too, can’t get over how much August looks like Charlie. So sweet. I love hearing about the project Charlie’s teachers did for you and him. That would have to mkae you feel wonderful about his schooling and his time there. So many teachers are truly amazing!

    • There are so many great teachers–it’s a shame people tend to focus so much on the negative.

      And yes, August does look so much like Charlie–I’m just waiting for his hair to curl :)

  10. You have three adorable boys. Glad to hear that Charlie has had a good year. Teachers really do love their students and their parents.

    • Thank you!

      I am so glad that so many teachers love their students. I really do appreciate it and show it throughout the year with little gestures. I feel good leaving my child with these “other mothers,” and that is truly priceless.

  11. I’m pretty sure if you smoosh the twins together you end up with Charlie… The three of them are SUCH brothers. August especially looks like Charlie! They are all so stinkin’ cute!

    • That is SUCH an interesting observation–because some people see a lot of Charlie in Lou and some see a lot of Charlie in August. Perhaps your smush theory is way to go. I’ll be interested to see what this last baby looks like–my last ultrasound, all I could see was cheeks.

  12. Oh my gosh your boys are so adorable. I know what you mean about teachers and how much effort it takes. I absolutely love my daughter’s autism teacher, thank goodness we have her for all 4 years of high school. I honestly don’t know what we would do without her and I’m not sure she will ever understand how important she is to us (and my sanity) no matter how many times I tell her.
    I remember leaving early intervention too, Ashlyn’s teacher was like a second mom to her and I couldn’t imagine leaving but ultimately we found the right teachers and the right place for her and all was right in the world again. Hoping the same for you!

    • I am so glad to read this–I do worry about when we have to start over again in First Grade–ack! I don’t like change. I suspect it will be hard on Charlie who loves his teachers so much too.