This morning Scout climbed into bed with us as usual, it really is the best way to start my day. He always comes right in to me for the snuggle. Sometimes we’ll just lay there quietly for a while, sometimes he’ll come right in chatting away. Today he was on his back telling me something–in my sleepy state I honestly don’t remember what, I’m sorry to say–and I was up on my elbow looking at him and feeling, as always, such a burst of motherly love. Sensing this as he spoke he stroked the hair off of my forehead and then kissed my nose. It was such a tender moment, he didn’t make any sort of deal about it as if it was just about the most natural thing in the world to him right then and there. And of course at that moment, on the morn of my 44th birthday, tears came to my eyes and I thought to myself, “you are the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Why, oh why, can’t everyone else see Scout that way? Sometimes I wish they would just see him, period. Last night I went to a neighborhood party that I was very happy to be invited to. It’s an end-of-the-summer celebration in which many people from our relatively new community and school go to, it’s a great way to re-connect with everyone before school starts again. We went last year too–and last year was just as tough as this year. These kinds of things get easier for me each year, getting to know these ‘new’ moms and dads and feeling more and more connected. But Scout….last year he was in his own little world as all of the many boys from his school, many he knew from being in his class, played kickball and ran around together. Scout knew he needed to be involved, but being involved to him meant standing out in the field and flinching every time the ball came near him. Or standing around and spinning and twinkling. He was literally invisible. (which I guess at least is better than being made fun of. A little.)
This year was no exception. The kids were all in the pool and having a grand old time. Scout LOVES the pool slide and went down it over and over again. Never did I see him pal around or even greet any of hisclassmates/friends. He’s had sleepovers with one of these boys and I don’t think he even acknowledged him. At one point I noticed a couple of boys teasing him by squirting him with giant squirt guns, ignoring his pleas for them to stop. It took everything in me to stay on the sidelines and not get involved….at 9 years old, the guy’s gotta figure it out. I know ‘boys will be boys’ and this teasing behavior is pretty typical, but let’s face it…as the parent of an Aspie I’m especially sensitive to it. Eventually Scout just ignored it and did his own thing–and I was quite proud of him for that, I might add–but it was painful to watch. I tried to do my party-girl thing and just chat with the other moms about our summers or the teachers our kids got, but honestly I couldn’t wait for Scout to come over and tell me he was ready to go home.
It’s so tough. I love getting invited to these things and I think it’s important to go and be involved. I think it’s important for Scout to be go and be involved as well. The problem is, he’s never really involved. I was hoping this year would be better, he had another year under his belt at his school and with these kids….but no. I left feeling sad and melancholy once again. God I hate this. Those other moms have no idea how lucky they are just to have their boys running around with the others and getting into trouble.
Recently I went to an Open House at a new charter school. It’s in our old neighborhood, not too far away. I wanted to see what else was out there. Scout gets along just fine at his current school both academically and socially, for the most part. Some things can be hard for him, but just like any kid who has certain difficulties with things, that’s life and he gets through it. It was a good experience for me to see that there is an alternative out there. This is a very small school and they have only been ‘in business’ for a few years. After talking to a teacher it sounded like their learning style was much more hands-on and accommodating than our current public school. Hmm. There are pros and cons, just like anywhere. Would it be too small? Is it better to have Scout be in as ‘typical’ situation as possible, since that’s more ‘real life’? Or at his young age is it better to be a bit sheltered and catered to? It’s a lot to think about, and honestly the party situation last night was making me think about it more seriously. Would he still seem so disconnected at a smaller and more intimate school? Maybe he would. I don’t know, but it got the wheels a-spinnin’.
Have any of you decided on an alternative school for your child? If so, did it work out well?
So–I’m a year older, but I certainly don’t feel the wiser. When it comes to making the right decisions or knowing how to deal with my kids I often still feel like a brand new mom. Watching Scout be in his own world is just so incredibly tough. I always wonder…is he truly happy on his own and do I need to just get over it? Or deep down is he feeling like he is indeed missing something?