I can’t believe that another school year is over. Yesterday was Michael’s last day. And though it started out rainy and stormy, it ended on a great note. The kids still had their bouncy rides, BBQ and fun day (albeit inside the school gym instead of the schoolyard), and it was magical for Michael as always. What also made the end of this school year easier, is that we found out that Michael will be having the same teacher and assistant as this year. The stress of who will be in his class was also slightly elevated when Michael found out that a few of his friends from this year would be following him into the same class next year. We even get the school supply list so busy Moms and Dads can shop early if more convenient. 🙂
As I was waiting for his school bus to round the corner yesterday afternoon, I thought back to the year we had had, shocked that it was already over. I found myself getting emotional over how far he has come, how much he has learned. He could not write his name at the beginning of the year. He now he writes semi legibly, and is getting more legible by the day. He did not have the skills to manage his emotions. By the end of the year, he was doing a fantastic job of this the majority of the time. Finally, he was co-sleeping with me due to severe night terrors, and now for the last month (over a period of several months of me gradually distancing myself from him at night), he goes to bed by himself and uses strategies to fall asleep on his own and STAY asleep. I am beyond proud of my little guy. He has come far, and I can see that he will continue this progress with the help and support of understanding family, friends, teachers and therapists.
What I also realized though, was how far I have come this year as an Exceptional Mom, Michael’s Exceptional Mom. I learned even more about advocating for Michael, while continuing to learn to advocate for myself as a woman and parent. It was like climbing up a hill. It was hard at first. I was out of breath like when I began to exercise again after a long break. As I got better at it though, I became stronger and soon was in great shape. I did this by recognizing what my emotional triggers are, and putting healthy coping strategies in place. I also learned how to ask Dad and other family and friends for whatever I needed, down time, friend time, alone time, writing time. And finally, I took the next step in my business and launched a website and parent coaching programs to help other Moms and Dads learn to trust their gut when it comes to their child or children. I remind them to never give up on their children, and to reach out to the community. Isolation for any of us is deadly. Connection is everything.
Exceptional Parents, what kind of growth did your Exceptional Child experience this year? How did it affect your growth as an Exceptional Parent? And remember, even the mistakes we make are great learning experiences. Sometimes the down times are when we learn the most about ourselves and our children’s resilience. After all, it’s often how you bounce back from setbacks that determines future success. Don’t give up. Celebrate yours and your child’s small and big victories. And remember, in the fall there will be another school year to learn wonderful things. Until next time.