Wednesday, June 04, 2014

One GIANT leap for Jack

 Yesterday the big yellow angel brought my third grade Jack home for the last time this school year.

This morning we went to school for a big meeting with the principal about academic promotion for Jack in the coming year.
 (Yesterday, he is starting to look so much older, no?)

So, so, so many things have happened with Jack this year.   For one, I have learned that when you are blessed with a gifted child it is every.single.bit as challenging as being the mother of a special needs kiddo.  There are all these waters to navigate, all these unknowns, all these opinions, all these challenges that leave you scratching your head.  For me, having Samantha GREATLY intensified this with Jack. Not just for him, but for me too. It was rough for him - the adjustment from only child to big brother.  For Dave and I, she highlighted how different Jack truly was from a kid who is what we call "more typically developing."
Jack has done a great deal of growing into himself this year. He is maturing.  All those things that other kids were doing that my kid never was - sleep overs, buying lunch at school, wanting to go to sports camps, really making friends, talking to the neighbors, even asking for bandaids - he started doing this year. And doing with gusto. I mean he made a speech in front of his class to be class president! He went to math club with only fourth and fifth graders, where he hadn't had the same math they had and where he didn't know them, and he made it work.
 And I have done a great deal of growing into Jack this year.  I have finally really (really) made peace with a lot of things about Jack that just *are*, things that everyone swore a kid would grow out of. Jack is Jack, I completely recognize that now.  Yes, he will mature, but some of his *quirks*? They just are. The end.
 When Jack started this school year it was at a new school again (our last school was only k-2).  At the time we had him in pretty intensive private therapy and I went to school to see how they could help me help himself a bit more.  And they have been really awesome at helping sort things out with him while he is there.  And that kid has BLOOMED.
As spring started to thaw I asked him again how he felt about skipping fourth grade and he answered definitively that he was all over that idea. I have been working with the district and the principal for many, many months to get him all the evaluations he needed to make sure we all thought that was a good choice for Jack.

When his friends started putting on a bit of the "you can't leave me" talk, he has very wisely answered that "I must."  All of his own doing.

 
So today we made the decision to skip grade 4 with the backing of the pro's at school.

We are onward and upward to grade 5 in the fall.

I could not, and I mean could NOT, be prouder of my oldest child right now.  This is a really brave thing for him to do. He has so much more self awareness now, and he recognizes that he also needs the challenge. 

As for me? A bit of a celebration for myself too. I have been arguing with many, many different people at school for numerous years now about how we can all work together to get Jack the education he needs while still being mindful of his emotional and social development. I really feel like this is the *perfect* time for this to happen for him.  He is emotionally and socially ready, and he will FINALLY have a bit of a challenge at school academically.

I really hope he continues to have the courage to be extraordinary, because this boy of mine? He is an exceptionally exceptional bear and our journey is still young. :-)

Love you kid, with my whole heart. ;)
 

5 comments:

  1. Congratulations Jack! I love that last photo with the 3 of them, they are growing so fast.

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  2. You have beautiful kids on the inside and out and all because they have a mother who does her best to nurture them. Congratulations on a wonderful year for all of you but especially Jack!

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  3. Jack looks so much older! Glad it has been a good year of growth and that he is ready for the challenge of 5th grade. Congrats to him and to you as well for pursuing what you thought was a good choice for him.

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  4. Wow Sarah -- that's awesome! I'm so happy that your school district is able to help Jack -- you have great Mama instinct! He's growing so quickly -- next year will be a big adventure for all of you!

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  5. What an amazing little boy you have. There are big things in store for him and it sounds like you have a great set of supports in place to him with this transition. Congratulations, Jack!

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