Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Celebrity Among Us

Today was a big day for Alex and twin sis, Parent Teacher Conferences! In our school district they have what they call student led conferences. They started these when the kids were in about 4th grade. I have to say, I have always hated them!! The idea is that our child leads the discussion and shows us all their work, discusses their strengths and weaknesses, and in the end, show us their grade card! The teacher stands across the room.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like I get this everyday at home. I want to go visit with the teachers and get the real scoop!! Does she talk all the time, does Alex pass gas all day long, does he only talk to the girls, is it true that my kid never shuts up? Oh.... and by the way, how are their grades? I guess I'll just have to get the good info elsewhere.

Today's conferences started with sis. Of course Alex was all over it, pointing out every red mark on every paper or project. "Oooo, that's gonna be an F," he'd say over and over. (and over and over.) Sis does take it very well. Never once did she tell him to sit down and shut up! Pretty good, I'd say! And for the record, she had very good grades! :)

Next, off to Alex's conference. Of course the special education class is at the opposite side of the school, so we walked the loop to his class. He walked behind, hurrying us along, never mind that we were actually on time, for once. Constantly chastising me for being last.

The school building was full of kids and their families, the teachers and staff, just a bunch of bodies. This kid, though, knows everyone! All the way through the building people were hollering and high fiving Alex, both kids and adults, I don't know who they were. I know what some of you are thinking, but yeah, I let my kids talk to strangers! I was just thrilled to death that he knew people and that people were being nice to him. And so many of them!

One of Alex's greatest obstacles is his anxiety, remember the bowling alley? We have tried everything to put him in situations where he would be with peers and be able to develop some friendships. We decided a while ago that no matter what the outcome of his social life, in the end we were successful, just for having tried.

Now, Alex has made some friends at school, some in his special ed class, some are the girls who started looking out for him years ago. Outside of school, his best friend is his horse and twin sis, and that is fabulous! And successful! Eleven and a half years ago, we were terrified he would have no one. Again... are we lucky or what?!

I think, that is why I was so amazed at all the people greeting him today. I am very involved in the PTA at school, volunteer with other projects at that school, work at the dances and the concession stand at the sporting events...You are going to find this hard to believe, but I am a pretty visible parent at this school! Yet, not one of these people were high fiving Alex's mom! OK, I was jealous! But also thinking pretty highly of myself, "wow, I have one awesome kid, everybody loves him!"

OK... on to the conference.... Alex's wasn't too keen on us all sitting around talking about him, so he just handed one of his projects to his dad, then gave me one of his papers, then went right to the bottom of the stack for the grade card. That's my boy, go straight to the finale!! All A's! Boy did he make sure everyone knew it! Now he's done.

That's the other thing about Alex, when he is done, HE IS DONE! So we said our goodbyes, and headed home.

The car had barely started when Alex started his pleading. Can we go to out to eat? He asked to go to every restaurant within 30 miles of here. "Puhleeease?, I did sooo good." And man can he stick that bottom lip out. We only live ten minutes from school but it is amazing how many restaurants a kid can come up with in that amount of time! We'll go celebrate, just not tonight.

It was sometime during that drive that it hit me. I used to substitute teach, I was the assistant director at a large daycare for ten years, man was I an idiot. Alex didn't know those people, they knew Alex! .... And there is a difference! There is only one reason that many people remember a kid's name. He's the ornery one! I am pretty sure he's not a trouble maker. Anyway, ornery is the safer bet. Oh man.... my balloon just burst!! Talk about deflated, here I had been thinking everybody loves Alex!! Uuuugggg...

Later, I was thinking and moping about the day. I started focusing on the people that I knew and how they had related to Alex. I thought about how some of the faculty that I do know had reacted to him. I made a decision... a decision to reverse my decision.... and I don't do that to myself very often, so I am sure that I am right on this one! Alex DOES know these people! Everybody loves Alex! I was right!

You see, it's all in how you decide to look at it! Sometimes, look twice!

When we were walking the halls today, we had a celebrity among us!!!!

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