As the bus pulled off this morning, I had myself a nice little cry.
I've been sending Joey to school now for three years, this is his fourth. Oct 12, 2004. that was his first day of school. My little two-year-old baby, placed on a big yellow bus to whisk him off into the unknown. Without me.
Folks who read Tibetan Star's Aspie Home-Education know that I am a supporter of schooling. Actually, I'd like to correct that. I believe in individualized education. For everyone. And I believe that education occurs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so most parents need to remember to be vigilant about educating their child, and what thir child is learning, all of the time. Most of the parents who communicate with me through this blog seem to be doig a very fine job with this. Some folks send their kids to residential schools. Some keep them home. Most mix the school- public or private- and home schooling, with a generous peppering of therapies and activities. We've become experts at individualized education. After all, the laws for our kids require it. We know they have a right to it, and it is our responsibility to preserve their rights.
One of the main advantages I see to school is that Joey learns independence. When at home, if Mom will do it for him and he knows it, he wont do it. Note the period. If I want him to learn to do something independently at home, I put Allan in charge of it. Allan is good at not letting Joey get away with letting others do things for him. You can pull up your own pants, Boy; let's see you do it! [pause] Good job!Allan taught him to drink from a cup. Allan taught him to dress himself. Allan is teaching him to bathe himself, and take a shower. He's a good teacher.
I miss my Joey. I miss having that little face with me, wandering through Tuesday Morning, leaning close together. I miss taking him to the farm, to the zoo, having him all to myself to show him the world at his own pace.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Andy. He's a good little buddy, and he's growing up with lightning speed. He loves seeing the world, too. He loves leaning against Mom while riding in the cart. He loves to look at the fish at Walmart. He loves to chase the chickens at Snead's. He loves to point to things and let me know what is around him. I'm more and more glad that we pulled him out of that preschool every day, because he's so much fun.
But I miss my Joey. We don't have a lot of minutes together, just us. In fact, we go to church for half an hour on Saturday evenings- and otherwise, I always have Andy, too. Andy's pace is so different from Joey's that we can't just slow down and let Joey process and look and do what he needs to do. I have to keep them together.
When Andy does finally go to preschool (and he will, because he has to have some experience at school to be successful in kindergarten these days), I may pull Joey for a couple of mornings. I'm planning little wanderings together. I trip to the farm. A wandering over to the park. Maybe a morning, just us, baking cookies or making playdoh or doing a craft. It won't be as easy as doing these things with Andy, but that would be part of the fun. Seeing Joey take things in his own way, at his own pace. Taking a minute to just be Mom and the Buddy-Boy again.
I miss my little Buddy.