Saturday, June 8, 2013

Beanbag Daddy- Holla!

Mr. Steinbacher...#1 Teacher!

how am i ever going to summarize first grade?
this picture may just be the 1000 words that i need.

this year started out so rough.
she needed her hand held,
tears wiped,
ralphie in her backpack,
notes in her lunchbox,
beanbag daddy on her desk,

that goopy, slimey glow-in-the-dark putty,
stress ball,
balloons filled with flour-that would eventually explode
all over the classroom floor.
but, not once, did her teacher say no
to these little comforts that made
olivia feel more brave.

she cried everyday until Christmas break.
i was on the verge of homeschooling...which, if you know me-
that's a really big verge.
after christmas break, i came up with some new stratagies, 
they went something like this:

who do you think is going to pick their nose today?
do you think mr. steinbacher is going
 to rock out some new songs this morning?
i sure hope ralphie stays out of all the kids
 lunches while you guys are in gym class.

anything...i tried anything and everything
to get her attention on something other than me leaving her at school.

i thought i was brilliant, coming up with this little plan.
i lasted 4 days.  4 days and i ran out of distractions.
that shouldn't happen to a mama 
who has been diagnosed with adult A.D.D.  

i researched children with anxiety like it was my full time job.
and, you know you are in deep when you are flipping 
into the 2nd, 3rd, 9th google page.
that is phd material for sure.
 and, after earning my phd, i became an informant on the topic.
because, i know those mamas - 
and those thoughts they wished they didn't have.

please. please just stop talking. 
stop worrying. 
stop ALL of your OCD patterns
that are completely FREAKing me out!  
stop. be normal and get your little tush
into your classroom in time
 to say the pledge of allegiance....please. :)

long pause. deep breath. what is "normal" anyway?
being "normal" is way overrated.  

and, because we made it through this tumultuous year
of anxiety-and came through it more beautiful than when we started,
with a better understanding of others who share space with us
in these parts that are pretty messy most days... 
i want to savor every part of these last couple days of conversation
with olivia about school ending.

it started a couple nights ago.
she asked me if mr. steinbacher would remember her.
then the tears came.  
i couldn't really let her cry alone...i mean, what kind of mom
do you think i am?  
hand us the kleenex -STAT- that's right will rhymes..
give us the kleenex and you can have 20 more minutes of daniel tiger.

then, yesterday morning happened.  
she walked into school all by herself.
went straight to her classroom - without me.

it was the first time all year.

it felt amazing and the tears flowed freely.
because God has been faithful to her this year.
not once, did she ever walk alone.
and, she knew that- it took her a year to trust 
and experience 
His faithfulness.

He gave us the perfect teacher who taught
her everything teachers are supposed to cover.
then, he went above those things
and taught her skills that will last her a lifetime.

lesson 1:  laugh at yourself sometimes
lesson 2:  mistakes are okay
lesson 3:   a hurdle is just a hurdle..that's all it is.
you either trip over it, jump over it, or leap...
no matter how messy the hurdle is-
giving up isn't an option.  

after she had her goodbye with him...we both had visible signs that 
we were going to lose it.  we both twitch our noses and sigh.
on our way out of the building, i stopped to talk with a friend.
olivia kept rubbing my arm, tapping my arm, tugging on my arm...

how could i have forgotten that just a moment ago-
we did the nose twitch/sigh-holding back tears together?  
my little girl needed to get to the car because 
her capacity of holding back was maxxing out. 
 her little lifeboat wasn't going to make it to the car
 if her mommy talked for one minute longer.
  she didn't even want to pass mr. steinbacher on the sidewalk.  
she made us walk through the mulch-
which, i'm pretty sure violates some sort of school rule, 
but, at that point, i was willing to come back on a saturday to make it right-
just to be able to get her to a bigger life boat.  

so, there you have it.  
the nash girls.  
 hearts on drippy sleeves.

we just sat in my truck
  in mini-therapy-session mode.
this included bursts of laughter, the ugly cry, a snort? sighing a lot,
catching a breath, more laughter, and, a package of puffs.
it was as if we were breathing again...
she was at the finish line-
and i was so proud and grateful that she finished well.

it was the very best way to end the year.

sometimes it is the unspoken language of our children 
that is the most important for us to tune in to.

here is a post written by my friend, Maggie- that is a must-read! ;)