A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Gratitude’

With Appreciation…

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. Yesterday, the boys brought their teachers flowers. Because it does take a literal village to help the boys succeed in school, we were very grateful that Costco sells big bouquets for cheap! With one bouquet, we were able to cover each teacher and specialist!

Thankfully the PTO reigned in the Teacher Appreciation Week festivities a couple of years ago. Back in the day we parents were asked to send in flowers, candy, school supplies, games and more to shower the teachers with thanks. Gratefully, we now just provide flowers and a gift, if we choose. Today the kids are wearing neon because the teachers have made their future so bright. Tomorrow they are dressing to impress (wear ‘nice’ clothes). Thursday they can make their teachers and specialists home made cards. Friday they can wear their teacher’s favorite color or school spirit colors.

Because we are grateful and appreciative of all that the boys’ teachers and specialists do for them, we provide gifts for them during Teacher Appreciation Week. I have to buy twelve gifts. And then, in another 5 weeks, we give end of the year tokens of thanks to our teachers and staff. I know that I don’t HAVE to give them anything. However, I know that my children each have their own set of challenges, and I want to thank the teachers and staff for their hard work during the school year to motivate my children to learn and grow. This year, particularly, has been a good year.  I can’t let that go unrecognized.

I’m grateful that most of the teachers enjoy a good gift card to Target or Starbucks. Those are easy to find, and I know that they will be used! The hard part comes with creating the “presentation”. Again, I know I don’t have to do anything big, but at the same time, my marketing background comes out, and I want to make it look good. To make it memorable.

So, off I go to figure that out…but really, I know that it’s not about the presentation. It’s about appreciating those whom work with my children to grow, progress, and learn. I am incredibly grateful for the good people out there whom treat my children with respect and dignity and let them see how much they can do in life and in school.

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Quiet Around Here

I have been quiet around here. My blog is gathering a little dust. I have been busy with holiday preparations. I have been wondering about what I could possibly write  in the wake of last Friday’s tragic event. Nothing seems important enough to spend time blogging about. I don’t want to be insensitive. I feel that others have said much more eloquently than I what they feel…and what should be done.

I hope to be more bloggy soon…but in the meantime, here are a few tidbits that have made me and Hubz smile over the past few days…and we can all agree that smiles are very needed right now.

-Tate was not feeling well on Friday night. He came up to me, handed me his pj’s and said, “I put these on and you rub my back, okay?”. He put his pj’s on (by himself!), and then I rubbed his back. He wanted to reciprocate. So he put his head in my lap and said, “I rub you too, Mommy.” And he did. I needed to feel the connection to him, especially that night, as I struggled with the horrid news from the day.

-Jake wanted to decorate a mug, based on a craft idea I had found on Pinterest. He carefully drew some animals in various colors. He was meticulous. When asked who he wanted to give the mug to, he decided that I should have it…because I am his mom and I like coffee. I can’t argue with that! He signed it for me and everything, for when he becomes a famous artist. Tate followed Jake’s lead, and he decorated a mug for Hubz. He drew a smiley face on it. It was precious.

-We have Alfie, our elf on the shelf. Tate was intrigued by his snowball fight (aka marshmallow fight) yesterday. He came downstairs before Hubz and me, and he actually played a snowball fight with the various action figures and Alfie. Tate created his very own pretend play, and was at it for about 15 minutes. Beautiful progress. And adorable interaction with his action figures.

-Jake is just *a little* excited about Christmas. Some of it is unadulterated excitement…and some of it is him trying to convince himself that Santa is real and true. He keeps telling his brothers stories about Santa…and he eagerly participates in our countdown every morning. Every night he wants to leave cookies out for the “big guy”…and when I remind him of the days until Christmas, he decides not to do so, as the cookies will get “hard and gross”

Oh, and another reason for my absence here??? I’m trying to find just the *right* way to thank the multitude of teachers, aides, therapists and helpers in my boys’ lives. I wrote each one (all 20 of them!) a heart-felt note. We cannot financially get them what they deserve, but at least we can tell them what they mean to our family. And writing all those notes takes time. And prepping all of their tokens of appreciation takes time, too.

I will be back soon!

A Letter To Tate’s Team

This week wraps another chapter of Tate’s life. I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it…For the past 3 years, Tate has been in our district’s Early Childhood Education Program. On Friday, we move from the sheltered hallway of his current school to the hallways of our home school.

Dear [ Tate’s Amazing Team ],

Three years ago we gave you our precious little boy. He was mostly non-verbal (pre-verbal, as some might say), shut-in his world, and very, very frightened. (So were we…). As we handed him off to you, your kind words and reassurances, while directed at him, were so much more for our benefit, as well…and we thank you.

In your caring world, Tate began to blossom. He started to talk. First with more words. Then he strung the words to form phrases. Then sentences. He started to communicate needs and wants. He began to master basic skills. He began to learn.

While cryptic to us at first, your heedings of “something neurological” ignighted a fire within us. We’d always suspected more than a developmental delay. Your persistence that we “follow-up with a pediatrician” propelled us into an evaluation. And his eventual diagnosis.

You have all worked so hard with Tate. You broke through the inattention, you worked around the impulsiveness, you recognized his dysregulation and helped him with sensory breaks and redirection. You modeled behavior, encouraged play and socialization. When he said “I can’t”, you said, “oh, yes you can”.

You have always worked with us. I know that our requests are few of many you encounter, but you never dismissed them. You met us where we wanted…or at least half-way. You always listened to us. You always followed up with a question or request You never made us, or our child, feel like less.

Tate has enjoyed his 3 years in your care. He really loves school–and we have you to thank for that. You have made him feel cared about, made him feel like he’s a part of something. You have helped instill a love of learning in him, even though a classroom is a very difficult place for Tate.

After three years of strong effort, endless teaching, modeling, and support, “thank you” doesn’t seem like much. We gave you our little baby boy…and in turn, you’ve given us hope, encouragement, support, and a boy who’s grown in so many ways. I am not scared of the future, because I know what a strong foundation you have helped us lay for him.

So, while it doesn’t seem like much, thank you is all we’ve got. And please know that we mean it from the bottom of our hearts.

Many thanks and best wishes,
Tate’s Family

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