Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ready or not...there he goes

Thousands of parents across the country drop their children off at school each morning (or put them on a school bus) and pick them up hours later once the day is through.  They trust that the teachers and the school are going to take care of their child and love him/her like their own.  I have 25 children whose parents trust me each day with their children. None of them have parents who teach at our school. They drop their babies off at 7:45 and pick them up at 2:40.  They wonder throughout the day how their child is doing...is he happy?  Did she get over that nervous feeling?  I hope he makes some new friends.  Is the teacher being nice?  Did he get in trouble today?  I hope she ate all of her lunch. 
The list goes      on        and      on.

Tomorrow Jackson starts 3rd grade at the Charles Townes Center in Greenville County.  He has been at Palmetto with me since he was in 3 year old Kindergarten.  I took him with me every day (except car duty morning when Darron brought him).  Every afternoon I knew he would be in my classroom waiting on me when I finished with dismissal.  We would talk about his day, do his homework, have a snack, and ride home together. 

I was one of the few who took their child to work with them.  I was blessed.  Blessed by seeing him in the hall.  Blessed by knowing if he was sick or felt bad, his teacher would send him to me instead of the school nurse ( no offense, Candy).  Blessed by his teachers letting him hug when he saw me in the building.  Blessed by him coming to see me to brag and share his awesome work. 

This is what makes tomorrow (and this school year) so hard FOR ME!!!  Jackson is nervous and worried....that doesn't help the situation.  I haven't met his teacher. I haven't seen his classroom or his desk.  I haven't met the other children in his class.   Darron is an awesome dad and took him to Meet the Teacher while I was at work with other people's children. 

The unsureness of it all bothers me.  Knowing that my little man is worried makes it worse for me.  I have prayed so hard over the past few weeks that God will take care of him.  That his teacher will be nice.  That he will find his way to class...upstairs.  That he will eat his lunch.  That he will make friends quickly.  That he will follow rules and stay out trouble.   That the work will challenge him and not be too hard.  That he will make it to after school program okay and not forget to go by the nurse's office on the way.  That he won't feel lonely.....without familiar faces....without me.

Tomorrow I become a regular parent.  One who kisses their son goodbye as he and dad climb in the car and head off to school.  The one who picks her son up at the afterschool program because she has to work and can't be there at 2:30.

Ready or not....there he goes  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Questions....but do I really want the answers??

Remembering when J was little and all we heard was "why?" or "what that?". I heard those questions a million trillion times.
 Today his questions for us have evolved into "What happens when lightning strikes a car while you are driving it?" or "What is 400 times 12?" or even better "Do you think that I could hit a baseball out of the park at Doug Kingsmore field if I tried really hard and had a bat like the players do?"

My 2 new responses are:
1. we will Google that later
2. I. Don't. Know. (said really slow so that he knows that I really have no clue)

Cleaning J's room and bathroom this morning, I found myself with a list of questions of my own.
1. Why is your sheet crammed at the bottom of your bed? And how do you sleep like that?
2. Why are all the pictures above your bed crooked?
3. What was in that cup? And why is it STILL in your room?
4. How is that we have 27 pairs of socks and none of them match?
5. What happened to the other 47 pairs that I thought you had?
6. Why are your blinds STICKY? All the way to the top under the curtain?
7. Do we really need to keep every Sports Illustrated for Kids that we have purchased over the last 3 years? (remembering the melt down when he couldn't find the Olympic edition that I think I threw away)
8. Why is there an entire roll of WET TOILET PAPER in your trashcan?
9. Is it possible to brush your teeth without getting toothpaste on the water handles?
10.  How did all those spots that look like soap get on the ceiling above your shower?

I can only imagine the answers to these questions.  I am afraid to ask.....I really don't think I want to know.

Never a dull moment as the Meares Mommy :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Update (and a promise to do better this summer)

I just realized that I haven't blogged in FOR EV ER....
My goal when I started this was to have a place to share some snip its into my crazy world as Jackson's mom.  I haven't done a very good job lately so my goal this summer is to post once a week.

UPDATE on Little Man:

J just finished 2nd grade at Palmetto Elem.  He had an outstanding year with a great teacher.
We have always know he was brilliant...with parents like us how could he not be :)   He got Darron's natural "smartness" and curiosity and my drive to do more.  Plus his mom is a teacher :)

All joking aside....we have know for a while that J's quirkiness and ability to memorize random things were not normal.  He has always talked above other children his age and often had trouble making friends in pre-school and kindergarten.  While most little boys were making dinosaurs "roar" and fight, J was explaining whether they were carnivores or herbivores, bi-pedals or quadrupeds, and from what prehistoric era they resided.  He was gifted and we knew it.
So did his teachers and anyone who spent more than 5 minutes in a conversation with him.  (I recall him entertaining a man and his 2 teenage sons at the College World Series in Omaha 3 years ago when he was 5 and could name the mascot for any team the boys asked him. Within minutes there were 20 people more interested in his knowledge than the baseball game)

Darron and I have been worried about where Jackson's current education path would lead him in the near future. He has attended the school I teach at since 3K and has had great teachers that have pushed him and nurtured him.  But as parents we have know it wasn't always going to be enough.

In October, we learned about a part of the Greenville County School District know as the Charles Townes Center for Highly Gifted Students.  A lady in a clothing store overheard Darron talking about Jackson to a friend and interrupted their conversation to mention this school.
After soon research we learned that testing for students not enrolled in public school in Greenville County was the following week.  We had 2 days to get his application in.  Talk about down to the wire.

 CHARLES TOWNES CENTER INFO:  CTC is the only public school program for the Highly Gifted in SC. It serves a maximum of 75 children in each grade....3rd -8th grades.  It is a part of a the Sterling Elementary School----a school of choice/magnet school.  They accept the top 1% of students in the county who score in the 98 or 99 percentile in several categories of standardized testing.

 We learned in November that Jackson scored in the 96th percentile.  Our thoughts were ok...this wasn't meant to be.  In January I received an email letting me know that all the spots had not been filled and if J's scores from the same type of test that he took in his classroom at PES were in the 98-99 range they would use them.  He scored in the 97th percentile.  Once again...this wasn't meant to be.  At this point my thoughts were "God is trying to tell me that this door is closed.  Something else will come open but CTC is not where J should be for 3rd grade."  I forgot about the whole thing.

The last week of school, Jackson's teacher was getting report cards and test scores together and noticed that he had 2 scores on the testing report:  a 97 and a 98.  Something told me to call the director and just ask.  I knew they wouldn't have a spot...it was June.  But I had to know if he qualified.  She answered the phone on the first ring and confirmed that they could use either score. J HAD QUALIFIED AND THEY STILL HAD SPOTS OPEN.   Darron was on a flight to New Hampshire and I had no way of talking to him for hours.  

I am happy to say Jackson will be attending the Charles Townes Center for Highly Gifted Students this fall.

God once again taught me that His plans are perfect and in His Time.  A door that I thought was closed and locked was opened when He was ready.   Reminds of Jackson's birth...it was all in His time...not ours.