What is best?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself that over the last 12 years. It is never clear, it is never easy to determine.
Olivia started junior high this year. I was extremely worried about how she would handle all of the changes. She had a new bus driver, new teachers, new classmates, new building, new everything and I wouldn’t be there before and after school. I was so, so, so worried about how that would go.
It’s gone really well.
She gets on the bus with no fuss. She doesn’t cry and carry on during the day. She gets off the bus at the sitter’s house even though I’m not there. When I ask her how her day was, she says “GRRRREEEEAAAATTTTT!!!!” and smiles.
It makes me so happy to hear that she’s transitioning so well. If you would have told me this last year, I would have been over the moon. I would have just been thrilled to hear she was safe and happy.
I got her schedule last week for open house. It said Art period 1 and then special ed room for the rest of the day. Which means she’s only with “typical” kids for one period of the day.
My heart sank. This is not what I wanted for her. This is not what she’s used to. I also found out that she goes to lunch with the other kids in her special ed room before everyone else gets there. Which means they sit together and not with typical kids. This bothers me too.
I don’t want her to be the “weird” girl they only see at lunch and during 1st period. I want her to be Olivia. I want her to watch them and see how they act and emulate that as well. I want her to be a true part of school and maybe even make friends.
She’s happy. She’s transitioning well. It’s all good. Shouldn’t that be enough?
I talked with Matt, who never ceases to amaze me with his calmness and wisdom, and he reminded me that it’s the first week of school. The teacher is new, Olivia is new, everything is new. We should just be happy that for right now, she’s happy. Maybe in October we can start think about integration.
It’s so easy for me to make decisions based on emotions. It’s hard to take the emotions out of it. It’s sometimes difficult to focus on what is best for Olivia, not what I think or feel she needs.
I just want to know integration is on the horizon. I just want to know that she’s not locked away somewhere like someone who doesn’t deserve to be with everyone else. I want her to maybe even make some friends. I want so much for her sometimes I can’t keep it all inside.
But for right now I’m just going to focus on what is best: she is transitioning well and she is happy.