Posted by Rebecca Bingham, Special Needs Mommie | Posted in The Special Needs Mommy | Posted on 28-04-2011
There is change in the air over here. The jasmine is in full bloom, we are noticing more creepy crawlies flying around the lights at night. The kids can smell summer in the air. We have hit the home stretch in school. You know that point where there is too much school left to totally blow things off, but not enough to muster much effort? And that is just how the teachers feel. This time of year also strikes terror into the hearts of parents across the land. Spring break is the appetizer of what summer is going to be like. All kids. All day long. How do you cope? What do you do with your kids during the summer months?
For a few of my kids this is a pretty straight up process. My oldest, who will turn 11 this summer, really wants to do a few camps. She is a great athlete and has a passion for ice skating and theatre. So, tennis camp, basketball camp, ice skating lessons and Broadway by the Bay for her. Done and done. I can shove a Lunchable in her bag (or a couple of bucks, who are we kidding?) on her way out the door and she will be fine the whole day. She is hitting her stride in tween-dom and is currently my most difficult to parent child. Who knew? It’s not the one that is setting fire to things, but the one who sobs every night about how rotten the girls in 5th grade can be. She is right. Middle school is the pits. I am pretty sure I am going to home school her next year.
Tiny is also pretty easy. She will turn 5 this summer. This is her last year before she is off into the school system. I am having traditional “wait, when she was two I couldn’t WAIT for her to be at school all day, and now that she is a fun and happy girl, I am going to miss her so MUUUUCH” feelings. She just wants to spin and sing and dance. Easy peasy. I am going to have her continue at her preschool in the summer program. A few “dancing” classes and trips to the sprinkler park and she will have the best summer ever. Her only request is to have Joe, our local ice cream truck man, cater her birthday party. He shows up at the appointed time, the kids each choose their favorite and I hand over a shockingly low amount of money and we have the best birthday party ever.
Ace is only three. At this point, her developmental preschool and therapies probably will feel like summer fun times for her. The kind of fun times where they make you do all kinds of work that you don’t want to do and force you to be in long sessions during your nap time. Also, you don’t get to pick your nose or play in the ball pit until AFTER you do your core exercises. Wait, that kind of sounds like a summer program in boot camp. Too bad. I do wonder what kinds of things she will be able to do as she gets older. She is really social and enjoys sports and other physical things, but is going to be pretty different in ability level than her peers. I guess I can just put her in camps until she is old enough to notice that she feels out of place (if she ever does). I know that she will be playing AYSO soccer next year (with her daddy as the coach…) and possibly T ball. Special Olympics here we come (get your banners ready).
And that leads us to Cubby. Shocking, right? Here is the thing. He is doing much, much better these days. Not “its time to have play dates and go to regular school” better, but better. He has great meds and has been working really hard in therapies and is responding to behavior modification programs. He WANTS to go to camps. He wants to do fun things this summer. It is what other kids do and he wants to do it to (and no amount of me promising him all the snow cones he can eat if he just stays home and plays with me is doing anything to change that). I am terrified to send him into a situation where he will not be successful. I know he can hold it together, but he doesn’t always manage to do it. He is an amazing athlete and that might be the right answer for him. But I worry. How can I help him be successful and still fun? Do any of you have secret weapon camps for me?