Well, that was an unintended pause in writing. Let me catch everyone up on how things are going.
First, thank you to so many of you who left comments of support on my last post. I did visit my doctor, and we decided to help things along with an antidepressant. While I can’t say I’m feeling back to my old self yet, I do feel better, and I’m better equipped to sort through my feelings over the losses we’ve gone through this year. Tomorrow will probably be the hardest day to get through – tomorrow would have been my due date for the pregnancy I lost in February – but hopefully once that day is over I’ll feel more closure and can move past it.
Part of feeling depressed has included my unwillingness to be social. I feel some guilt for being a lousy friend over the past few months, but reaching out to others seemed too hard at times. I’m making a greater effort to get back in touch with friends and get out of the house more, even though it’s so much easier to stay home.
The remainder of the summer passed by peacefully here. Cordy and Mira finished summer camp, and we quickly fell into the back-to-school preparations. This year they’re both attending a new school together. Thanks to the enormous efforts of a workgroup of parents, teachers, and administrators (which I was a part of), plans were made last year to launch a new self-contained program for gifted students in third thru eighth grades, and that school was fast-tracked into creation for the start of this new school year. The idea was that it would help address some of different learning and social/emotional needs of gifted students.
Naturally, Cordy was very nervous about starting this new school. (Mira was less nervous, of course.) We visited a few times before the start of the school year to meet her teachers, including her special needs teacher who would be very involved in her daily activities. By the first day of school, she knew most of the staff she would be interacting with on a regular basis, she knew where to find her classrooms, and she was reassured that her teachers understood her unique issues and how they could work together to help her feel less anxious and be ready to learn.
So far? It’s been a fantastic success. Cordy’s teachers have been so sensitive to her needs, while at the same time gently pushing her outside of her safe zone to help her grow. Nearly every morning she gets on the school bus with a smile and – here’s the important part – she is smiling when she gets off the bus at the end of the day, too. I can’t remember the last time she’s been happy every day after school. Cordy is even telling me what they did at school! Again, this is all new, because usually the question of “so what did you learn at school today?” has always been met with, “I don’t remember.” I’m thrilled that she’s enjoying school again.
Mira was happy to discover that two of her best friends are in her new class. This helped her feel at home immediately, although it’s also resulted in some corrections for breaking the rules. She’s high-energy to begin with, but with her friends with her, it’s nearly impossible for her to not talk in class, or in the hallway, or stay on task, or not be too wiggly in her seat. She was recently diagnosed with ADHD, which comes as a shock to no one. Her behavior at school is getting better with effort, though, because she wants to make her teacher happy and be a good student.
The curriculum has also completely engaged Mira. They did a walking tour of the neighborhood around the new school last week, learning about building materials used and why certain styles were chosen. Yesterday, when I picked her up for a doctor’s appointment, she stopped and carefully examined the steps just outside the door. “I never noticed until now, but these steps are made of limestone,” she declared. Apparently they learned how to recognize different stone types while on their tour.
So it seems the school year is off to a great start, which makes me so happy for our kids. We’re all settling into the new routine and hopeful for a positive year ahead.