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(First and totally unrelated to the rest of the post: we have a French press now to make our coffee, and SWEET MARY IS IT SO MUCH BETTER THAN OUR OLD DRIP COFFEE. And I love – no, subsist – on coffee as my morning ritual, so although this takes longer, it’s like graduating from Natty Light to Newcastle: I can’t ever have the old kind again without knowing the truth of what’s out there. Yum.)

So, yesterday was an emotional Jack day for me. I had his IEP meeting in the afternoon, and it was so overwhelming, which really threw me for a loop after a couple years of these. First, there were ten, maybe eleven people in the room, and I had no idea why or who all these professionals were. Speech, Occupational, Resource teacher, Pre-school teacher, Kindy teacher, Principal, Special Needs advocate, Psychologist and a few others thrown in to raise the temperature level it seemed like. And it was surreal the way they discussed Jack as if he were an inanimate object, a case-study maybe. And don’t get me wrong, they are very kind and loving people, I feel ridiculously blessed we are in the school district we are. But at one point they were clinically explaining all his deficits and below developmental-average percentages, and I just burst into tears. The whole room stared at me for a second, totally confused as to why I’d be crying, when the spark of realization that they were talking to the mother of this real child hit them.

I am more anxious about how successful Jack will be in Kindergarten than I have been about anything previously. His pre-k is a program geared towards kids with various special needs. There are at least 5 adults in the room, and most of the kids have IEPs of some sort. But next year will be Jack mainstreamed in a normal classroom where he most likely could be one of maybe two kids who are special needs. The IEP team had a heated and obviously old argument about how much Para time could be allocated to him. I mean, they’re arguing over whether “Jacoby” will succeed in a three hour class with 60 minutes, or if he really needs 90 minutes of personal adult attention, and I know they’re thinking solely of time and budget. But I, on the other hand, am picturing my sweet boy having an anxiety attack and melting down in this alien environment. And the truth is, we’re all a little nervous how it will go – and this is a new feeling for us as a team. This is a wonderful school filled with genuinely caring people who adore my son (thus I adore them), so I know he has a great support net. I just feel so helpless to help him sometimes. And basically, it scares the shite out of me to know the professionals who know him almost as well feel the same way. There’s just not a lot we can do besides pray and wait.

But on a lighter note, we had Jack’s first of two birthday parties last night, along with another little boy in his class with an April birthday. The kids all had fun, and I was so proud of how Jack handled it. He was a champ, even during the few moments when I could see he was overwhelmed. At one point he stood up on his bench in the noisy pizza room and hollered THIS IS THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! Ha.

He’ll turn 5 next week, and he’s come so far it’s unbelievable. I love that little fartknocker so much my heart hurts with it.

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And I mean really, who couldn’t?

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