You know that there's something...different. Something tiny but incredibly powerful has fallen neatly into place, culminating in the blissful marriage of maturity and cognitive growth. And how beautiful that marriage is...a marriage meant to last. I hope.
As surely as the growth of the human body can be detected through sleeves and pant legs that are suddenly, slightly too short, growth of mind and spirit can also be detected through that sudden realization one day that the last few weeks have been...easier. Not like things aren't always easy, because really, they are! But something has clicked for Samantha, evidenced by the lengthier, more mature conversations we've had, her ability to comprehend far more than ever before, to begin to absorb more conceptual ideas, to transition so much more easily from one activity to the next, to participate in class (!!!!).
It really was quite sudden. A bright little light shining on her, made even brighter by the smile of enthusiasm and pride that radiates across her face at the knowledge of a job well-done.
This kid keeps me in check. I've said it before, and will say it again, but I will never, never underestimate her again. Never will I think, oh, she can't/won't/couldn't. She CAN/WILL/COULD! Who knows?
My kid. Who would NEVER participate in a group activity. Who would NEVER get up in front of the class for any reason, preferring instead to cross her arms, lower her head, pout...
Last week, when called upon to present her Timeline project, a board with a photo of her from each year of her life so far, accompanied by sentences written by her (yeah, yeah, I told her what to write) about her First, Second, Third, etc. years, got up with no hesitation, walked to the front of the class, took the pointer from the teacher, pointed to each photo on the timeline, and read each sentence to her classmates.
And, holding their breaths both in astonishment and in fear of losing the moment, both her teacher and her aide were floored. Needless to say, I received a very excited e-mail from her teacher immediately afterwards. I read it over and over again, tears in my eyes, absorbing each word as my eyes moved across the message, barely able to believe it myself.
The next day we learned that the class would be doing a Thanksgiving presentation the following Tuesday, in which they would be standing in groups, in front of their classmates and their parents, reading a poem about the Pilgrims. Sammi's group of 3 students would have 4 lines to recite together. 4 lines. In front of the class. Yeah, right. Good thing there were 2 other kids in her group or else her part would never be performed...
The day before yesterday I witnessed a real miracle. I saw my girl, happiness and excitement glowing on her face, her eyes fixed on me, wait her turn patiently, stand with her group, recite her part perfectly, and grin from ear to ear with pride and accomplishment when they'd finished. "I did it!" she exclaimed as the next group began their part in the program. Mommy nearly burst with excitement and the promise of a truly bright educational future. In just a week, a key part of her IEP has been accomplished, the part that kept me up at night.
She did it!
|Gah! Stop twisting your hair!!!!!! Btw, I'd post video of her stage debut, but in the interest of keeping her friends anonymous, I can't. Friend me and check out my FB wall if you want to watch it...|