A Friendship

ESY, Extended School Year, began on Monday at Spring Creek Elementary.  Those of you who have followed Riley’s school career would know that sending Riley through those doors would have me rattled.  As a three year old, Riley entered ESE through Spring Creek’s Functional Skills Classroom.  While we made many wonderful connections we maintain to this day, our experiences there with the administration were less than desirable.  Typical for this Dragon Mom, I made my feelings quite evident to all.  Here is a post on the lovely Katie conducting Sensitivity Training at the school: http://rileyssmile.com/spring-creek-elementary-sensitivity-training/.

The bus arrived with a new driver, which also tends to test this crazy woman.  Fortunately, the driver and assistant were timely, calm and pleasant.  At the end of the school day, Riley arrived home tired but safely.  His notes claimed he performed well, no issues and he was a “good student.”  The signature read”David J…”  David?  He has a male teacher.  So, along the way, things really did change at Spring Creek.  I waited until Wednesday to make my unannounced appearance at the school towing Ronan along roughly in my anxiety.  No one argued or was unpleasant the whole way into the school, at the desk or during my escort to the classroom.  Weird!  Same old classroom, stripped of it’s supplies and color (that was expected as Kate had shipped it all to Rayma years ago).  We discovered them painting landscapes and were greeted warmly by the instructor, two helping teachers and a very familiar Physical Therapist.  I knew these walls, but know one had challenged me or even frowned.  In fact, we were welcomed.

Throughout the school year our teacher is a Staffing Specialist.  During the summer he likes to keep connected with the reality our children face.  How amazing is that?  I can do this.  It’s alright.  Riley can be there out of my sight and I know all will be well.   I am grateful!

The door opened up to a brisk woman looking very good in tight jeans and high heals as though she may be heading to the mall for a lunch with the ladies.  She found me quickly.  “You’re mom?,” she asked.  “Yes.”  She introduced herself as the Principal.  Oh, no wonder all was different.  Here was an entirely new administration than the one I associated with the school.  Yes, I can do this.  Riley is safe and cared for here.  Our teacher also took the opportunity of the Principals’ visit to request another helping teacher for their 4 one on one students…. yes, this class is a handful.

After she had gone as quickly as she appeared, Mr. David wanted me to see some class interaction.  He smiled excitedly, “Watch this!,”  maneuvering Riley’s wheelchair next to Brooke, a beautiful young girl with a huge smile and bright eyes I recognized from the regular classroom.  Brooke turned in her wheelchair to face Riley, throwing up both arms high over head before reaching out to take a gentle hold of his arm.  Riley nodded toward her before glancing away as if to say, “oh, it’s you again.”  She threw her arms up again to demonstrate her pleasure and placed her hand again on Riley’s forearm, keeping it there throughout the remainder of our visit.

Riley has a friend.  All my fears and worries.  Yes, oftentimes justified.  Today, however, things are right.  Riley and Brooke have formed a connection.  Riley has made a friendship.

Sometimes we find beauty in unexpected places!  I am grateful!

This was on my mind when John and I settled down to watch one of our favorite summer guilty pleasures: So You Think You Can Dance.  We wondered what to expect when Boris Penton gained the stage with his shy smile, red leather jacket and purple hair wings.  This performance could be anything.  The unexpected again.  Beautiful.  Momentous. Grounding.  A chrysalis becomes a butterfly.  Enjoy!

 

 

3 Responses to A Friendship

  1. pam says:

    so glad for the experience—so glad Riley for the touch of a friend for Riley…how are you seems like forever since I’ve been here..vacation and family weddings have kept me away….

  2. sydney says:

    So glad you caught a break and the summer program is actual enrichment(as it should be) and not sending you around the bend!

  3. Maija says:

    Thanks for sharing Stac! Riley, we love you! You will always be my friend too! Maija

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