Thursday, October 14, 2010

ABC Thursdays: volume O & K

Living in the city I have a different experience of being outside than I did when I lived in the suburbs. My reasons for being outside are different. Outside can seem really far away and sometimes it feels everywhere. It all depends on… the weather.

On beautiful days, outside is really far away. It takes so long to get out. And then once I’m out, I have to go somewhere. Gone are the days of having an outdoor area where I can just be. On beautiful days I have to get shoes on 3 people, pack snacks and drinks and gear up the stroller. I have to get us all down the flight of stairs and once we are outside, we still have to walk to the playground. The process feels long.

On days that are rainy, or windy, or cold, outside is everywhere. Most of the time when I need to get from one place to another, I walk. So, if I need to mail a package and it’s raining, I still need to mail a package. I walk the 10 blocks to the post office, with the stroller covered in a rainsheild and me hiding in a raincoat, hoping the package does not get too wet. There is no avoiding weather in the city.

It is entirely possible, however to avoid certain seasons in the city. The heat and the snow will find me no matter what. Summer and winter are a sure thing. But, if I want to enjoy Spring and Fall, I have to be proactive about doing so. I plan trips to the Botanical Gardens in the Spring and hiking trips and apple picking in the Fall. I make sure to go out and find these gentle seasons and spend some time appreciating them, because if I don’t, they are too easy to miss.

Kindergarten, I used to teach

It’s been about 5 years since I left the classroom. And I still feel like that part of my life is a big one. It still feels significant. I taught for 5 years: 2 years of bilingual ed in Massachusetts, and 3 years at a charter school in Brooklyn. I loved the kids. I loved building relationships with them. I loved seeing them learn. I think that was my favorite part…watching all that growth. I loved teaching reading and I loved doing art projects with them. At this point, I’m not sure if I will go back to teaching. Part of me doesn’t want to: it was exhausting. Part of me does: I was pretty damn good at it and I like doing things I’m good at. Anyway, it’s good to know that I’ll always have that. I’ll always have taught Kindergarten.

Kindergarten, My son is in
A few weeks ago Andrew entered Kindergarten and so far, so good. He’s going to a Special Needs Kindergarten just over the border into Sunset Park and things seem to be going pretty well. No calls from the teacher yet. When Andrew turned 5, a few months before school started, I was really, really sad about it. Since I am quite familiar with 5 year olds from my experience with Kindergarteners, it was the first time that I could clearly see why he needed so much support in school. I could see better than ever why, exactly, he was in Special Ed. And sending him off to Kindergarten made me feel very, very vulnerable. I was scared to send my high-need, challenging, brilliant, adorable kid to a new school without the supports that his preschool offered. But I did it. And, more so, he did it. And everything seems to be working out, just fine. One thing I know about Andrew is that he is here to learn. No matter what, he will learn something. He just can’t help himself.


Ruth said...

Beautiful sentiments in both lots of journaling.

Loralee said...

You're amazing, Robyn. I'm so glad I know you.

cheryl@scrapaddict4sure said...

Thank you for sharing. I have 2 kids who are special needs. One is in Kindergarden the other is in First Grader (I have a older child also but another subject) The transition from preschool to Kindergarden can be tough. The reason I am glad you shared this is
I dont have to feel so alone in this. Thank you