November 21, 2014

Big Changes, Big Girl

It's so weird the way things work out sometimes. I'm especially fascinated by how my online life relates to my real world one. I have found on more than one occasion I jinx myself when writing about things that are going well.

This week, I shared publicly for the first time that SB is gifted. It is something I had been afraid to "come forward" with for some time. But as we found ourselves, and her, struggling more and more and working to find solutions, I decided the time was right to be open about our situation.

The response to my post was very positive and supportive. Just one day after it went live, I was in a meeting with my daughter's teacher, her school's psychologist, guidance counselor and the director of the county's gifted program. The objective was to draft her Education Plan. We had originally been told she would begin the program in January. But on Tuesday, they informed me arrangements had been made for her to begin the very next day.

Um, what?!

This is no small thing. It involves her taking a bus to a different school one day a week. We have driven by that school to point it out to her, and had begun to talk about the gifted program as something that might be coming. But only at a high level. And in future terms, with no sense of immediacy, because we didn't have it.

In retrospect, I suppose I could have told them no. That we needed to wait until January in order to better prepare SB. She does not like change, or surprises. I underestimated just how much and decided we would move forward.

SB freaked out. Her initial reaction was very negative. And I understood. She got thrown a curve ball. A pretty big one. But once she had the opportunity to feel all the feelings, process the information and ask questions, she was ready to face this new challenge head on. Screams of, "I can't!" and "I won't!" turned to proclamations of, "I can!" and "I will!" And there was even a tinge of excitement.

I drove her directly to the new school on Wednesday, thinking that would ease the transition. Her excitement was overcome by anxiety initially. She did not want to go into the classroom. I was anxious all day wondering how she was doing.

But the moment I saw her walking toward my car at pick up, a huge smile on her face, I was full of relief. She climbed into her booster seat and began to breathlessly recount her day. She LOVED it. She fit right in, making new friends, participating in the class activities, even figuring out how to get on the right bus to return to her regular school.

She did mention there was a lot of work, and the teacher told me it would be far more challenging than her usual classwork. She is currently the only Kindergartner in the program. But she did great and can't wait to go back. I knew that was how it would be once she got past the initial surprise and anxiety.

I'm so proud of my big girl!

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