Sunday, March 30, 2008

How does my Garden Grow?

My life is finally settling down a bit so I can spend some time catching up on my Year in the Life Card Challenge by Suzanne. I finished my Garden card. I enjoyed doing this one because it really made me think about the things that "make my garden grow". Love, friendship, health, art, strength, support and me time are a few that make my garden grow.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sure Signs of Spring!

I love Spring! It is the time of year that you can see, feel and smell that renewal is coming. The flower and tree buds blooming, the warming weather, the allergies (LOL) all let me know that summer is approaching. My favorite time of year is the summer. I love to explore the great outdoors and when I can feel Spring approaching then I know my most favorite time of year is approaching. I snapped a few sure signs of spring today~the signs that always catch my eye and let me know it is spring!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My son returns...

My son, Scotty, is in his Senior year at High School and about 5 months ago he decided he wanted to move out. He wasn't happy, he had been quite hostile at home and very difficult to manage. So, on his 18th birthday he told me I couldn't stop him and he was moving. He broke my heart. He was my first born and I have always had an incredible connection with him. I was proud of the boy he was and took such pride in raising him and teaching him all I could to assure he would be the best man he could be. I have always loved sitting back and looking at him and knowing that I had a part in making him the great kid he is. Everything I did and everything I tried to teach him was a conscious attempt to help him learn everything I thought he needed in life, to protect him from any harm, to help him understand and learn the things that I thought I didn't learn growing up. And now, he had rejected me in the way that hit me the hardest~not only did he want to leave me but he was highly critical of me as a mother.

I couldn't stop him. He moved out and headed out on his own. I tried to get information from anyone I could, counselors at his school, friends I confide in, to figure out how to be a mother to him in this new way. I wasn't sure how to make sure he was o.k. and how to care for him when it appeared he didn't want anything to do with me. I found myself in a position where I had no control over what he did. do I do this with my heart broken over this child I love so deeply. I was in terrible pain. I questioned whether I had been the mom I thought I was or maybe I really was flawed as a parent.

I took it slowly. I checked in every now and then and tried to find out from teachers and school counselors how he was doing. Gradually, over time, he began calling and texting me to say hi. It was hard to get him to come over and visit. I think he really wasn't ready at that time. A few months later I began initiating contact a little more frequently just to check in on him. I was trying to develop a new relationship with my son, one of friendship and less of a mother~son relationship. Over the last 5 months, we have come a long way. We are probably more close now than we ever have been.

Last week, Scotty called and said he wanted to move back in with me. He said that he has learned so much while taking care of himself and he feels like he has grown up. He is trying to finish high school (finger crossed here everyone!), he is working at a job he likes, he saved up enough money to buy his own truck and he feels really proud of himself. He then told me that there was so much that he resented when he was at home with me, like having to pay his own cell phone bill and car insurance, that he thought I should just do for him and having a sister with special needs. He said that he understands now that if I hadn't done that with him that he would have fallen flat on his face when he moved out. He said he didn't know it at the time, but he knows now that he has one of the best mom's anyone could have. He said he understands everything I have tried to teach him and why now.

He then told me a story. On one of his very first days at his job, he didn't know anything or where anything was and a man came in and needed help finding things. He said he didn't know anything but he ran around helping this man. Just recently that man came back into his work and he recognized Scotty. He said, "Aren't you the kid who helped me the last time I was in here?" and Scotty told him yes, that was him. The man turned to the woman who was cashiering and told the woman how helpful Scotty was when he was in the last time and how much he appreciated it. The woman said, "Yes, we hear that a lot about Scotty." The man then turned to Scotty and said, "I want you to go home and I want you to tell your Mom 'thank you'."

Scotty told me at the time he didn't understand why the man said that. He said it went right over his head. But as he thought about the statement more, he understood what the man was saying to him. He told me that it was then that he realized how who he was has so much to do with everything his mom has tried to teach him. He was able to think back to everything that sounded like a foreign language to him over the years and the things he resented and he was now able to make a connection with it.

This child of mine...oh, he made me break down into tears. These were tears of pure joy though. Oh how I longed to hear my son say these things to me. I just never thought it would be now, at eighteen. I expected it to be years down the road.

My son, he is my greatest accomplishment in life. I believe he will be a great man, a great husband and a great father. I look at him and I have such joy in my heart. I have done a good thing and I get to be his friend.

Jovanna turns 10!

Jovanna celebrated her 10th birthday yesterday at Spaghetti Factory. She had a really good time and was pleased with her party. She was so happy her Grandpa was able to be there. She said that made it the most special birthday ever. She said she wants him to know how important he is to her and that he is loved. Jovanna's had a field and stream cake and a tiara~that's what she wanted and it was her day so I did what would make her happy! LOL! Here's a few shots from her party...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Disappointed and Let Down!

It is official. Jovanna will not be attending the educational placement that we have been waiting for her to start at for more than a month. She has been anxiously awaiting her start at Edgefield and on Friday decorated a folder with her home tutor for her anticipated start at her new school on March 4th. I never got a call directly from the school to let us know that everything had fallen apart, only from others who are a part of Jovanna's team. It appears that the teachers who would have been working with Jovanna in the classroom didn't want to. They went to the school district that operates the school under the guise of "not able to meet her IEP goals". We had a final meeting this last friday with the Director of Special Education for the school district and some others. I decided it would be in everybody's best interest if I participated in the meeting over the phone by conference call because my anger and emotions are so elevated about this. I had to sit and listen to very well prepared, politically correct statements by the Director of Special Education as they tried to cover their tracks in this unspeakable thing that just happened. More than a month ago, I was told that Jovanna was accepted into their program, this was going to be the educational placement that was going to be successful for Jovanna where others have not been. They were going to spend the next month getting specialized training in Autism/Aspergers and they were going to hire and train a one-on-one who would be assigned to Jovanna.

In this meeting, I listened to them say how their was a "miscommunication", that they never really accepted Jovanna into the program. That they don't have the "physical space" nor the expertise to work with her. I listened intently through the meeting and felt like Jovanna's advocates covered our concerns and issues quite well, so I kept quiet. But when the conversation turned to this school districts grandiose plans sometime in the future to have a special school setting or classroom specifically for children with Autism or Autism Spectrum like Jovanna, I became frustrated listening to their plans because it doesn't help my child now nor answer to what they just did to us.

I explained that there was no "miscommunication". I received a call letting me know that Jovanna was accepted into their program~no mistaking that message. I was told of the plans to delay her start date to March 4th so they could spend the next month getting specialized training and so they could research more Jovanna's needs so they would be prepared with what to expect. I was told a one-on-one was being hired and trained to work directly with Jovanna. I explained how Jovanna has been anxiously awaiting her start at her new school where she believes this is the right place for her. The folder she hand decorated just a few days ago to bring with her to her new school. I explained that she doesn't even know that she will not be starting at this new school. I don't even know how to tell her what has happened. I explained that they do have the physical space and the right environment to help Jovanna, they have the missing pieces that the other schools did not have that she needed. I told them that I felt let-down and Jovanna has been let-down and I was deeply dissapointed in what has happened. And this was all said in the nicest, most p.c. way I could say it.

I am thankful to have a good team who are committed to Jovanna. They are trying to pick up the pieces and find her the best educational environment where hopefully she will have what she needs to learn the skills she needs and be successful.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I am a little behind but I took the time today to work on my Year In the Life "Escape" Card as part of Suzanne's challenge. I know exactly what it means for me to escape. I am able to leave my worries and thoughts behind and have peace inside when I escape. My escape is when I scrapbook or do some kind of paper crafting and when I have alone time where my brain can be quiet and not think about anything.

My Junk Drawer

The challenge Suzanne put out to us is to give you a peek into our junk drawers. We all have them. I have had some pretty atrocious junk drawers in my years, ones that were so full and heavy that the sliders and hinges were busting...but luckily we have only been at our current place for about 5 months so I am not too reluctant to share our current junk drawer. I have no idea what that stuff is in there! Enjoy!