Sunday, January 30, 2011

Too soon.........

I knew the day was coming, thought I was prepared, thought I had prepared Mary well enough. Still, in the back of my mind did I ever think I would be helping my 10 year old through her first period? No. That's right, Mary got her period, and she is only 10. Her doctor informed us long ago that developmentally delayed children go through puberty earlier. Why, I have no idea, but believe me I am trying my hardest to understand. I have even come to a few of my own conclusions. So far, Mary seems to be doing well enough with it all, probably better than I am. I know she is a little scared, a little confused and afraid of it hurting. It seems that no matter how I try to explain to her that she is not a teenager, her body keeps telling her otherwise! It is getting to a point where I have to remind myself that she is only 10, small comfort to me that she will be 11 in 3 months. At her last Dr. appointment, she measured in at 5 ft. tall, she now wears a bra without being told, and she is completely boy crazy. These things may have happened with my two other girls (only a bit older), but for them it seemed like a natural course of events. Not to mention, I never had as much "hands on" experience with either of them.

So, now I have to go back to keeping a monthly calendar, and try to teach her how to properly care for herself. I know it is not going to be easy, because naturally my first instinct is to just do it myself. I know I can't do that, but don't think I have not tossed and turned with thoughts of keeping her home from school on those days, or just hanging out at school with her. My husband, who thinks I just look for things to stress out about, is right there with me on this one. Believe me, I know what I have to do if I want to maintain even the slightest bit of sanity. Like everything else, we will get through this. Thank God it only comes once a month!

One of my theories on why this has to happen at such a young age is really quite simple. Isn't it better to have all these raging hormones and developmental milestones happening now while I can still control it? If I can reign it in, and drill it all into her now, then I won't have an out of control teenager on my hands years from now. Right? It's a theory, but for now it gives me some comfort. Or it may be that I have never been able to accept the fact that things are the way they are and sometimes there just is no explanation.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Staying put....for now

Well, it seems my Mary is just a little too advanced for the last school we visited. I know, this should make me happy. We did hear of another school which is for "high functioning" children. All sounds perfect, except the tuition. Yes, they do accept Florida's Mckay Scholarship money, but we would have to put Mary in public school for a year, then say she can't learn in that environment, apply for the funds, and there you go. However, I refuse to put Mary in public school. I am sure it is fine for some kids, but for someone like Mary, it would be devastating. Maybe I'm over reacting, but even the psychologist said it would set her back. Right now, she is in a place where there are kids just like her, academically, she is ahead of a lot of them. Place her somewhere where she is aware that she is not like the majority of students, and the stress and anxiety she will suffer will be great.

This other school does sound promising. They will be having an open house soon, and I will attend, even though the tuition is astronomical. So for now, we are staying put. Mary has grown so much in just the last few weeks, and as long as we keep drilling things into her, eventually she catches on. Who knows what the next school year will bring, we could win the lottery, Florida could change the way they give scholarship money, who knows, stranger things have happened. Besides, she is in 4th grade, I am just happy to find that there is more out there for her than I thought.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


It has been a while since my last post. Christmas break was so relaxing I didn't even try thinking too hard about anything! However, I had been continually praying for guidance with Mary and her school situation. Low and behold, I sit down to read the newspaper, and on the front page is an article about a school close by for children with special needs. An answer to a prayer? That's exactly what I thought. Then, imagine my frustration at it being the first day of the school break. I cannot reach anyone at the school for two weeks! So, I emailed them anyway, just to let them know I was very interested in touring their school. Finally, yesterday I talked to someone and have an appointment tomorrow. It looks promising, if anything, they offer services that could be helpful in addition to staying where she is.

So, we are back to school, back to Dr. appointments, and generally starting to think about things again. I noticed on the second day of school, Mary gave me absolutely no grief about getting ready in the morning. After such a long break, it usually takes her a while to get back in the swing of things. It was obvious the night before school started that she was stressing, so I woke up prepared for the worst. Well, the worst never came, here it is Wednesday, and still no breakdown. I mean, she even made her bed! Then I started to think back on the last couple of weeks, and I realized, Mary's behavior has changed, she seems to be gaining independence, and behaving more responsibly. In a way, that makes me sad. It's like when you realize your children are not babies anymore, only with Mary it's coming at age 10. I guess it's about time!

I sometimes get tired of hearing all the cliche's, like God not giving you more than you can handle, or everything happens for a reason, etc... But for me, these very cliche's seem to always be true. Just when I start to basically give up and say "whatever, I don't care", or I start to feel my faith slipping, something happens to set me straight. I realized today that this change in Mary is one of those times. Like always with Mary (and myself), God does things in his own time. I have finally accepted that there will always be something to deal with in life, not only with Mary, but with all of us. I don't know which feels better, seeing my kids grow and learn, or seeing it in myself.