Rochester (the "big" town near us) has an adaptive park and rec program which offers some activities for kids with special needs through Community Ed. I missed the summer registration, but was able to get both kids registered for a couple of things this fall. On Saturday, Matthew and Maia spent a few hours at Stay-n-Play. The day is coordinated and staffed by college students who are pursuing special education degrees.
Matthew was a little apprehensive when we got there, but as soon as he saw the toys - he no longer cared that I was leaving - lol! And when I came back to pick the kids up, he was having a blast in a ball pit with a couple of other boys. I was feeling a bit learly about leaving Maia (just the hovering mom in me). It's hard when she can't communicate at all - either to let someone else know what she needs or to tell us what has happened. She is so vulnerable and that is a bit unsettling to me. But, I did leave her in very capable hands, knowing that she would have 1:1 care with one of the gals. I wish that I had a video camera rolling when I got back. Maia's back was to me when I walked in, so I was able to come along side of her and start talking before she saw me. She turned her head a little bit and I kept talking. Eventually, Maia turned to where she could see me and the smile that came over her face was absolutely beautiful. It brings me to tears just thinking about it. A smile of recognition and happiness that I was there. It also made me feel a bit bad, wondering if she thought that I had left her and wasn't coming back.
Stay-n-Play is offered once a month and the kids will go back in December for another visit. This Thursday, they will start swimming classes - once a week for eight weeks. I think it will be good for them. There is a support person for each child in the class. I won't be able to make it, but have told Mark to make sure he takes the video camera. Both kids love being in the water, so I'm sure it will be a hit.
Yesterday was Rally Sunday at church - the first day of Sunday School. The parents attend this first Sunday and all ages get together to talk about the upcoming year. At the end of the time, each age group gathered with their teachers and went outside for a picture of all the kids. I was not expecting to get so emotional when that happened. It hurt that Maia couldn't join the group by herself. Mark pushed her wheelchair. It hurts that she can't actively join in to things that she was so excited about last year.
My heart aches for my girl. Sometimes, I feel a bit bipolar in this journey. Now before anyone blasts me, I am not attempting to make any type of comparison about how I feel and bipolar disorder. It's more an analogy. Some days, I do just fine. I can be accepting of where Maia is at right now. And other times, I just grieve for what has been lost.
Anyway, it's Monday and we're back into the routine of school and work. Matthew had a really good day. It's going to be so much fun to watch how he thrives as a result of pre-school. Of course, there are the not-so-great things he brings home as a result of the other kids. But, we will have to handle those as the situation presents itself. I'm amazed at how much he has soaked up in just 7 days of school already.
I need to get some pics of Matthew to post, but will leave you with this cute one of Miss Maia.