Unexpected Big Changes

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Each of our kids is unique. They always have been. Denver was the “on point” kid every time. Every milestone, every clothing size, every single step was right on target. Right on projected ideals. He was always calm, always smart (though unwilling to put in the effort…got bored with school). He had dreams, and often got a single-minded view of them until he achieved them…i.e. He’s in Florida, working at Disney now. Molly is unique in her own way. She was delayed in many aspects, speech, occupational, physical…but we knew she was brilliant in there. We could tell at two, with the way she could take the pieces from 10 different board puzzles laid out on the floor and put them away in 2 minutes flat. She would literally read the words in books at the age of three…silent, but sure. She’s grown up to continue the trend of intelligence, doing even better now that she’s had appropriate therapies for her SPD issues. Loves school and craves the structure of her every day. Kennedy…she has always been a free spirit. Her imagination, though sometimes morbid, is brilliant and vivid. She sees life in such brilliant color, she is so sensitive, and caring, and crazy-talented in art. She loves to read, draw, color, and watch movies…but struggles in math. School, especially the cruel world of middle school, is rough on her sensitive heart. She hates sitting in a seat ALL Day long. When the school year started this year, Molly went back with eager abandon. Kennedy trudged there begrudgingly. Then, a few weeks ago Erik came to me with a thought.  He said, “I’ve been thinking that maybe Kennedy would do better home schooled.” Honestly, I sat and stared at him in shock.  I had approached the idea of home schooling when the girls were younger, and Denver was entering middle school. He’d bald-faced refused with such vehemence that I have never broached the subject again. Even more – several times over the summer I’d looked into one of the online public schools thinking it would be good for Kennedy. As one of her old friends had been withdrawn from school to attend one a couple of years ago, I’d been more and more curious. Her friend was doing so well under the different way of learning, and the conversations I’d had with his mom had made me intrigued. Still, knowing Erik’s aversion I’d always closed the tab in my browser saying, “Erik will never go for it.” Yet, here he was approaching me with the idea. The past month we have researched, gone over the possibility with Kennedy herself.  Kennedy was fully on board. Erik still had some reservations. We asked Molly if she would feel bad if her sister did school at home and she didn’t, to which she said, “Don’t you DARE take ME out of school! I don’t want to leave!” After we reassured her this was for Kennedy, and that she’d remain in regular school, she was good with it. We did some more research. Talked to my friend about her experience. Talked to the online school. Talked to each other at length. The fact that it is still a state-certified public school, with local teachers is a huge bonus. She’ll have some work each day to do at the computer.  She’ll be able to get credit for doing activities outside of the virtual classroom.  Her hours of PE are up to us & her how they are done. Different home activities will count. She’ll be able to take sign language for her foreign language. She’ll be able to do a full year of art without “special accomodations”. There are many clubs to join that are up her alley, and there is a local group of students that meet regularly for socializing and learning activities. It’s a much more creative way to learn. It’s a much more Kennedy way to learn. And the decision was made. Monday we start this new adventure. It was unexpected, but is exciting. So, off we goooooo!!!!!   Read more »

Tech-Free at Disney – Disney, Universal, Make-A-Wish

There’s a weird thing that happens once my plane touches down in Florida. Technology becomes unnecessary. I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m at home, it’s everywhere, in everything. I work on my computer, I play on my computer (and phone). When I’m away from it too long, I get a little twitchy (although I’ve found this to be less and less of the case since in the past couple of years). I’ll admit, on our first trip in 2014 while I didn’t have my phone out at all…the first couple of days I had out our camera taking pictures of EVERYTHING. No joke, I’m still editing photos 3 years later. Then, rather quickly, I stopped snapping photos every two seconds. I realized I was seeing our vacation through the screen of a camera. I wasn’t living it to my fullest extent. I was having fun…but I wasn’t IN it. So I put the camera (mostly down).  I pulled it out for big moments. I pulled it out for some cool shots…but I let the Disney photogs do their duty and dove headlong into it. I never regretted a moment. I never missed my phone. Disney has a lot of magic. For me, a huge bit of magic pulled me away from screens and showed me how much I don’t miss them if I’m living. I’m looking forward to our next trip in a couple of weeks. I’ll be putting away the phone and soaking in the fun!   Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

The Empty Room

A few years ago we longed for this day. For the past year we’ve dreaded it. This past Friday arrived. Dreaded, anticipated, excitedly awaited, tearfully faced… The teen got in his car and drove hundreds of miles away to the land he calls home. I have been a bit of a mess through the whole thing – and yet I’m proud of how I’ve handled it all.  Because, knowing his aversion to overly emotional stuff, I’ve kept my cool, and only been a bit more huggy than usual. We had our time to talk, and I was emotionally exhausted on the day he left, and been glad for the preoccupation of plenty of other things since he’s been gone. But there are those times. Those brief moments… When it overwhelms. When I cry. The empty room. Soon it will be cleared out and transformed into my home office again. But it isn’t yet. There are still pieces of him in there. And we all still pause outside the door expecting to hear Disney music emanating from within. The quiet nights. Nightly he would hang out with me after everyone else was in bed…we’d watch a Disney show of some kind, or Star Trek, or just talk with some random show on.  No matter what, the boy would be chatting, annoying, teasing, something… I still sit at my desk and glance at the door expecting him to walk through the door. It’s the frequent reminding of myself that he isn’t going to walk through that door that hurts. I know in time I will adjust. I know that he is happy. I know that I am incredibly proud. But oof… This empty nest thing hurts…even when you have two more sitting around pestering you.   Read more »