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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Reflections on work

Since it is the Labor Day weekend, and I've been now back to work for about 2 weeks, I thought I'd sum up my feelings.  Overall, the transition back to school has been very smooth.  Perhaps I said in a previous post (or perhaps not), but all of the students that I have this year, I had in elementary school.  That has made a WORLD of difference, since I know exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are, what kind of behaviors we are dealing with and what they are working on academically.  Certainly they are in a different place and have progressed from 3 years ago, but many of the issues that they were experiencing in 2008 are still reoccurring themes now.  Such is life when you are working with children with Autism...at least that has been my experience.
The Chinese Noodle LOVES going to the babysitter's house and is quite happy to head off each morning.  Starting tomorrow, she'll be at a new preschool (5 mornings a week) so that will be a new twist, but I feel confident that she'll handle it in stride. 
In all honesty, I feel like going to the babysitter's house has been best thing for her, in this whole situation.  She is surrounded by children of different ages and has to interact and play with them in a less structured situation.  While the nursery school that she has attended the past 2 years was play-based, it was only for 2 hours and with peers that were her same age.  Unfortunately, she's not such a big fan of the tot group (toddlers and babies), mainly because she doesn't want them to get "their glop" on her stuff.  Learning tolerance, communication and empathy are something that can only be learned 'on the job'!  Besides, it is good preparation for when we go back for Mei Mei (settle down, no immediate plans as of yet).

J has been a great support for me, as I knew he would be, and steps up all the time to help out either with the Noodle or around the house.  We seem to have established a 'new normal', and overall it is working. 

While I still wish I was able to be at home with the Noodle, I know that the Lord has blessed me with talents that many people do not possess.  I don't write that to sound egotistical, but the truth of the matter is that most people hear what I do everyday and shrink away.  They cannot fathom spending 5 days a week trying to teach a child who is non-verbal how to read (it can be done!) or how to calm a 215 lb. student who is in a rage.  Many days I have no idea what to do or how to help my students.  Often I leave physically, emotionally and mentally drained (but honestly, who doesn't from their job?!) however I also know that I run a tough classroom, expect a lot out of my students and will not tolerate them not performing to their highest ability.  I can only attribute this to the gifts and abilities that the Lord has bestowed upon me.  I know that I bring him glory when I am at work, and so for this season of my life, I will do so.  Much like I know I brought glory to Him by staying home with the C.N. for that season and will (hopefully) do so again when it is time to get Mei Mei.

The last change that we have made was for the Noodle to stop the violin, at least for now.  Practices had been becoming harder and harder as the summer wore on, and she was starting to make comments like "I want to make ugly sounds with the violin" or "I reeeeeealy don't like the violin".  I had thought that maybe we'd stick it out until Nov. (which would be a year), but by last week, decided it was silly to keep going when she obviously wasn't interested...she is only 4 and a half after-all! 

So....that's what life has been like around these parts lately.  A bit more hurried and scurried in the mornings and late afternoons but still lots of laughter, hugs and love :)


Debbie Sauer said...

I'm glad things are going well for all of you. Go back to China for another. You are such wonderful parents and there are so many babies over there. Blessings

Andrea said...

Glad to hear things are working well in this new season. So beautiful what you wrote about how God has gifted you with this ability and how you are using it for His glory. How great is our God!

Susan said...

Glad that work is going so well! You are definitely gifted with patience which is something that many of us (myself included) don't possess an abundance of! That's awesome that CN is doing so well at school. My girls started last week & are both doing WAY better than I expected - amazing how God just takes care of things that we had been sooo worried about :)