as fine a representation of what our afternoons are like as any I can think of
The bus in the afternoon has been smooth sailing since the initial bumpiness. What a relief that is. I’m still out there each afternoon to meet it; I’d spoken the last two days to the driver, joking about how the girls needed to work on saying “my stop.” He’s always had a cap and sunglasses on, but today when he let them off, he didn’t have them on. He grinned and said, “These your girls, Kim?” Hah, and I recognized him; we’d gone to school together since 5th grade or so and actually rode the same bus, dang near the same exact route he’s driving today.
What a wonderfully small world. I teach kids whose parents I went to school with. I see these kids in Cisco’s hallways. One of my girl’s principals I went to school with, and their bus driver is someone I went to school with! One of my daughters sits next to the son of another girl I went to school with. Ain’t it grand?
See, I didn’t have this community for the 14 years I was gone from Texas, traveling the East coast and Germany with my husband as he was transferred from post to post. I didn’t even realized I missed it. We’ve been back now for eight years; I’m in my sixth year of teaching for Cisco, and between childhood peers who stayed here and the students I’ve taught over these years, I know people. It’s a wonderful thing to witness history in action, to see roots grow, to grow old in a place where you are known. I grew up here feeling out of place; it’s why I didn’t mind leaving. It’s a joy to realize there’s a place for me here, that I can create my own niche where I fit.
I hope my daughters will feel they fit better than I did, that their place is assured. I don’t know if they will because of their ASD, but I hope they will. I think they are more comfortable in their skins than I was at that age, so maybe it won’t be an issue. Oddly enough, I know my bright boy feels none of this outsider stuff at the center. He has his niche. I know he feels it outside that comfort zone (but don’t we all?). Maybe it took getting comfortable in my own skin at this relatively late date to find that I fit just fine.
Back to afternoon delights, though. The bus ride may be smooth sailing (although do I now need to feel some sympathy that their bus driver has my girls in the seat behind him? Should I offer chocolate?), but the aftermath of the school day still has me wondering exactly why I’m not into drinking the hard stuff like Thelma and Louise.
The meltdowns occur once we get in the house as the girls release all their pent up frustration and egg each other on and Bobby gets involved.
Today Bobby decided to tell Lil that he’d been playing her saved Pokemon game (yes, on his own DS) and that he’d traded one critter for another. A half hour later, Lil was still sobbing about this virtual character, and I was seriously questioning why we had any electronics. Now, I’m not blaming a bit of this on autism; what we have here is sibling rivalry and it makes me figure that my baby brother and I have been bad examples for the kids as hard a time as we give each other in front of the girls.
Once I got Lil sorted out and Bob redirected, I tried to get Rosie to do her homework. Yeah. Meltdown time for her. Rosie does one evening of homework with her daddy (I worked last night) and now she thinks all homework has to be done with him. I can only deal with so many meltdowns at a time, so sure, when gets home at six, he can climb that mountain. Works for me just fine.
With afternoon delights like these, should I be counting down until summer?