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Concentration and Compartmentalization

Life is change. Obviously. That’s one constant I was aware of at a very young age. But I’ve always attempted to provide my son with a cushion of stability, boy-in-the-bubble style. Unfortunately change keeps on butting in. Two weeks ago we found out - out of the blue - that the kiddo’s charter school is moving. Again. They’ve already moved once, between 2nd and 3rd grade (the year so many other things went to hell in our lives - his little brother was stillborn, my marriage fell apart and our two cats died). He’s in the 4th grade now and his current school is K-5. So rather than chasing after them to yet another corner of the metro area for one last year I think it is time to part ways. It’s been a difficult decision to make. I hate to tear my son away from the friends and staff he’s known since kindergarten. But really, they’ve had lots of turnover over the years, in teachers and staff and the student population. And the long commute can be difficult, especially in the winter.

So more change will be coming. Yesterday we had an appointment with the St. Paul Public Schools placement center to get the process kick-started. In some ways they seemed hyper organized and on top of things. In other ways, not so much. When I inquired about elementary schools that might be best-suited for my child I received a blank stare in return. Followed by the excuse that there are 50 elementary schools in the district. Even after talking to the special education coordinator I got the feeling that I’m on my own to figure out which one of these 50 schools might be a good fit. The upside is that, according to my son’s IEP, he is high functioning enough to be mainstreamed into a classroom at any of these schools but will still receive supplementary aids and services. But it’s going to be such a HUGE change. Since pre-school he’s been in classrooms with about 15 students and four or more adults. For 5th grade the ratio will change dramatically. More like double the number of students and half the adults. I hate to feel like I’m throwing him to the wolves. Will the teaching staff be patient? What will the “normal” kids make of him? Is it wrong that I don’t want to even look at one of the prospective schools, just because they use Comic Sans on their web site? And we’ve been spoiled by our Monday-Thursday year round schedule. How will we adjust to a Monday-Friday schedule, with summers off? What will he do during the summer when I have to work? There is a summer school option but it only runs for one month, leaving all of August unaccounted for. I’ve been thinking about all of this too much, in ball-of-stress mode. But I will do whatever I can to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible for my son. And he does seem excited by one potential school - because of its brand new playground, planetarium and pool. Wish us luck. We will need it.

my beautiful boy

Bonus: The Bear Whisperer has been around for a while but is new to me. Watching this promo left me scratching my head. But not as much as Death Bear did! I prefer Rude Bear for the happy happy.
Plus: Watching this 1937 cartoon advertisement was a good way to start the day. Apparently it was made for the Phillips’ Norwegian market by German animator Hans Fischerkoesen.
And: Gorgeous posters by designer Yusaku Kamekura.

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