Since I had the opportunity of taking Morgan to school this morning, Heather asked that I update the blog tonight. Morgan was excited to get back to school and I was excited to take her. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for my happy feelings to disappear. Morgan's class lines up on the playground and waits for the teacher to lead them into class. Morgan and I had just entered the playground when I noticed two boys staring, then making fun of Morgan's eyes. They were squinting their eyes and making them distorted with their fingers. I don't know what they were trying to do, but I knew it wasn't nice. I really wanted to go let the kids know my thoughts, perhaps show them the way I was feeling by using the end of my foot. I stared at the boys for a few seconds and with Morgan pulling my hand towards her teacher, I let them go. Heather and I had talked about this before; anticipating this exact event. I know that kids can be mean - I'm sure Heather was mean growing up too. (That was supposed to be funny) Anyway, I know that this is somewhat natural and will continue to happen. Morgan didn't notice a thing and kept pulling me towards the school.
Her teacher approached us and told me that today would be better because she had a 'plan'. Not sure of the 'plan', we marched forward with the other kids to the classroom. I knew the teacher was worried that she was not able to set a firm tone in her classroom yesterday, so I was planning on helping Morgan as long as she needed. The last thing I wanted was for the teacher to be left alone again. We don't need the teacher to be burned out on the second day! The teacher told me an aide would be arriving in 30 minutes, and that she would be staying the whole day to assist with Morgan. I guess this was the 'plan'.
After standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which Morgan did with a smile -and her left hand across her chest, she took her seat. I thought we were off to a great start in the classroom. The school psychologist entered and told me of her plan to reward Morgan for her positive behavior by placing stickers on a placard they had made for her to wear around her neck. They had some chocolate ready to give her when she had earned three stickers. I wasn't sure about it, but she quickly started awarding the stickers. Morgan loved it. She looked back at me and said, "Look dad - two stickers!" The psychologist was so impressed that Morgan was using her number logic. One more sticker and her reward was coming! I was excited for her. I told the psychologist of my fear that we were overloading the teacher without having an aide in the room. I had voiced this concern earlier in the summer when we met with the school leadership team. My fear was that Morgan would become such a burden that nobody would want to work with her. Everyone assured me that this would not happen (yesterday, it did). The psychologist then told me something that gave me great hope. She said that Mrs. D, the teacher, will need to be reminded that she is part of something very special. She said that when Morgan is walking the halls as a sixth grader, she, Mrs. D, will have played a major role in what Morgan will have accomplished. What a vision! I know Morgan can add value to the school. It will take patience and a team effort, but I know she can play an important role in all the students lives. Some will tease and mock, but I don't think Morgan will understand. Others will will truly see her value and love her. They may not understand what Morgan can teach them at this early age, but it will be manifest in their actions towards others. We have seen it take affect with our family and friends. I am excited for the affect to silently spread to others as well.
Morgan had a great day. She had an aide with her and the teacher said she was able to teach! She actually seemed excited for next week! I am proud of my Morgan. I know this is a huge adjustment for all the little kids, but even bigger for Morgan. She seems to enjoy it - so far.
I want to say to all of you that follow Heather's blog - THANK YOU! I know Heather draws strength and comfort from your comments and thoughts. Turns out this blogging thing can bring value to lives. And to think I just thought it was a waste of time. Silly me - my bad. Who knows, depending on the comments, I may be invited back.