Friday, March 20, 2009

My son loves his school

As many of you know, My son Aaron is five. He goes to Early Special Ed at a local grade school half days, a couple of days a week. He is not quite autistic, but has some autistic type tendencies towards obsessive fixations, language, etc.

He loves his school. Since we've changed sitters to one that is not in the school's bus area I've been dropping him off at school on my way to work. Once we get into the building it's hard to hold him back from running to his classroom.

He is always greeted warmly by his teacher(s), and pretty much forgets I exist once he has put his things in his name labeled cubby and settled in to color his name on his name pad at his ever moving place at a table. I think they do this so the kids will learn to recognize and find their own names. I can tell he's happy to be there and enthused to start what ever the day will be.

When he sees other kids from his class on his way to the room he will invariably yell "there's my Friend!", run up to them & try to engage them in a conversation. They almost as invariably shy away from him, turning in towards the parent's legs, saying nothing in response. I've seen this reaction to him at other, outside of school gatherings like the Pumpkin patch train ride we took him on last fall. He doesn't seem to notice the lack of response in kind.

It breaks my heart to see. I wonder how long he can go on not noticing that his "Friends" don't talk to him. I hope and pray that the responses I see are only outside of class, and tell myself that this is a "special ed" class and maybe it says more about them than him. But like I say, I've seen this before outside of school, with kids who are supposedly "normal". Next year he will start Kindergarten, still with special ed help.

I remember my own kindergarten and grade school experience with learning to socialize. When I was in kindergarten I was pretty much golden. Almost all the other kids treated me like a friend. I was engaged three times(though the student teacher did turn me down saying she was just too old for me, I could do better)

Then I went to grade school. Everything turned to crap. The guys liked to beat me up, the girls thought I was creepy.
It got some better, by about the fourth or fifth grade. I had a few freinds, I was considered "smart" by some teachers, some kids. That was mostly not bad. Looking back though, I did retain the Oddness or Different-ness factor that I had come into during first grade, & never did really feel normal again. Eventually, being normal was not even something I aspired to. It just didn't seem relevant. I 've since heard that normal is what you think people are who you don't really know. That's supposed to be a joke, but I think it true to some degree.

Still, I want a better school time childhood for Aaron. I know fitting in is not everything. At the same time, not fitting in is certainly not always a good thing either.

I would guess that this is a pretty normal parental concern - "but, what if he(Norbert) don't like it in Romania, what if the other dragons are mean to 'im?" - Hagrid - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

I hope and pray for my son, for all of our sons & daughters(and our baby dragons).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to take Aaron's monkey- head foam hat/visor off of him and carry him up to bed.

He's fallen asleep watching Transformers (again).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

computer wierdness

Perhaps things are turning around, to a minor degree, towards the positive. I think My general, and traditional winter bad times are about come to their yearly end. thank god. My commputer suuddenly can't "see" the printer. It's not the usb cable, SO, either the computer has lost it's mind, or, I've killed the usb jack in the back of the printer. For some time every time I boot up the computer, I've had to unplug the printer usb or the computer just won't finish booting. so, the usb cable has had a LOT of being plugged and unplugged. bummer. Now that's really screwy. this posting template thingy, won't respond right to entering a line space. what up wi dat? Ok, not doing this with that kind of wierdness, I NEED my enter function. I don't know how to write without it. I can't space things well without. more later.

Monday, March 9, 2009

just another day

Yesterday we changed to daylight savings time. Thank you Ben Franklin. Today in Portland the for cast calls for scattered snow turning to rain showers later in the day (OH my god, I'm talking about the weather again!). This is the latest I recall having any snow in the 8 plus years I've been here. I'm ready for Spring.

While working on a bunch of paper work for the state last night I discovered that the computer can no longer see the printer. Now I have to go 25 miles away to borrow a computer and printer to get the required document copies, and either drive back the 25 miles to turn it in today(pretty much blowing a day of work), OR turn it in a day late tomorrow and hope all Hell doesn't break loose. As Jessica would say "Day-Um!"

A number of people I know now have those online faux lives - you know, design and build a separate reality. I thought, Hmmm, in the near future people will make money designing and selling things like art, accessories, etc. to people for those....My lovely wife informed me that once again, I'm behind the times. Apparently that has already come to pass. I've got to get more tech literate. I'm obviously missing some creative and financial opportunities.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dancing with the Paisanos

I haven't posted anything here in over a Month. Some times it's hard to know what to say.

Had an interesting experience the other weekend.

My wife and I were invited by a coworker of hers to a dinner and dance thing. We shipped Aaron, now 5, off to his big sister's for the night, got all dressed up(for us) and headed out.
We found the venue on the edge of a wooded park, just on the outskirts of Portland.

It was the home of Portland's Club Paisanos. This meant nothing to us. I was picturing an average Resteraunt/club type place before we got there. What it is though, is a Big old Dance hall type place the serves as the home for an old, venerable Fraternal Society of Italian Business Men and their families. This was one of their yearly open to the public dinner-dances.

We pulled around the gravel lot, among the large trees, found a spot, got parked. We got in the door and up to the host desk only to find out that, no, they didn't DO credit cards, this was a cash only kind of group. OK, we had a little cash, no problem. Got our tickets, found our places at the back of a long line waiting to get our salad and spagetti from the buffet, and took our first real glances at the rest of the folks.

I said this was an old association of Itallian businessmen and their families. We later learned that it dates back to the 1940s. I think that many of the three hundred or so people there were there in the '40s. To say that it was a crowd advanced in years would be an understatement.

We heard snipets of conversations like "The last time we were in Rome, things just weren't the same." I saw more diamonds flashing there than anywhere since I went to shop for my wife's engagment ring, and these diamonds were all MUCH bigger.

We got through the buffet line, and found a spot at one of the very few empty tables. we ate our food, as the table filled up with others closer to our ages(obviosly "the grand-kids" of this group). While trying not to stare at everyone else, we looked for the people who had actually invited us to this shindig, but we never did find them. we were on our own.

Did I mention that neither my wife or I are even a little bit Itallian? We're basically Scotch-Irish-Native American. We were getting some looks. Okay, maybe I imagined that. Maybe not.

About eight or so, the Band - Sand Point set up and began to play. They were quite competent, begining with some old '40s big band kinda stuff, then going on to '50s, 60's and even '70s pop dance stuff. They seemed to be able and willing to play about anything requested.
I never heard someone go from Tommy Dorsey to Bob Seager in one set before.

Then, the old Itallians got FUNKY! These people could Dance! These people had OBVIOUSLY been partying together for many decades.

We decided it was time to let down our gaurds and start drinking some red wine.
We got up. We danced. For a brief time the economic and other woes of hard winter February fell away. We were transported to an entirely other world of existance, one where We had a great time, and literaly forgot about our troubles for a while.

I briefly wished that one of my Native American ancestors had broken with their tradition and mated with some Itallians, just so I could join Club Paisano. (I think you have to be invited anyway).

That was the best part, and the saving grace of our February this year.

the end.