Thursday, June 28, 2012

The beginning of the week found us at Lake Shasta and by the end of the week Z was back at school, thanks to extended school year. Z has always enjoyed our summer trips to various weeks but this year he was much more open to try new things and I think it led to an even better experience for him. In the past he has only been willing to go into the water as far as he could without having to let go of the boat ladder with either hand. This year he just jumped in (with his life jacket on of course) without any discussion and he happily floated about. Even more surprising to me was the fact that he climbed up onto the roof of the houseboat and hung out there reading books most of the trip. For many years his fear of heights has kept him from doing a lot of the fun little boy things I've wanted him to experience. He even decided to go fishing, not something he was ever fearful of but something that he never showed any interest in despite lots of prodding and encouragement. It's fun watching him expand his idea of fun, when he's been so limited in what he would add to the list in the past.

Z still refuses to give swimming lessons a chance though. He actually did agree to do private lessons but I just couldn't swing them despite Aunt D's offer to help out with the cost. I'm pretty sure the pool we've gone to for lessons in the past does private lessons into autumn though, so hopefully that is still something that happens this year. We spend much too much time around water and have such a collective love for spending time in water, it just doesn't make sense for Z to not know how to swim.

Speaking of lessons, I went back and forth on whether to have Z participate in extended school year. I haven't in the past few years because the school year from August to June was such a daily struggle and source of stress, I felt like he deserved and needed some time to unwind and just enjoy being a kid. We received his report card from the school year that just ended and he earned all A's and A pluses (including the areas involving socialization) so he doesn't need the extra schooling. His teachers felt so strongly about the benefits of him going though, and honestly this past year was by far the least stressful of his school career thus far that I was heavily swayed to enroll him. Once we found out there would be a heavy emphasis on building real working Lego robots and that students would be creating a music video for the song they had been writing together, the same song Z is constantly singing outside of school, I knew there really was no decision to be made. Z was going to summer school.

His attendance hasn't been perfect, he actually missed the very first day because we got home so late from Shasta the night before, but he has been going and having a blast. It's been a nice excuse for Az and I get our butts out of the house nice and early and make a day for ourselves as well. I like that Z wants to go to summer school and that he has such enthusiasm for something that has been such a source of struggle for him. I've always been worried that by the time we reached this point, right before entering junior high, that he would be fighting me on every turn about going and participating. A lot of it has to do with Z and his love of learning and showing off his knowledge, but I think his current school has to be given some credit as well. I truly feel like the school he is in now has been his salvation. I know junior high could easily throw us a curve ball but from where I sit everything looks to be much smoother sailing than it has since Z entered kindergarten.

I feel like the last few entries have been about how I see Z growing, but that's because I do. He still has a long ways to go, I would never suggest he go into a mainstreamed school at the moment or anything and I still have to take lots of deep breaths throughout the day but I finally see Z developing in ways I've been crossing my fingers and making wishes in tunnels for since he was very young. He's always been such a sweet, amazing kid. I'm glad he's finally letting other people realize it.

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