Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The people in our village

Kiddo is still doing fabulously (his teacher called him his "shining star," which believe me, no other teacher has ever called him ever), and we're delighted and still a little baffled by it. The thing is, a lot of people are helping kiddo, and that's making all the difference.

As generally great as he's been in school, he still has the occasional mini-meltdown when he has to get on the bus in the morning, especially if he feels like he didn't get enough playtime with the other kids. One of the boys threw an arm around his shoulders this morning and walked him down the sidewalk, helping him get to the bus. And frankly the bus driver deserves some sort of award for sitting there so patiently while we convince kiddo that he really does need to go to school now.

I can't say enough nice things about his teacher, who is amazingly upbeat and positive, and tells us every day about how smart kiddo is, not about what a bad kid he is. Kiddo brought a toy truck to school the other day and the back wheels came off, which is normally a Code Red disaster, but his teacher helped him write a nice email to Daddy asking that he fix the truck later. Then his teacher told us separately what a good job kiddo did calming down. Finally, someone who gets that the calming down is the hard part.

We've basically given up on athletics for him, because clearly he inherited my (lack of) athletic ability, and have signed him up for acting class. I was extremely up front with the staff about him, because if he was going to be a problem, or a disruption to the class, I wasn't even going to try. But they've worked with ADHD kids before, they said, and if he needed a break they'd give him one, and he loves the class so I worried for a whole lot of nothing. I'm not saying he's going to be an actor, but putting him in a place with other kids his age where he's enjoying himself can only be a good thing.

We also found a special needs Lego building class and he is smoking it. The teacher has one assignment ready for the kids each session that's supposed to take the whole class time to build, and he's done in five minutes. Future engineer? Future Nathan Sawaya? Who knows? But at least we finally got him into extracurricular activities he's good at.

Not to mention all our friends and family, who've always been supportive, and have always been quick to cheer on any of kiddo's accomplishments.

It's a good place for kiddo to be in, and us, and I hope we stay here a while.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The merry-go-round of nothing getting done

So first, watch this bit from John Oliver, because he says it better than I ever could.


OK, all done? Heartbreaking, right? Now then.

It is exasperating beyond belief to me that the only time anyone says anything about mental health issues is right after another shooting. And then nothing gets done about improving our mental health system OR about gun control. And then there is another shooting. And everyone makes the same concerned noises and goes back to ignoring both issues.

And Jessica Williams put that better than I ever could.


You know what the real shame of all of this is? Not the stigma attached to mental illness or mental disorders, or the lack of treatment options. Not the ease with which people who shouldn't have guns can get guns.

The real shame is that the only people who have anything sensible or well-researched to say on any of these topics are professional comedians