Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Time to Bust Out the Bikini - It's March!

Ohioans have a complicated relationship with our weather. When it hits 50 degrees in March, we start wearing shorts. When it hits 50 degrees in November, we turn on the furnace and drag out the parkas.

Another thrill of being a Buckeye? The tail end of cold season dovetails nicely with the beginning of allergy season. I still can't tell you if the congestion in April is from a lingering sinus infection or the beginning of allergies (yes, I KNOW nothing has bloomed yet. Please note the sarcasm.).

In February, you cannot find a pair of gloves in any local store to save your life, but if you need a string bikini fr Valentine's Day, Columbus is the place to find it.

Let us discuss snow for a moment, shall we? Granted, we do not get as much as Buffalo or Cleveland. However, we DO get enough each year to a) be prepared when it is coming (The White Death!) and b) know how to deal with it when it gets here.

Allow me to clarify: "Prepare for it" does not mean stripping the local shelves of bread, milk and eggs (apparently, Ohioans crave french toast when it snows). It also does not mean canceling events 48 hours before the snow is supposed to hit.

Now that the sun is out, after, I swear, a month of gray days, we don't know what to do with ourselves. Teenagers are showing more skin walking to school than I do at the beach. I actually saw a lawn crew mowing last week. People. Please. I implore you, just buy your mulch at the local BP station and wait it out.

Spring is upon us. If it is March in Ohio, it must mean sprinklers and kiddie pools! It will be 57 today. I guarantee I see some nimrod in shorts. People, pace yourselves. I cringe to think what you'll be wearing in August if March is shorts weather.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Follow the Yellow Brick Road...

After months of getting our head around Jack's diagnosis, researching, and talking to psychologists, teachers, aides and administrators, I think we may finally be on the road to help.

It feels a little bit like Oz's Yellow Brick Road. It started when something unexpected dropped out of the sky and into our family. While there was no singing or dancing or odes to The Lollipop Guild at the outset (aside from the musical stylings of Mr. Marc), we were in a strange land, no question about it.

Now that we've started our journey to the Emerald City (that being a healthy, adjusted Jack who needs no additional help in the classroom), we have found friends along the way. We call our teachers, psychologists, aides, social workers, family - everyone involved in Jack's care - TEAM JACK. Some of them have helped us to understand with our minds what is going on. Some of them have taught us to open our hearts. All have given us courage to move forward as a team.

We added another member to Team Jack this week. We met Austin, the young man who will be Jack's aide in the classroom for the foreseeable future.While he doesn't have experience with special needs kids, he seems like a great guy.

I am unconcerned about his minimal experience for several reasons: 1) Haugland is giving him a crash-course in behaviors and autism, 2) Our care coordinator Amanda will be in the classroom with him frequently during the first month to show him how it's done, 3) It is really the personality of the aide that matters to us and 4) Jack is so high-functioning that he doesn't need intensive intervention, just prompts, which anyone can provide. And Austin coaches Little League. How cute is that? A 20-something single guy who volunteers as a Little League coach. Bonus points, Austin, mad bonus points.

We also have a few people along the road who have thrown up obstacles. People telling us that Jack should be in an MRDD classroom, telling us what he can and cannot do. Only Jack is able to tell us that, really. Mixing my metaphors, we also have a resident Frau Farbissina. Who makes faces at our suggestions and, indeed, could be a sergeant in "the militant wing of the Salvation Army." While I wouldn't go as far as saying these folks are "Wicked" I would say that they are well-skilled in the art of throwing an occasional fire-ball in our path (we have yet to see the Flying Monkeys. I wait.).

Austin is an excellent (I know, you totally thought I was going to say "awesome" there, didn't you?) addition to Team Jack. Only time will tell how long it will take us to reach The Emerald City, but I know we are well on our way.