We survived Christmas break and finally made it back to the first day of school in 2012 yesterday. Our home was a buzz with electric excitement Monday evening.

However, Tuesday morning was disastrous. Epically disastrous. And pretty much, totally MY fault. I had overslept. When I did wake, I found myself scurrying to get Christian fed and fully dressed in under 5 minutes.

Suddenly, the kids realized that the bus was now sitting in our driveway. Panic ensued.

I shoved medicated toast in Christian’s hands while I attempted get his socks on his feet while he continually ran to the window to make sure that the bus was still there. And then the shoes…

…one shoe…

Pooploops…

the other shoe was NOwhere to be found.

The kids and I searched frantically for what seemed like forever. The bus waited. (Have I mentioned that I LOVE our driver and don’t know what I’ll do when the day comes that she is no longer Christian’s driver?!?)

We looked in EVERY conceivable place. ANY place where Christian’s shoes have hidden before. It was not there.

And then, there is was! Buried under Liv’s winter clothing pile. The lone shoe. I could NOT have been happier!

Christian and I worked teamwork magic to get that shoe on in record time. Awesome. Whew.

And then I opened the door.

My heart dropped through the floor.

The bus was g o n e.

My sweet boy was in tears. Completely and totally heartbroken. I felt like the worst mama in the world because I knew how important that bus ride was to getting back into our happy school year routine and I had blown it. Big time.

My mind started reeling as to how to “fix” it. Well, at least, the best fix that I could offer at the time.

I rushed both kids out the door. Dropped Liv off at her school, thankful for “before-school-care”. And rushed Christian across town to his school.

Yeah, I had this figured out. I would get him there soon enough that he could quickly get on his bus, if even just for a minute, before his teachers came out of the school. Maybe, just maybe, that would right the wrong that started off his first day back.

However, I hadn’t accounted for the driver having a new route. She got there later than usual. Christian did NOT have the chance to climb on his bus and sit in his seat for even a minute. His sadness was overwhelming. I handed him off to his capable teachers, as he cried and dropped and I felt incredibly small.

I waited eagerly to hear how Christian’s day had gone. I wondered and worried and prayed that it had turned around.

When his bus got home, I threw open his backpack looking for any sort of note about his day. This is what I read, “Rough day. Lots of tears.”

I felt horrible. Horrible that I could have made the difference in Christian’s entire day yesterday, but knowing that I had let him down. I vowed that I would make today better. SO MUCH more better. (I know. Not correct English, but I did feel that strongly about it.)

And today, well, today flowed smoothly. Christian was even standing in his coat and ready to go 15 minutes before his bus pulled in this morning. I was relieved. Greatly relieved. Perhaps today would move us smoothly back into our routine of school.

I still felt really bad for how yesterday had gone. I’m still disappointed in myself for letting that happen, but without that happening I would not have received this amazingly moving email from Christian’s teacher this morning. It read…

Last night I was thinking about Christian’s day and although he had a rough day I kept thinking of the positive things I saw.  I thought I would share them with you.

He could tell me exactly why he was upset and what he wanted – “No Bus”, “Mom come in the red car”, “Mom almost done”, “Mom no work”, “Olivia no school”, “No schedule”, “I do my worksheet then Mom come in the red car”,  “I want black blanket” (actually a black bean bag chair), “Go home later”, “Christian sad” “Christian mad”.  I thought it was good that he could express what he was feeling and what he wanted.

A social story about going back to school and work helped.

We used first/then and as long as we did only 1 thing at a time he did well.  He couldn’t handle the whole days schedule.

He really came out of his “funk” when it was free time. He wanted to play with the other kids.

Although he did some crying and at times wanted to be by himself, he did not hit or kick me.  He wanted a hug a few times (not sure if for pressure or for comfort but that doesn’t matter).

At the end of the day he started to cry about you coming to get him but he was easily redirected that it was bus or stay at school with me and not go home.

This is much different than how he would have handled it a year ago. I am glad his language skills have improved and he can tell us things better.  He is able to focus on things other than his obsessions.  He is less aggressive.  All things to celebrate, even on a rough day.

Progress. SO MUCH progress. I guess sometimes we need to have bad days just to see how much progress has been made. For that, I am thankful.

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