Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ethan and Bodhi rock Aspen Elementary!

Holy Smokes what a day. The kids started school today, and I was a bit nervous for them. Bodhi has been having some trouble at his old school, but in the last two weeks, they've just been blossoming.

Visit Aspen Elementary and Bodhi's class HERE.

Bodhi is suddenly loosing his fear, hes learning to swim, hes putting his head under the water, he's making friends, he's going to sleep by himself, he's not throwing tantrums or crying... he's able to switch tasks, he's just softening and flowing with life. Its amazing to see. Ethan wasn't struggling as much, but he was having some of his own focus issues, and those seem to be smoothing as well.

Today, I was nervous. I was worried that if there was going to be a tantrum, it would be today. I was sure there would be big fear, and if there had been, it would be okay. But the kids were excited to go to school. We walked up to Aspen Elementary, which is built in a bunch of pods around a small central hub, so there are seven second grade classes, and six kindergarten classes, all of 15 to 20 kids max. It feels like a small school inside and out, which is lovely.

When we were walking up the hill, there were what looked like a hundred kids or so outside all lined up by class, and the bell rang. When it rang, they all broke out in cheers! I was shocked! Ethan got this huge grin on his face and he said, "Well, SOMEONE is excited to go to school!" And Bodhi started pointing out kids that were excited.

It reminded me of the Richard Scarry story where Huckle Cat lives in the country and they build a house next door. All through the story, Huckle wonders who is going to move in next door to him, and at the end of the story, the Rabbit family (Stitches the Tailor) moves in with all 800 kids and all their bikes. And Huckle was never lonely again.

We walked into the school and the principal gave us big smiles and led us over to Bodhi's class. We walked through the computer lab, (the boys were all oooo aaaaa about it, its very nice...) and the walls of the school are just covered in all this amazing and colorful art work... and we walked up to Bodhi's classroom, and there was a sign hanging by the door, a HUGE sign, that the kids had made, that said "Welcome Bodhi!" He was amazed. His teacher, Ms. Jill came out, and Bodhi instantly fell in love with her. He walked into the class room, and this lovely classmate came up and said, "Bodhi, can I show you your locker?"

The class room was beautiful, homey, and the cubbies reminded me a lot of Middle Creek, where Bodhi has been the most comfortable so far. He's in the same class as our little friend Cooper, so he had a friend already when he started. Bodhi immediately started putting his things in his locker, enjoying the process of moving in, and turned and said, "Bye, mom!" to me. That was it. I looked up and saw the Thunder Bowl run where we do all our early morning training right outside his window. I could literally ski to the edge of the campus and walk across the football field to say hi to him.

"Hey Bodhi. If you miss me, look up there at that ski run. I'm probably one of the skiers on it during the day!" He cracked a huge grin.

"Cool!" and he was off, into the class, comfortable and happier than I've seen him in a new setting in a long time.

Next we were off to Ethan's class room, where there was another huge sign for him, and the kids were SUPER excited to see him. They pulled him into the classroom and showed him his locker and took him to his seat, surrounding him and making him feel welcome and happy. He was so involved, he didn't even turn around to say good bye.

I went up and skied a few runs in the Highlands bowl with Katie, Megan, Georgie and Cindy Lou, had some hot cocoa and headed back down for early release. My mom had picked the kids up (thanks, mom!) and we hung out talking about school for a while. Bodhi told me that his teacher was the best teacher ever, and that he had three new friends. Spanish class was a huge hit. Ethan was super happy as well, citing recess as the only boring part of the day. (Hes a fan of learning.)

Later in the afternoon, he sat down and did his whole week's homework, and we made a deal that we'll do our homework together, I'll study my ski books and they'll do their homework while Safta makes dinner. Speaking of dinner, over dinner tonight, the kids asked if they could be in the drama club and the chess club, which is open to all ages, so that's their Wednesday and Friday activity. Ski on Saturday!

The kids were in bed and zonked out by 8, and Bodhi was speaking Spanish as he fell asleep. For real. He was talking about his water bottle.

What an amazing feeling to know that they are happy, safe, secure, and absolutely blossoming in this environment!


paul macfarlane said...

Print this out frame it and read it aloud every day til you fly from this world.

Mindy said...

This post made me cry. The resilience of the human spirit is amazing, but, the resiliency of children and their ability to simply soar never ceases to amaze me. Kate, you've found your "zone" and you've found a place that your boys are thriving in...kudos!

Liat said...

Tears of joy! Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm so happy. (Crying!)