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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Umbrellas, Planes and Buses


It's raining in Pittsburgh.  That shouldn't shock anyone, I suppose, although it doesn't really RAIN that much in Pittsburgh so much as it THREATENS to rain.  Anyway, I have an umbrella to keep the damp off me.  I brought it in the office with me this morning from the car.  It had a cover, like a slip cover over the top of it.  Why?  To keep it dry?  It seems like a stupid design to me. 

Tomorrow Lily goes to Kindergarten for the first time.  To SCHOOL for the first time.  We'll go watch her pile on the bus, and there'll be an aide for her, but I just have such a sick feeling like a knife-twist of dread in my stomach about this whole thing.  Emma goes to HER new school too, and I'm proud and excited and even a little nervous for her, but she'll be fine.  And so will Lily I trust.  But I'm still apprehensive.  She'll ride the bus, she'll have a homeroom, and circle time and eat in the cafeteria, and I'm scared. 

I guess it's just one of those things; like when I fly on a plane.  I get air travel.  I understand the Bernoulli effect.  I'm fully vested in the physics that allow airplane wings to lift the plane off the ground and keep it aloft.  I TOTALLY saw that episode on Discovery Channel where the wings can bend back almost double and still not snap.  I've read the statistics that say air travel is a safer method of transportation than driving, or, at least I know a guy that says he read that article.  I've watched my fellow passengers calmly sip their drinks or laugh at some conversational quip with their traveling companions as the airplane hops and dives and yaws alarmingly underneath my feet and I push the imaginary brake pedal and white knuckle the arm rest, putting away my novel du jour so that I can focus fully on my terror and trust in the physics to keep me alive.

And I likewise know that the supports and protections we've put in place in conjunction with Lily's IEP team will protect her and keep her aloft, and help her succeed . . . but I'm similarly scared for my little girl.  Scared of the bullying.  Scared for her confusion and her struggles.  And like the airplane, there's just a certain amount of trust I am forced to rely on, and just deal with my terror quietly until there's something that I can actually address.

It's supposed to rain again tomorrow, and I'm having trouble with the bus company.  It seems they don't want to pick Lily up and drop her off again at the curb of the daycare where they picked her up and dropped her off last year for her special preschool program.  Because they don't know if it's possible.  I'd have thought the experience of all last year doing so would have proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt to them, but they're citing new resources (a different, longer bus, perhaps) . . . may not fit.  So they agreed last week to contact us and let us know if they'd be able to make it work before school started. 

School starts tomorrow and they haven't contacted us.  It's not even the first day of school for my little girl and already the physics and protection and support is failing and the airplane is crashing down and all I can do is call and leave messages for the bus company politely asking them if they've figured out yet whether the bus they're sending tomorrow morning will be able to accomodate my daughter's special needs, or if I have to STOP trusting in the process.

Lily's going to need an umbrella if the bus won't meet her at the curb, and she'll need an aide to hold it for her.  Stupid bus company.

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