This has been a crazy school year.
We started off in a school district that refused to mainstream my son for more than 15 minutes a day, and who admitted freely they didn't start on academics until November 'because of behavioral problems in the class.'
December 1 we moved, and my kids started in our current school district. They immediately put Graham in a mainstream classroom for a large portion of his day. He did fantastic, but needed extra help. Before the teacher had to step in, or an aide was suggested, the kids intervened. While all of the children went out of their way to help Graham (trust me, I saw at an assembly what phenomenal children these are, and I am still teary-eyed thinking about it), three really took to him and made it their goal to help him. I cannot say enough about these children, and about all the parents in the classroom that raised all the beautiful souls we encountered.
Last week, I sent home presents to my son's three 'helpers'. Graham helped pick them out, and with the teacher's blessing, I put them in little gift bags and sent them home. I also included a note for the parents, thanking them for raising such exceptional children, explaining how much of a difference they have made in the life of a little boy.
I got a thank you email almost immediately from a parent telling me how proud it made her, and it was the best thing she could ever hear about her daughter.
Then the next day Graham handed me an envelope addressed to him. He proudly announced that it was from his best friend, and waited for me to read it.
One of the little girls wrote Graham a thank you note. Herself. And included a picture of her and Graham with a flower.
Thank you for the present.
You are a great friend.
I would spend a lifetime telling you how happy it made me to read this card. How he had a real friend. That liked him so much she wrote him and drew him a picture.
But what made me cry was my son's reaction.
He smiled. He re-read the whole thing.
When his dad got home, he proudly showed him the picture and told him who it was. He carefully placed the card back in the envelope and put it gently up where he knew it was safe. He has re-checked to make sure it's still there a few times, smiling when he sees it.
As our year closes, I think of how thankful I am for the wonderful people we were blessed with. His team here that had faith in his abilities, and the children who accepted my son for everything he is and helped him when he needed it.
And I hope and pray that next year we are as blessed as we were this year.
You don't get much better than that.
Katie is the mom to two sweet kiddos, one with autism. You can find her blogging at Okay, Who Turned Out the Lights?