Lucy has an IEP at school. When she was younger it included speech therapy and physical therapy and a class "helper" but over the years it has dwindled down to simply vision help.
I cry in every one of those meetings because my heart wants to burst with gratitude for all those wonderful teachers surrounding me who have helped her more than I can say...different ones included every time. How in the world did we get so very blessed to rub shoulders with people who have learned to love our feisty girl so much?
Each time we meet we talk about Lucy's strengths and weaknesses, her successes and triumphs and also about what is worrying us going forward and we make some goals going forward.
As we got talking this last time around I told them about her new biking skills and the vision teacher got a worried expression.
Instantly I realized why and wondered how I had been so caught up with the glory of it all that I forgot the actual reality: Lucy is officially legally peripherally blind according to her latest tests. So although she is getting stronger and stronger on her pedaling to keep her safe as she rides, she's getting weaker and weaker with the ability to see what's around her and navigate.
Oh how my heart sunk there in that room that day.
There are certainly ups and downs with BBS.
I don't know how much I have said about her art class before, but she's been taking one the last few months with the most amazing teacher. When I first signed her up over the phone I talked to the teacher for a half hour. She was a kindred spirit and I knew it before I even met her.
Lucy was enthralled with the class and loved being a real artist with her real artist supplies.
But she started needing more and more help, which in turn made her more and more grumpy. There are 15 kids in that class so the teacher couldn't give her the attention she needed so I volunteered to accompany her to class each week (we had to change the day but it all worked out). I realized sitting there next to her that probably the biggest reason for her grumpiness and needing attention was that she couldn't see what her teacher was drawing and she couldn't decipher the colors as well as she wanted to.
Well, and she's stubborn to top it all off.
It was a special gift to me to be able to sit there with her in class as her "assistant" and take in a little more about how she learns, how she sees, how she communicates. Something I will treasure for a long time.
But it still made my heart ache that she couldn't see those lines or colors like she used to.
She was pretty proud of her final project.
The class finished up at the end of last month. Is that the most darling teacher ever? She gave Lucy a big, huge hug after every class and Lucy sure felt her love.
All the other kids are signed up for next year and kept talking in great anticipation about it, but the teacher thinks it will be a little over Lucy's head. Lots of small lines, shading and perspective. As much as I agree (the gap is widening and I don't want her to feel bad about herself as an artist...she sure has her own way she wants to do things and I love it...I want to keep that confidence), but it still feels so heavy and sad to me.
As much as we try to keep her going in the things she loves, she's starting to lag behind in many of the physical ones. We signed her up for dive team this year since she was so behind in swimming last year, but as I sat on the sidelines this week watching the special attention those teachers were giving her as she tried to maneuver how in the world to make her head go in the water before her belly or feet, I was overcome once again with an outpouring of love and gratitude for those who slow down to help this daughter of mine. To love her for who she is. To look over her quirks and treat her as they treat the other kids.
And it made me want to hug them and tell them, right in their eyes with tears in my own, what a difference they are making for one little girl with their patience and kindness. And for her mother.
So I did.
So grateful for all of those helping hands who raise all my children (not just Lu) right along with me in so many wonderful and unique and loving ways.