Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Summer of Change

The smells of grilling meat, chlorine, and sunscreen mix to form a distinctive smell, a unique perfume.  The sound of kids splashing in the pool, of the ice cream truck’s ditty playing on an endless loop, and lawnmowers being pushed up and down the street proudly proclaim: Summer fun is here!! 
I LOVE summer!  It is my absolute favorite season. No one can deny that fall has great fashion sense as it parades around in deep crimsons, rusts, oranges and yellows.  Only a fool denies winters austere beauty.    And far be it from me to take away from spring’s beautiful rebirth of life.  But summer is something special.  All year long as a kid you await that day of all days, the best of the best, the LAST day of school!!!  The last week of school is spent in joyous celebration by students and teachers alike: field day, movie day, game day all culminating in three months of freedom!!!  How sweet that freedom is: waking up whenever you feel like it, pool days, beach days, amusement parks, fireworks, watermelon, ice cream, the list goes on and on.  Yes sirree, I LOVE summer.  I love the heat, I love the water, and I love having my family around me.  I especially love summer this year.
It will come as no surprise to you my friends that I was probably the most excited person in our house for school to be out.  It has been a very rough school year for the Skiffs.  Don’t get me wrong, my boys held up pretty well.  I am very proud of each of them.  However, Skiff/ school relations were at the best of times strained and by the end of the school year a full out war had been declared on the Kingdom of Skiff.  Friendships were lost completely, communication ceased; good people’s careers were damaged.  It is no wonder that I was ecstatic to see the end of the school year.  I have come to the unfortunate decision that we have to do something different next school year.  I am not sure what that will look like or entail yet.     I can definitely use all the prayers and constructive advice I can get.  I have fought for years to keep my boys in the school system because I believe the socialization aspect is so---o important for my spectrum guys.  Unfortunately private school tuition for 5 children is outside of our budget.  That leads me to homeschooling.  Having had a bad experience with homeschooling as a child this is not my first choice.  I would love to get feedback from everyone but especially those of you who have kids on the spectrum.  What has been your experience?  Have you found any particularly helpful programs?  If you are in our area do you know of some great homeschool groups? I am grateful for the next few months to decompress and have time to make a thought out decision. 
 I am also using this summer to work on growing my boys in the areas of responsibility and respect for others.  So far this has been going pretty well.  I am already seeing some very positive changes in several of my guys.  I love to see them growing and expanding.  For so long it felt as if I would always have babies.  To see that they are becoming young men is quite the privilege and honor for my husband and me.   I will definitely be going into further detail on what I am calling “Operation Cleaning Boot Camp” (OCBC abbreviated ;) in a future blog.   It is ongoing.  We have great days and we have not so great days but I see a slow but steady attitude shift beginning.
Big changes are happening in the Land of Skiff.  I appreciate all your prayers as we forge onward on our journey.  Thanks for lending me your ear for a little while. Lots of love-Kristine

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