I don’t know who originally said this quote or even what they said it in reference to. What I do know is that every time I hear it said it is from my mother’s lips. Every time I am brought humbled to tears about the amazing way that a situation has played out my mother calmly and matter-of-factly states “You get out what you put in.” I shake my head in disbelief that simply by being positive about a situation you can help nudge the outcome in the same direction. I mean… where is the logic there? It may not be logic but I do think that to a very large extent it is true and happens more often than not.
How often have you been in an amazing mood only to be surrounded by people struggling through their day… only to find yourself in quite the same struggling situation as them by the end of things. On the other hand, on our worst of days the giggle of a unaffected child or the crude joke from a friend may be just what we need to get a smile back on our face. If you look at it as a moment by moment thing it makes sense. So why not as a whole life’s practice?
Today Alyssa wrapped up her third week of school. This three weeks… I just don’t have words. I’ve stared at this screen with the first paragraph written for a few days now. This three weeks have been the most healing, heart-warming, and just overwhelmingly positive experience that I could have ever asked for when I hoped and prayed for the best experience possible. I spent the first week in class with Alyssa, her teachers, and the other students. I was humbled and filled with a sense of peace as I got to know the people that would care for Alyssa in the time she wasn’t at home with us. When I put her on the bus for the very first day she cried as it lifted her up…but she wasn’t sad…just nervous and a bit mad I was sending her with someone she’d just met. I followed the bus and by the time she arrived the bus driver said she did just fine. This morning? Our bus was a bit late so Madi’s bus arrived first. When it drove away Alyssa cried big ol’ crocodile tears. However, the minute her eyes saw her bus coming down the street she immediately began to squeal. I love that about her. I love that two short weeks ago it was something new that she was unsure of and yet this morning she KNEW she wanted to be on that bus.
For me, the hardest part of letting go and giving her the freedom to be without me for these hours each day is the fact she doesn’t have the communication to tell me how her day went. It’s one of those things that doesn’t ever even really occur to most people. Your child gets off the bus in the afternoon and you ask “How was school?” … they answer…and you move about your day. The only difference for me is that Alyssa can’t answer the question with enough detail for me to stay informed about her schooling. The blessing in this? Her teachers. I swear I could sing the praises of her teachers every day. I feel like a broken record. At any rate the teacher that is actually assigned to her, Mrs. L, takes the time to email me each day with what went on, how she did, etc. It isn’t a form letter or a two line email. She actually updates me on how the day went…if Alyssa had a hard time… what specialist she saw…and so forth. The first couple days without me Alyssa struggled a little bit…and her teacher told me. It was such a sense of relief. I would so much rather someone be honest than to say “Oh yeah she’s doing great.” Only to find out later she was sad all day. This week? She had an amazing week. The physical therapist brought in a chair for Alyssa that enables her to be at the same height as the rest of the kids at the tables and it is on wheels so it is easy for the teachers to maneuver as well. The occupational therapist brought in a bunch of sensory toys that both Alyssa and the other students are getting a big kick out of. The speech therapist has figured out already that Alyssa is social and pulls one other child in to the room when she does her sessions because Alyssa is more likely to vocalize that way. The only time Alyssa struggled this week? It was when her mom (yes,… me! LOL) showed up in class today. The nurse called me at the beginning of the week to let me know she’d be out today. I debated what to do and decided a day with the class would be fun. Well, she saw me and cried. HAHA! The speech therapist came and took her a few minutes later and then I pretty much played with the other kids and let her pretend I wasn’t there. I think she assumed I was there to take her home since she hadn’t seen me in class in a couple weeks. Ah well Mrs. L pointed out that at least it shows that she is ready to fly solo!
I just cannot say enough good things about the staff at her school or the students she is sharing a class with. It is such an overwhelmingly positive and nourishing atmosphere. I’ll write more when it isn’t way later than I should be up 😉 . I could seriously blog every day she is at school about how much I am grateful for. Tonight all I can think is “You get out what you put in.” Alyssa fills the room with a pure positivity. She doesn’t know what it means to be negative. She claps when other kids do things. She giggles when they act silly. Every day she pours her whole heart and soul into being exactly who she is…and she does it without even trying. This little girl? Is going to get a LOT out of life 🙂