The first day of kindergarten was a success. Joe wasn’t too tired when he got home, and we had great communication from his teacher and school staff. Go Tussing!
Usually I write a post because we had a good day or something interesting happened. Maybe we went to a museum or played in the pool.
This site has become a pretty neat little archive of Joe’s life, a terrific online scrapbook of the past few years. This makes me proud and happy.
This post is written knowingly as not a snapshot, but rather a start of a new chapter. It’s important. We’ll read this one again decades from now (hi future self!).
Tomorrow Joe will start kindergarten.
He’s not new to school, but this is different. In the past he’s had only a few classmates, a short school day, and teachers who specialized in developmentally delayed kids.
That was all to get him ready for the big K, where he’ll spend a full school day surrounded by 20 other kids, most of them typical kindergartners, many of them encountering a guy like Joe for the first time. They’re all there to start formal education, slowly building skills to become writers, doctors, welders and hopefully good people.
We’ve done the right things as parents. We (and Joe) are as ready as we’ll ever be, and know it’s a marathon, not a sprint, to get him through the next 12 or 14 years of school. It doesn’t make it any easier, but the time has come.
As always thanks to all the teachers, therapist, family (and more family!), friends, advocates and neighbors who have helped us get this far. I hope Joe has been as positive an influence on your life as you have been on his, and ours.
When Joe and I were visiting his grandparents, we went to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. This place is terrific.
First, it’s full of boats, mostly beautifully crafted wood boats, all made in the Finger Lakes. The most famous of the boat makers featured here is the Penn Yan Boat Company, named after its hometown on Keuka Lake. Functional works of art.
The second reason this place is incredible is it’s housed in the old Taylor building outside of Hammondsport, former home of one the great wineries of the 20th century. Decades ago I spent a few summers as a tour guide at Taylor-Great Western. Back then it was a big attraction, the largest of dozens of wineries along Keuka and the other Finger Lakes.
The stone building and it’s old offices are in great shape, though a little dusty. We were able to explore much of it, including the arched stone cellar that was once the tasting room on the tour route.
I’m so glad the boating museum has moved in. A building like this, and the boats that call it home, deserve to be taken care of and appreciated.
Joe and I drove up to visit the grandparents last weekend. We highly recommend Western NY in August – it’s hard to beat.
Saturday found us at the Howard Old Home Days. For those of you who live under a rock, Howard may be the center of the universe, roughly equidistant from Avoca, Bath, Hornell and Canisteo. It’s the kind of tiny town thankfully still found all over the country. It has a library and a volunteer fire station, no school of it’s own anymore, but it does rock an annual parade with hand written signs. And it has a killer little historical society.
So if you’re ever in the 14809, especially in August like Joe and I were, consider yourself lucky.
Joe loves a good screen. Phones, TVs, computers – if it lights up he wants to touch it. We got him an iPad a long time ago thinking it would help him learn, but at the time it was just a big distraction. He’d get over excited, swipe and slap at it, and would tune us out completely. It was counter-productive.
Since then he’s used one in preschool, at therapy and (as much as possible) in an organized way at home. Plus he’s matured a lot (he is, after all, about to be a kindergartner). And now it’s starting to click.
Screens like this have incredible potential for anyone, and we’re looking forward to watching Joe continue to learn with his.
Joe’s great grandfather used to send us losing Arkansas lottery tickets that we’d enter into second chance drawings. We never won, but we accumulated enough points to order swag from the lottery’s online shop. There’s not much good there, but they have Omaha Steaks. Fourteen steaks, eight hamburgers and eight hot dogs arrived today – thanks to Grandy.
Long story short (too late), they were packed in dry ice. Add a little dramatic lighting and a powerful child model and you get this …
It was supposed to rain today, so Joe and I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, which is normally a great way to spend a super hot Sunday.
But it didn’t rain, and I thought Joe was going to get us kicked out. Whenever I’d stop to take a photo or read something he’d start to sing. Sometimes when he sings he sounds like a tiny sasquatch scatting, then rolls into a drunken Britney (no autotune). He really is like a tiny, drunk, pop-star bigfoot. Clomping around, grunting, making ridiculous demands and soaking up the attention.
He’s also convinced that my taking his photo should be as difficult as possible. He throws his hands up, squirms, laughs and runs after me.
Back off Kanye, and I’m just doing my job.
Artists looove the sex and violence.
About to flip … I SAID NO PICS NEAR THE CAMEL!