One Hundred And One.
Is a lot of days to wait. Considering your baby's first home a hospital room. Waiting to bring your first born home.
room 805 june '03
And after so many days, it mattered very little that the home we'd brought him to wasn't an actual home.
camper, july '03
The cottage in the little beach community was a far cry from the ten acre farm in the country, but it was bigger than the camper, and acres better than the hospital.
cottage, august 03
The sweet little ranch on the pond reminded us of country life in Vermont. Olive could run free. Al could fish. I could hang out in my kayak and pretend. Pretend.
pond, summer '04
It was in our home on the pond that Owen met his teachers from his school. Twice a week they came for speech therapy. To play with him. To sign with him.
Until he turned three, and it was time for school to stop coming to his home.
At age three, they wanted him six hours a day, five days a week in school. Away from home.
I wanted him home more than that. So we devised a plan to get him there gradually. To ease
me him into it. Three half days, then three full days, then five full days. He was doing five full days by the time he was four.
Friends of normal children would turn green upon learning that my four year old was in school full time.
And they really wanted to hurt me when they found out his school had a six week summer program, held at his school until first grade, then at a Y camp.
"Well. That must cost you a fortune."
"Nope. Free. All part of his curriculum."
"Hmph. Well. It must be a pain in the ass to have to drive him all that way every day".
"Nope. Transportation also provided."
Artfully dodging the daggers shooting out of other Mommy's eyes.
We left the house on the pond and bought our current home when Owen was three. And promptly added another person to it.
ages 1ish and 5ish
And since then, this home has been filled with all the expected family noises:
Near constant bickering between Deaf kid and Hearing sister-Loud.
So I sort of dread those pesky two weeks between school ending and Owen's summer program starting. With some guilt of course, but plenty of dread.
How to fill the days? How to keep both kids happy when their favorite sport is being contrary to one another?
Going over calendar with Owen one day. I point out July 12;
"Camp Owen! That's when you start camp!"
"I don't want to go to camp."
He couldn't give me a reason, but it is not difficult to sort out.
He's around enough normal kids, neighborhood friends, cousins, that don't spend all summer in school. Owen's no fool. They call it 'camp'. It is at a Y. But it is still school. With all the same teacher's and aides and therapists.
Deaf kid wants a break. Deaf kid wants a normal kid summer.
We can pool hop. Go to the pond across the street. Spend rainy days in nothing but our underoos. Have sleepovers. Stay up late sitting around the bonfire.
I gave his school's director the heads up last week.
I gave Owen the weekend to make his final decision.
And on this day, when I quietly celebrate Owen's homecoming, I emailed the director;
"Owen is staying home this summer."