Monday, July 11, 2011

Apparently There's No Place Like It


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:

TV- Loud
Dog barking-Loud
Near constant bickering between Deaf kid and Hearing sister-Loud.
My voice-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."


  1. I identify so much with this. I remember the day I had to put my three year old on a bus to go to school 5 days a week. I was devastated but knew it was what she needed. And now? I still struggle with her heading to day camp all summer but she thrives in the structure of it all and she wants to go. I love that you let Owen decide and he picked home. I couldn't agree more that they are kids first.

  2. love the post, bla bla bla (:p ) But did you give the kid a hawk? Like Big Kiss?? Awesomesauce!!!!!

  3. love that, he'll be so happy.

    I am dreading when school starts, my Irish twins are going to be at different locations for the first time. Lil' Miss is none to happy about it.

  4. Good for you! Good for him. You get your little guy full time again for a while.

    And to the jealous moms, uhm, what? I think free summer camp and free transportation are very small trade offs from the relatively care free child life most of us have had... You rock for seeing the big picture (and not wanting to kill us all).

  5. have a fun summer!! what a mature choice by your sweet boy-we love doing nothing too-

  6. WOO HOO for a summer at home. It may be loud but it'll also be awesome.

    I hypothesize that you'll be sad and happy when it's over. Cuz that's how motherhood goes!

  7. Sometimes you've just got to opt for NORMAL. We do that, too: blow off therapy or camp or special-needs preschool and just...Be Normal.

    I am looking forward to reading about your summer adventures!!

  8. I want to stay home too. This summer camp of 9-5 all year round blows. You tell 'em, Owen!

  9. A few years back one of my girls decided they didn't want any camp and it was this domino effect with each girl following right behind the other. After that, summers were about impromptu days and discoveries and adventures big and small. They were the best days.

    Good luck Owen. May your summer be a whirlwind of fun.

  10. Summers were my favorite time growing up. Adventures and laziness. The shift from school to life and back to school feeling a little bit transformed.

    Yea Owen ; -)

  11. This is such a wonderful post!!! I love coming by and reading about your family. About Owen and how he is growing physically and emotionally and developing into a smart little man who will dazzle everyone he meets one day!

    You are an awesome mom and a very blessed woman indeed!

  12. Sending you a bottomless glass of 'web wine' for the days when both kids have pushed you to the limit AND for the days when everything is so damn fun that you are merely celebrating having Owen for a few extra weeks at home with you and Bea.


  13. Good luck and enjoy the summer!

  14. Good for you! Mum knows best and all that.

    We have full time school in Belgium for all kids from two and a half, but I do love having them home for two full months in summer. And then I love having them go back to school.

  15. Oh and I totally signed that.

  16. You are such a good mom. I hope they don't fight too much this summer- but being siblings I'm sure they will ;)
    I can't wait to hear about your summertime adventures!

  17. let the summer of owen begin! and i suggest you have plenty of wine on hand so that your summer is as pleasant as possible.

    side note: i used to go to bible camp as a kid. what a fucking nightmare. i finally wised up after several summers and refused to attend again. attending church 3x a week was PLENTY for me, and a summer of BIBLE CAMP was the nail in the coffin that i really didn't need.

  18. Could your kids BE any cuter? Seriously, that Owen is gonna be some heartbreaker some day. And lookee that sweet wee sister of his. Bea, right? Adorable, both of them.
    And good for him, being able to spend all summer goofing around and fighting with his sibling, just like all the hearing kids.
    Looks like Mom is gonna need some ear plugs.

  19. Yay for the lazy, hazy days of summer! Enjoy!

  20. I hope you enjoy every minute.

  21. I love it. Letting the kid, just be a kid. :) Enjoy it, enjoy him and you know he's going to enjoy every second of it - even when he's making you drink wine! YAY!!!

  22. Bravo.

    And if they fight too much, you can beat them. :)

    Just kidding.

  23. NORMAL!

    now welcome to summer hell

    i'm with elizabeth. i'm not kidding

    i missed you


  24. Yeah! this is gonna be a great summer for him!!

  25. It's where the heart is.

    (and the Spiderman action figure. and the TV. and the sister. and the barking dog. and you.)

    It's where Owen wants to be.

    Good for you, Mama.
    And good luck...

  26. Here's to a great summer for Owen. And a little extra dose of lowered volume for Mom so she can enjoy it, too! :)

  27. Owen, I am so jealous of your freedom as I sit in the summer school class I teach and read this! Good for him! Go jump in the pool for me.

  28. Ok, first off, you're pretty.

    Second, we did the same thing. Ditched all the therapies and school stuff and stayed home the summer and let them be kids. It's killing me to some degree but he's having the time of his life. And for that I am happy.

    And based on Owen's smile he's having the time of his life too. And for that, I know you are happy.

  29. YAY!


    My middle guy stays home, that's how he likes it.


  30. Aw! I bet it's going to be a glorious summer!

  31. dammit. Crying. Glad he's having a great summer.

  32. Hope Owen has a great summer!! Looks like he's got a pretty good start.

  33. Smart kid. Smart mom. Have fun!

  34. The gift of nothing is a gift indeed. Although you may decide to invest in those noise-reduction earphones. And a margarita.

    That pic at the end makes me so happy. Sweet boy.

  35. ::hitting "like" repeatedly::


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