I ran into a family acquaintance the other day and I've been troubled ever since. This person, who also happens to have a loved one with special needs, shared with me that her little one goes to school all summer, in addition to the regular school year. The family enjoys just two weeks off during the summer. I was so caught off guard. I never fathomed Nathan going to school every day ~ year round. The thought never crossed my mind. I'm not sure if this is common or just a decision made in the best interest of this particular child. Even though Nathan is only almost two and a half, I can't see our family making this same choice and I'm hoping it's a choice. After being in school for 10 months, I can only imagine that Nathan will need a break. Every child I know looks forward to summer vacation and every adult I know misses it! Nathan needs time with his family and time to just be a little boy; playing at camp, swimming, riding his bike and learning those all important life lessons in the sand box.Without being cognizant of it, Danny and I make these same choices now for Nathan. We have the option of placing Nathan in school over the summer but we've chosen not to. His school year is coming to a close in only a matter of weeks and as much as I adore his school and his teachers, I'm excited about the time we're going to spend together. Would Nathan benefit from being with his classmates and continuing in this nurturing environment? Of course, but he'll benefit more from being with his mother and hanging with his A-Team for a few short months. It's also why we've worked with Nathan's therapists and scheduled his eight therapies per week, in the mornings over three days. We need time that's unscheduled and reserved just for us. It's about balance.
I just finished reading a very insightful book where the author spoke about why parents over schedule their kids lives. He contends, it's because we're afraid for their future and what it may or may not hold. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid for Nathan's future ~ I am. However, I've come to appreciate that fear is an illusion and what's real is my love for my son and the knowledge that at the end of the day, he'll be just fine. He may have a little marker on his face when all is said and done but he'll do just fine.