Monday, November 12, 2012

Some Things Never Change

One day last week I picked Jack up from school and he was in tears. Like full-on screaming crying, tears streaming down his sweet little face. The teacher helper handed him to me and said "he had a really hard day today." Jack is not normally a loud, teary crier. If he is upset, he is much more likely to whine and whimper. I knew something bad must have happened. I asked what went wrong. She described the classroom as extra noisy and that Jack maybe got overwhelmed and that he just seemed tired. She said he was only happy when out on the swing.

I felt really bad for Jack. As soon as I got him into his car seat, he chilled out and stopped crying. He knew he was going home. I had that dull ache just knowing that something upset my boy, but I had no way to know exactly what had happened. Since he struggles with communication and cannot exactly tell us what is wrong, it is almost always a guessing game. These teachers have only known Jack a couple months and they are going off their limited knowledge of Jack, so that adds an extra layer of the unknown. We are only as good as our guesses when it comes to Jack.

A couple hours later, Jon got a call from the head teacher, wondering if Jack was OK. My first reaction when I heard was "oh no. It must have been really bad to get a phone call." I guess Jack had been crying for quite some time at school. Jon explained to her that Jack had just come off of the daylight savings time change and like most young kids, didn't get the memo - this whole concept of an extra hour of sleep. He was probably tired, first and foremost. They chatted a bit more.

I really do think that exhaustion was the reason for Jack's mood that day. But part of me will always wonder what I am missing because of this communication gap. Will I ever be able to catch these things?

More and more, I am praying for Jack's protection, specifically because he is so vulnerable. Oh this world of parenting a child like Jack! Even though we are three years out from our NICU journey, I still spend a lot of time in this quiet, hyper-awareness of what could/can possibly go wrong.
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Jessi. Brought tears to my eyes! Our 24 weeker is only 1, but I often wonder what we have just around the corner. We are currently getting over croup.....something I blame on myself because maybe I should be staying home with him, though my husband's income isn't enough to cover our bills.

Christi said...

Oh, poor Jack! My heart just hurts for him and I am sending him a great big virtual hug. said...

Poor little guy. If the teacher noticed that the loud classroom affected him, that sounds like a good thing. It's good that they notice what triggers these kids. I hope he has a better day tomorrow.

Becky Price said...

Jessi, I love your post. This journey is so hard. I worry about my older kids but there is something different in my worry for Bella. The nagging type of worry that is a dull ache that never goes away. There are times when I can put a "bandaid" on it but it is never really gone. I pray for you to have strength and wisdom. You truely are my hero.

Jackie said...

Seriously ripped my heart out thinking about that sweet boy in tears for so long. Praying in agreement with you for Jack's protection! Much love!

Allison said...

Poor buddy! Everyone knows whoever decided on daylight savings didn't have children!!

Also glad for caring teachers who take the time to call and check in. Sounds like he is in good hands at school.

Tracy Etherton said...

Poor little guy!

I work with non-verbal students. I have to tell you that within a few weeks we pretty much can figure most of the issues (triggers) that they have. It may take a little longer to figure things like being overtired (unless they are the type to lay on the floor and attempt to sleep....) But we do figure it out and try to lessen those triggers as much as we can. I have worked in this field for 15 years and in all those years I have only seen one student that we never truly figured out what triggered his crying jags (but we had some solid ideas...)