A New Season

I have been lamely trying and failing to capture the fall colors here with my pokey little iPhone.

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This whole East Coast autumn thing is rocking my little California-centered universe. It's not like trees on the West Coast don't change colors in the fall, but nothing like here.  Of course, it's boring to people who've always lived here. Well maybe not boring, but they're clearly not walking around in the constant state of amazement that I am.

Here's Maria in the nature, oblivious as usual:

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So, the autumn looks like that, only more so and everywhere. It happened fast. This was a mere month ago, when it was still green:

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Meanwhile, I've been trying to conquer NaNoWriMo. Um, it's hard. I know, I know, it's like a journey or something, right? I've found it's easier if you don't worry too much about things like character development and plot. After all, it's not National GOOD Novel Writing Month. Anyway, so far it's been a humbling yet enjoyable experience and my kids are still alive, if somewhat more feral than usual.

Speaking of feral, here's the usually feral Kurt in captivity, being fascinated with color:

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After a number of meetings in the last month, Kurt is now officially a special ed student, with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). This is definitely a good thing, and it means he'll be getting speech therapy and OT  in school while continuing to be in the little Pre-K class he so loves. As for what happens next year…well, it's murky. The hope is that he would be able to participate in a typical kindergarten class. If not, he'll go to a special needs K in a school nearby.

As always, it was a bit of a shock to see on paper how badly he does on these developmental tests. (This time it was the Battelle Inventory.) He scored in the first percentile in every category. It just doesn't jibe with the little boy I see sitting on the stairs right now, playing Angry Birds and singing the days of the week song. As a person who has always tested smarter than I actually am, it's weird to watch someone who has the opposite problem.

As always, there's hope. Today we went to the playground in the windy cold. Over the hour or so we were there we saw one other kid crazy enough to come out and play. While I pushed Maria on the swing, I could see the mystery kid chasing Kurt around and trying to talk to him.

I always find this situation a little painful and a little funny. If a kid arrives on a playground and Kurt is the only other child there, it's amazing how hard that kid will work to try to engage Kurt before giving up. Occasionally, this has resulted in said kid coming over to me asking, "Hey, how come that boy won't talk to me?" (Standard answer: "Well, he has trouble talking to people he doesn't know." True, technically.)

So, today, when the mystery kid came over to Maria and me on the swings, I figured that was the conversation I was about to have. But Mystery Kid was the gregarious sort. Within forty seconds, he told me he was in kindergarten, and after politely inquiring if Maria had a diaper on, he informed me that he had underwear on because he was a big kid.

I congratulated him on that. Then Mystery Kid asked Maria's age.

Me: "She's two."

Mystery Kid: "Oh. I'm FIVE."

Me: "Is that right?"

Mystery Kid: (points at Kurt, who, it's worth noting, is taller) "He's only four."

Me: "Oh, yeah? Why do you say that?"

Mystery Kid: "Because he told me."

Me: "Wait. He told you?"

 Mystery Kid: "Yeah. Could you push me on the merry-go-round?"

And then I did, because why not? 


8 thoughts on “A New Season”

  1. Well done Kurt!
    If it’s any consolation to have this perspective, Sylvia is always the Mystery Kid trying to make friends with everyone, and I’d say that a majority of them avoid her and don’t know what to do with her. She’s often asking me, “Why won’t that kid talk to / play with me?”


  2. beautiful….so lucky to see the leaves..I think Kurt will grow and be okay, it will just take a little longer and his personality will b wonderful, he sounds so smart…keep writing and make sure if possible we can see what you have written..you are a excellant writer!..lvoe you and jeff and kurt and maria, have a wonderful thanskgiving…


  3. Standardized tests aren’t perfect but scoring below the first percentile can sometimes be the best outcome. Maybe Kurt is SO smart that he knew he should fail their little tests to get as much support as possible 😉
    As for fall… I totally get the ‘wow’ factor. I was on a three-week road trip of the maritimes several Octobers ago and couldn’t help saying silly things like: “these cows have no idea how lucky they are”. Maria’s colours fit right into that lake picture!


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