Unemployment Day One

School is out! I have to admit that I shed some tears as the little ones left, never to be seen again. I hope that their lives will be joyful and that all their teachers next year will be understanding of all their various disabilities and have far more patience with them than I sometimes did.

For example, one young boy would constantly question the whereabouts of somebody that was not present. He would ask “Where’s Skeeter?” or “Where’s Mary?” 60 seconds after he had asked that same question and been given the answer that the person in question was at home today because he/she was sick or that they had a doctor’s appointment. It would continue throughout the day.

After months of that, I finally wised up. After the first (truthful) answer, when he asked “Where’s Mary?” again, I would say something like “Mary ran away to the Alligator Farm and now she’s wrestling alligators for tourists”.

“NO SHE’S NOT!” came the indignant response.

“She isn’t? Then where is she?”

“She’s at home sick with her mommy!”

“Are you sure about that?”

“YES!”

“Okay then, if you’re sure!”

“Where’s Skeeter?”

“Skeeter is driving for NASCAR. I think he said his car was blue.”

“NO HE’S NOT!”

“Why not?”

“He doesn’t have a driver’s license!”

“Are you sure?”

“YES!”

“Do you think you have to have a driver’s license to drive a race car?”

“YES!”

“Then where could he be?”

“He had a doctor’s appointment!”

“You sure about that, sport? Are you sure he isn’t really taming tigers in Tijuana?”

“No, he said yesterday that he had a doctor’s appointment today.”

“Well, okay then, as long as you’re sure!”

Then there was the child that could spell and write his name on Friday but might lose that ability to remember how to spell it over a 3-day weekend. And the child that could read all of his sight words on Friday, be able to tell the sounds of the letters, and be clueless on Monday. If the parents do not work intensively with these children over summer vacation, then they will have to start all over again next school year. I have a great deal of sympathy for the parent(s) who have to come home from work, do the household chores and care for a child (or children) with disabilities, and try to spend quality learning time as well. The parents are overwhelmed and have other children that need attention, too.

So, on my first day of unemployment, I’ve spent the entire morning worrying about what will happen with my (former) charges!

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