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Friday, June 17, 2011

Egg Drop!

School is winding down in NY State for the year. I personally have been sticking my head into a quiet hole in the ground in order to ignore this fact. It works quite well until the first day of summer break is upon me. My beloved and energetic children are home, and mama is, well, wishing they were back in school. Yes, I said it. They need to be in school. They need the routine. They need the professionals who teach them. They need to be channeled. Sigh. But, the professionals need a break also in order to bring their best to the time they spend with our kids.

Darn it.

My younger son, my temporary homeschooled child, and I went to our older son's school this week. We dropped uninvited into one of their end-of-school fun activities--an egg drop.

Every student was able to participated if he wanted. The parameters were that the creation could not be larger than a shoe box. That's it. Somehow, we were to make something that would protect an egg when dropped from the top of a four-story building.

Well, the challenge was issued. The gauntlet was thrown! We are a family of THINKERS! We all--including our res-hab worker--discussed what we could do to protect this egg during its landing. It was a family affair! There was no way my younger son was going to miss this event!

As we walked onto the school grounds, we noticed some of the students had already collected on picnic tables outside. This school is a self-contained school for children with disabilities. I was sad to enroll our son here this year. In my view, I was giving up even those peripheral exposures of typical society that he had in previous years when he attended a special classroom within a typical school. Yet, this year his teacher was transferred to this school. She's is the right teacher for him, and we had to follow her.

We've all enjoyed his year here at this school. He is where he needs to be, and, as I looked at the kids as they collected, I saw peers. Yes, they were children with disabilites of all forms, but they were peers. They were being cool. They were wearing clothes they thought were cool. They walked and talked in ways they thought were cool. They fist-pumped and slapped backs. And, as the egg drop began, it was a SCHOOL EVENT. It wasn't a "special school event". There was spirit as all of those eggs dropped. There were cheers for the creative ones! There were groans when one clearly had a bad fall. As the creations were opened on the ground to see if the egg had survived, all were interested!

It was as "normal" an event as a school carnival, field day or science fair, and it was a success for every student and faculty member there. I was so happy to have been a part of that event.

And, yes, our creation worked! The egg survived! Alas, the crowd proved too much for our son, and he was not able to see it fall. But the school allowed his little brother run over, pick it up and enjoy in the excitement of opening it to discover that the egg had made it safely to the ground.

We now have a "winners" certificate proudly displayed on our refrigerator.

I do think our family has experienced a victory, and it extends far beyond an uncracked egg.

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