A mixed week here in the Abstract household, so the word I'm choosing for this #WotW link up is
1. A sense of one's own proper dignity or value; self-respect.
2. Pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement, possession, orassociation: parental pride.
3. Arrogant or disdainful conduct or treatment; haughtiness.
a. A cause or source of pleasure or satisfaction; the best of a groupor class: These soldiers were their country's pride.
b. The most successful or thriving condition; prime: the pride of youth.
5. An excessively high opinion of oneself; conceit.
6. Mettle or spirit in horses.
7. A company of lions. See Synonyms at flock1.
8. A flamboyant or impressive group: a pride of acrobats.
tr.v. prid·ed, prid·ing, prides
To indulge (oneself) in a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction: I pride myselfon this beautiful garden
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Things have been difficult over the last few weeks here, but I've really been trying to look on the bright side. Hasn't always worked, but this week we had something to be really proud of - we had Smiler's annual review. Although technically a review of his statement (Statement of Educational Needs) at Briarwood this is taken as an opportunity to share what he's been getting up to over the academic year, with the Statement related bit at the end.
With a child like Smiler you learn pretty early on that the usual milestones are not going to feature widely in your life, but hopefully you find that there are little steps, little milestones that you can celebrate instead. Things that parents with ordinary children barely notice can be a source of incredible pride - for this child, after all, these tiny steps are a big deal.
So, Smiler's review. He's settled in really well, his class teacher tells us, and he's been a big hit with the staff too. We talked about all sorts of things, from his mobility to his seizures to his love of books and music. He's progressing in many areas, and while there are concerns over his choking what we hear is mostly positive. Smiler came in for part of his review, sharing his achievements by showing us photos on a touchscreen. Because he always touches twice (don't ask me why!) his teacher had got around this by putting every picture on twice in a row, so we still got to see them all.
For Noah and Petal, we talk reading levels and SATs and maths. For Smiler we talk holding a pencil and recognising his name written down. But the pride I feel is the same - it's not about what they achieve, it's about how hard they try.
Smiler's teacher recounted a situation that had occurred last week in class - a child had been very agitated and unwilling to communicate with the adults in the room. Smiler had stood and bumbled over to the other side of the room, and started delving in the box of outside activities - balls, parachute, masks and chalk, and after a couple of minutes of concentrated activity, Smiler triumphantly pulled out a musical toy - a stretchy wristband with bells on - and called 'faddit' (found it) as he walked across the classroom towards the distressed child. Repeating 'faddit, me faddit!' as he approached the child, she seemed to calm a little, and a member of staff moved out of the way so Smiler could get closer. Smiler handed the bells to the child, who began shaking them vigorously, smiling at the sound she knew she was making. Smiler returned to his chair, telling a member of staff 'fine now, faddit, fine now'.
His teacher, visibly moved while sharing the story with us, explained that Smiler was going to get a certificate in assembly at the end of the week for being thoughtful, and for being a good friend.
These tales mean a hundred times more to me than how his writing skills are progressing (they aren't) or how high he can count (to 3, with verbal and physical prompts). These tell me about the person he is, and the adult he will become, and I am so proud of him. He cares about people, and when his friend was distressed he found a way to help her feel better, and isn't that more important than numbers and mark making? I'm so proud of you Smiler - you are becoming an incredible young man.
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