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A need to brag

I just had to take a few minutes to brag about Ryley’s latest progress.

We did keep him out of kindergarten this year. He turned five in late September, which was well before the cutoff for our schools here in CA, however, he just wasn’t ready. I’m so glad we did it. I have really struggled lately with where he is, feeling like I’ve somehow been failing him, like he isn’t where he should be, like there is the proverbial shoe hanging over our heads of learning disabilities waiting to make their appearances. I blogged awhile back about him describing letters instead of naming them, and my fear and concern over that. A wise friend (Brenda) passed on some advice to write down where he was at that point with readines skills, then compare that to where he is a few months later.

Last week, we took the kids (yes, a brave thing, I know!) out to dinner. Michael had the kids’ menu out to ask Ryley what he wanted for dinner. He started pointing to numbers in the prices, and asking Ryley what each number was. Ryley recognized EVERY NUMBER!! I was so amazed, I was speechless, and near tears. This little boy, my precious son whom at certain times we didn’t even know would survive, recognizes all his numbers!!!! Simply amazing. They teach math “concepts” at school, so numbers are not just something you memorize (ie just counting, which they do do as well), but actually have meaning. So, he’s actually even starting to do simple math with objects, and he’s doing really well at it. Lastly, he got a word whammer for Christmas, and he’s recognizing, and naming, more and more letters each day. What a joy this has been in the midst of much turmoil in our family. It just reminds me what a blessing he is.

We got a letter today from Ryley’s primary NICU nurse. We have always sent her cards with pictures for Christmas, in the Spring, and around Ryley’s birthay. We hadn’t heard back from her in all this time, until today. It was so wonderful to hear from her. She says she treasures, and shares, Ryley’s pictures. It just made me smile. He’s not the blondie he was in the NICU (she used to call him her handsome blondie boy!), but still stays in her heart. She will ALWAYS be a special person to me.

Happy New Year everyone!!

HUGS!
Donna

7 thoughts on “A need to brag

  1. YAH Ryley!! Glad to hear you are seeing progress in Ryley & able to recognize it!! What an important time for you as a mom!!! Sounds like some wonderful advice you received from our wonderful Brenda!!! A letter from his NICU nurse? How wonderful, how precious that is!! I know that just made your day knowing she loves the pictures & shows off her *handsome blondie* who is no longer the blondie!! Proud moment for a proud momma!! Hugs to Ryley for being such a big boy & doing so well!! Hugs & love,
    Sharlene

  2. Donna,
    That is wonderful. He may just by pass Kindergarten and go straight to first grade. I don’t think that having a hard time with regonizing letters and numbers has anything to do with being a preemie. Rachel had a hard time with it and is finally starting to catch on. Her hardest thing has been regonizing letters and sounds, but we are still working on it. God Bless,
    Susan

  3. Donna –
    Hurray to Ryley for doing so well! I have always heard the “every child is different” – but that always seemed like a wise phrase when it wasn’t something I was worrying about with one of my kids! While I hate that it had you worried, I am so glad that it was for nothing! That’s the best kind in my opinion – right next to not worrying at all! Hurray for Ryley!
    Denise

  4. YIPPEE! Aha! I know it would come. Recognizing that certain lines and shapes have different meanings is the predecessor of letter and number recognition.
    What a great day in the Schweitzer house!
    Miss you, hope the holidays were merry and bright,
    Darcy

  5. Ryley!!!!! What a guy!!!! And behind every great kid is a parent figure who loves them!!!! Way to go!!! And I what a GREAT letter to get from one of your favorite nurses. I always wonder….do they get my pictures…letters…Then when we visited….I found out they certainly did and LOVED them :>)…. and our ob/gyn wrote once too…which was very nice….Still…even if our letters are not the most awaited, it is good therapy for me to send progress notes! Glad you and Ryley have lit up the life of someone in medicine. Bless you! Hugs! Melissa

  6. Great Job Ryley! I think that holding a child back another year for Kindergarten is often times a good idea. They have all of their life to be an adult..so let him be a kid for a little while longer. My son will be 5 in June and we will be holding him back another year as well. He has moderate to severe speech delays and I just want to make sure that he is ready. By the way…he was a full-term baby and is very smart, but his speech is not as good as it should be and I don’t want that to hurt him in the long run. You are making a good decision for you child. Christi

  7. Thanks, guys for all the support. I know I can always count on all of you to cheer right along with me. We have been getting constant, positive reinforcement of our decision to hold Ryley back this year. And to think that a year ago, I was absolutely adamant that he start this year!! Oh, and by the way, Grace, my first full termer, who will be five in October, will be held out another year as well, starting K when she’s almost six. A good choice for her as well. She’s academically very close to where Ryley is, but emotionally so far behind (still good for her age range) Ryley, and she just wouldn’t be ready in the Fall, plus I REALLY don’t need them both starting at the same time, and in the same grade! UGH! They are our Dynamic Duo (to steal a name from a good friend of mine….LOL!) and trouble when they are together! Thanks again. I miss you all, but from the way the emails have been flying at work between my boss and our IT, I should *hopefully* be back on sometime next week!! YAY!!!!!!!!! Now that would make this a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!! HUGs!
    Donna

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