It is Wednesday night right now and it is setting in that I only have 2 more days at St. Lucy’s. The past 3 weeks have flown by (and I thought second semester went by fast). I’ll be honest, I am not ready to leave my kids at school. I selfishly don’t think 3 weeks with them was enough. The impact these boys have had on me in such a short amount of time is something special. I hope that one day they will understand the mark they’ve made on me and the potential they have to impact others. But I’ll save all the emotional stuff for when I really have to leave them (ouch).
Sooooo if you’re wondering what we’ve been up to in class…
We went on a field trip to the Powerhouse Museum on Friday! Sounds fun, right? I lost a kid. I told you I’m not holding anything back on this blog so I might as well tell you I literally lost a kid. J is fine – we found him after a few minutes in a space ship. Bringing dozens of kids with special needs to a museum and not having a 1:1 ratio is stressssssssful, let me tell ya. But the kids had a fun time, saw some cool planes and trains, and danced in a Wiggles exhibit. J kept me pretty entertained (after I lost him I didn’t let go of him for the rest of the day).
Week 3! Some Mondays P has a tantrum that fires up the rest of the school, and some Mondays he just needs to lay under a quilt for the day. This Monday he did both.
The boys have been learning about their bodies and they do fun, interactive activities so that they stay engaged and can understand that they are learning new things! They loved playing Body Bingo. Essentially, each student has to cover their whole board with the makeshift chips. It requires them to identify body parts both by name and by picture. They also did an activity where they glued pictures of body parts to their names. It’s interesting helping them because each boy is at a different point of learning. Our job is to really meet each one where he’s at. A few can do these activities almost independently, while others do not have the fine motor skills to use scissors or to glue small pieces of paper. Nonetheless, each student starts and finishes all their tasks with support from his teachers. It’s always an awesome moment of pride to see all the completed work.
St. Lucy’s has a big focus on the arts. The students engage in art, drama, and music classes, and can take advantage of additional instrument or dance lessons. J (outside pics) is a very talented musician. He loves playing the guitar, xylophone, and tambourine. He can be a pretty quiet kid, but will sing anything. The other day I sat down next to him in morning assembly and he serenaded me all of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” It might be June, but I loved the spirit. He also has dance lessons every week. N (middle pic) is playing the drums here, but he also loves to dance. In music class today he bounced around for the full 30 minutes with a huge smile on his face!
On my first day at St. Lucy’s (almost 3 weeks ago – woah), one of the teachers asked me to toast M’s bread and put tomato sauce on it. My first thought was, “Pizza sauce on toast? Weird.” Then I was informed that in Australia, tomato sauce is the equivalent of ketchup. My next thought was, “Ketchup on toast? Still weird.” I was quickly assured that this was not an Australian thing, but an M thing. It might not be my first choice, but M loves it. Recently, he’s been my kitchen helper. I heat up his bread, N’s rolls, and J’s pizza. M helps me put the sauce on his toast, and brings out his classmates’ food to their desks. Talk about table side service! M is hilarious. He refers to himself in third person or as Catboy and things always need to be a very specific way. He has such a special place in my heart and I am gonna miss him a crazy amount.
J is another student who has a very special place in my heart. He may do most things to make life more difficult for me, but he won me over so fast. I could talk about this kid forever… I wish you could just meet him!! All of the boys in my class are very much in their own little worlds. They don’t interact with one another very often, so when THIS happened it was a huge deal. How freaking cute is this. I have never heard J and M have a conversation, but hey one of them most have sensed the other needed a hug. Very few things make me happier than these photos do. Ugh. Pure joy.
This weekend, my friend Yucca (who just graduated from PC) picked me up (after picking up another PC friend from the airport) and brought us to his house in another Sydney suburb. He showed us a bunch of different beaches. If you know me, you know I love sharks more than the average person does. So when I saw this sign in Manly Beach saying there was a shark sighting I freaked out. I wanted to go swimming!!!! With it!!!!! More realistically, I wanted to steal the sign, but that’s unethical and illegal. I did not jump in, nor did I take the sign. You’re welcome, Mom. The other two photos were taken at Palm Beach, which had some really sick views. After our outdoor adventure, Yucca’s family cooked for us (I ate about 2 lbs of steak – my b) and then we went out in Manly. I love love LOOOOOVE the beach so I was beyond happy I got to see a few and even happier I got to spend a day with Yucca and Odie ~ 10/10 Saturday for sure!!
Adrianna and I are making the most of our last week to be tourists together. We checked out the Sydney Tower Eye on Monday after school and despite the bad weather, we got an awesome view of the city. Tomorrow we are going to Bondi Beach to walk around, see the sunset, and eat some tacos. What will I do without her come Monday 😦
I know I say this all the time but MAN I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY! I am learning so much and experiencing love in so many different ways. Thank you for your prayers, support, and love. I’ll be posting one last time before I head off to the Solomons on Monday!
I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!