Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Off to a Great Start!

So, approximately two million details went into the first day of high school for Rojo. We're talking years. We're talking about meetings, lists, e-mails, binders of information, more meetings, more e-mails, more years, more lists, more, more, more. Thought I'd considered everything.

Monday afternoon I realized Rojo was going to need PE shoes for the next day. The next day. As in, the next one after that one. This is the kind of thing that would normally have been on my July list of things to do, but instead, it was on my Right This Minute List. Because he can't tie his shoes, it's not just a matter of running out and getting some. I twisted STM's arm, and dragged him to the Nike Factory Store (thank you, Nike, for being local and having an outlet a few miles away). We were there the day before school doing last minute shopping with all the other people doing the same thing. And it was hot. And I was freaking out. And I had my doubts about whether or not we'd find cool shoes with Velcro, in his size, at an outlet store, the very moment we needed them.

But, you already know the end of this story, right? They had one pair. Perfect. His size. Velcro. And not only were they already marked down because they were at the Factory Store, but they were on sale, too. Probably would have been full price if I'd bought them in July. I was rewarded for waiting. I was rewarded for not stressing about the PE shoes until I needed to focus on the PE shoes. I had a need and the universe swiftly and compassionately met the need.

So, Tuesday morning Rojo and Woohoo got up, had breakfast, got dressed, and were out the door by 7:15. I got a couple e-mails from different people at school saying Rojo was having a great day. My head and heart believed that, my stomach had a different idea. I inefficiently (and maniacally) flitted about all day, finally getting Flicka and going outside to wait for them to drive home way before they could possibly be driving home.

The car pulled up, and just as Rojo was getting out, an older man and his dog walked by. "Oh, hi, Jerry, hi, Phinneas," Rojo says.

"Hi, Rojo," says the man I now know to be Jerry. "How was your first day of high school?" So, I got to hear Rojo's stories as he told them to a man I'd never laid eyes on before, but whom clearly loves my boy and is invested in him.

As Jerry (finally) left, he turned to me and said, "I really enjoy my talks with Rojo at the dog park in the mornings. I'm going to miss them. I hope he'll come on the weekends."

You better believe it, Jerry.

Rojo told me all about history - loved his teacher. Loved all his teachers, actually. Didn't use his locker. Didn't remember to get food from the cafeteria like we'd talked about, but did remember that I'd packed snacks, so ate those during lunch. Did go to the restroom when prompted. Did have different buddies assigned to help him for various things. Did have every teacher/staff member/administrator looking on and out for him. Did bring more than one person to tears by how darn cute and sweet he is.

Rested at home for half an hour, peed, ate a snack, drank a ton of water (hadn't all day), then was ready to head right back to school for volleyball. We headed straight for the Snack Shack and announced to the two dads working there (one of whom is Rojo's godfather, Tom, the other the father of one of Rojo's mentors - no accidents), that we'd be helping. We sold Gatorade, water, and popcorn for a full hour, with about a million people coming in to say, "Hi, Rojo!" Both people I recognized, and those that I didn't.

Then our friend J. came into the Snack Shack (I've blogged a lot about this special young man). He is also in the new program at the high school. He was positively beaming. He was talking so fast and so excitedly I could hardly understand him. Didn't need words to get that the boy had had a great first day. He, too, had come back for more. J's mom came in - she was checking to see if I could keep an eye on J. while she ran to Target. "Sure, buy me a lock for Rojo's PE locker - you'll know what to get, one that he can manage." So she did. Meanwhile J. had worked out an alternative ride home for himself from another mom in our village. He was set to stay longer than his mom could, and had no problem being at the school indefinitely.

Sat between the two special boys on the bench and watched/listened as one person after another came to say hi to them. Little kids. Students. Siblings of their friends. Parents. Staff/teachers. All of a sudden the day(s) caught up with Rojo and he looked exhausted. "Rojo, you look tired, are you ready to go?"

"Yea, let's do," he said. On the way home he told me all about how the boys have five minutes to shower after PE. He's all excited about that. Had I thought about that before, I'd have lost several nights sleep, but because it (like the shoes), failed to reach my radar, it also failed to freak me out. He's not modest, he's full of belief that that, like everything else, will go just great for him.

When we got home there was a voicemail - friend of STM's wanted him to call him back. Turns out the man wanted to tell us that Rojo and Woohoo had been the topic of their dinner conversation that night. This man's daughter, Woohoo's friend, caught Woohoo walking hand-in-hand with Rojo out of the building when it was time to leave Tuesday afternoon. The friend told her family all about how proud and protective Woohoo is of her little brother, and that the whole school knows not to mess with him, or they mess with her (all 110 lbs. of her).

It was a great day.

Today was Late Start, Rojo didn't have to be there until 9:40. Woohoo left early to meet her boyfriend for coffee first (how grown up does that sound), so I said I'd take him - had to run errands out that way, anyway. Thought we'd leave about 9:15, get him there with time to spare, but not too much. Long about 9:00 he shouts up to me as I'm finishing getting ready and says, "Care? You ready to hit the road? I want to get to school and see my friends."

* Photo from

6 comments: said...



You better believe it, Jerry.

Elizabeth said...

Awwwwwwww --

So wonderful, and thank you for sharing it.

kario said...

I am absolutely peeing my pants that he called you "Care" and asked if you were ready to "hit the road." This boy. This boy. He brings tears to my eyes - both in laughter and in amazement!

One Mom said...

Carrie, you've got me blubbering at work! I am so happy for Rojo, and for you, that high school is such an exciting time for him.

Love, love, love this!

Dee said...

This story touched a place deep in me where holiness dwells. The spark of divinity. The quiet place in which we center ourselves before Beauty and Innocence.

Thank you for Rojo.

During the summer you've written postings wondering if you were a good mom. I hope you know the answer now.


Tanya Savko said...

I don't need to tell you how moved I am by all of this. Right down to the "Care!"