“Like what you see?” Ms. Abrahms asks from the doorway of her classroom.
I don’t know how long she’s been standing there, but I know I have a goofy grin on my face that I know she could see even in profile. I jump a little at her the sound of her voice and answer enthusiastically.
“Yes! Yes, I do.”
Ms. Abrahms has proven to be not just an outstanding teacher, but an amazing person. I heard through the rumor mill, she actually asked to be his teacher when the principal told the staff he was coming aboard. She later told me she has a friend who’s son is autistic. And she really wanted to learn about autism. Sometimes “fate” doesn’t explain when things like that happen. I know there is a higher hand involved, simply guiding us to the right people at the right time.
“Good, good…” She returns my smile and walks to her desk. She doesn’t seem bothered that I am here unattended. I took advantage of an open door and let myself in to snoop before our team meeting today.
“I hope you don’t mind, I came in early…I love seeing his work.” I say sheepishly at being caught, but also beaming with pride. She waves her hand in dismissal.
“Help yourself; this room is always open to you.” She begins gathering papers on her desk and I continue around the room.
I only give her a nod as I have my arms wrapped tightly around myself; Either to hold in my joy or to keep me from snatching his work off the wall and sobbing. I can always pick out his papers as his writing is messy and his pictures not as advanced as the other children’s. However, there are a few pictures and writing samples that I notice are similar to his. I don’t care either way. I am simply overjoyed at the fact he even has work on the walls; that he is participating and getting the opportunity to learn.
One by one, the rest of our team assembles. Brie, Toni, Leigh, and then Dan.
“Hello ladies, nice seeing me again.” He says with his charming grin. They all roll their eyes and giggle politely as they all are too familiar with his lame jokes. I too, smile at him as we all take a place around the semi-circular table.
I am floating with bliss at the reports of his success: with conversations with peers, with reading, with using the bathroom alone (a feat he could not do at public school-somehow he would hold his bladder: All Day). I’m also amazed at his interaction with Ms. Abrahms. She often asks to work with him alone and actually was able to access him with his academic progress. Something the public school district staff had difficulty doing. And she did it in a few short weeks.
“He’s not the top of the class and he’s surely not the bottom. He’s right in the middle.” Ms. Abrahms says matter of factly and then gives a broad smile. I can tell that she’s proud, and already invested in him…and I want to hug her across the table.
Right in the middle, right in the middle…I keep chanting it in my head. Who would have thought how beautiful the equivalent of “average” could sound?