Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Halloween Party at Owen’s preschool. Parents can volunteer to help whenever there is an event at school but they put us to work, this isn’t just a chance to go hang out with our kids at school. If it was up to Owen he would just drag me all around the classroom to show me everything.
Last year I helped out at all the parties and sometimes it was really difficult. Owen wanted to stay with me and the last party of the year was downright terrible. He cried, threw himself on the ground and was so upset I had to just take him home and leave the party altogether. All the other moms were staring at us, some of the children were staring I was so embarrassed and I cried the whole drive home. So, I was very worried about going to the Halloween party. I am so glad I got over my fear and went, we had a great time.
Whenever I go to preschool for an event both teachers and all the aides are eager to tell me all about Owen’s progress. I really love that the staff at his school is so invested in him and his success. You can tell by the way they talk about him and his accomplishments that they are proud of him. This makes me so happy. One of them told me about the day they all went for bathroom break. Owen was looking in the mirror while washing his hands and making his “bah” sound, he really loves to say bah, bah, bah. One of his little friends in the class excitedly yelled, “Miss Cindy, Owen is talking!” I love that the other children are excited for Owen’s new skills.
At the parties they will have 4 different activities and parents are each given a job. Usually they have Owen come to my area last so that he doesn’t have to leave me and afterward we go to snack time together. This time they had Owen’s group come to my activity first. I was afraid he would just want to sit by me the whole time and they said if I had to I could go with him to the other areas. But Owen was such a big boy and went from one station to the next when it was time.
My station was a fun game called Trick or Treat. We had a pile of cards on each card was written either the word treat, and they got a small cookie or trick and they had to do the activity on the card to get their cookie. The trick cards said things like, sing your favorite Halloween song, or dance like a monster. It was so much fun to see all the kids doing the tricks. The first round Owen was pretty shy about doing his tricks but his little classmates would jump in and help him out by doing the activity with him and by the end he was an expert. It was so awesome to see him playing with his friends. I worry all the time that Owen won’t have any friends because he is different, and it brought me so much joy to see him with all the other children.
When it was time to move on to the next game Owen went right along with everyone else. Then a few minutes later the aide came over and said she would take over for me. I was worried that Owen needed me but when I got to the next activity it became clear they wanted me to see Owen participating. They were having races, two children at a time would roll pumpkins to the finish line. I would have thought that Owen would just stand back and watch but there he was, rolling that pumpkin with all his might. I was so proud of him!
When all the games were done it was time for snacks. I enjoyed being able to sit with Owen and watch him eat with all his friends. Then it was time to wrap up the day with watching videos on the white board.
The teachers had put together a cute little book that each child got to take home for a night called, “Scarecrow, Scarecrow.” Each page had a photo of a child and the text, “Scarecrow, Scarecrow, how scary can you be? You scared (child’s name) but you didn’t scare me!” Owen got to bring the book home on Tuesday the week before the party and he loved it, we had to read through it 5 times! The teacher put each page up on the screen and they went through the book. Owen was so thrilled. When they got to Owen’s page the teacher asked, “who is this boys and girls?” everyone yelled Owen’s name and he was so proud, he was looking all around to make sure I saw him up on the big screen. Once he spotted me he kept looking back to where I was standing so I decided I would go sit with him.
Next the teacher played Halloween videos on the white board and I was so excited to see Owen stand up with all the other kids and dance. He didn’t get all the moves right but he was dancing just like everyone else. And she wrapped up with the Letter O Song because that was the letter they worked on that week. As everyone was singing Owen was bouncing up and down with sheer joy. I think he thought they were all singing to him since his name starts with the letter O.
As all the other kids quickly left with their parents Owen led me around the classroom and showed me around. He took me to the pictures by the door and showed me each of his friends from class. It made me smile that he was so proud to show me all around the room.
Over the weekend we watched the Letter O song on Youtube and a bunch of other alphabet songs. Owen really enjoyed it and I was happy to have learned about them from school. Even though he doesn’t talk yet he did “sing” along by signing all the words that he knew in the song.
I wish I could go to school with Owen every day!
I hope you all enjoy the Letter O Song as much as we do!