Jack & the Straight Jacket Summer School Bus …

 In Jack's Dad

It’s hard to believe that the Summer has all but gone.  The days of visiting the beach or embarking to the mountain lakes will soon be lost to the frantic early morning schedule.  School is right around the corner, and with school comes many new challenges.

This year, Jack will be beginning 1st grade.  We’ve learned that anytime there is a schedule change it takes Jack about 6 weeks to adjust. In that time Jack often experiences confusion, we have to learn new needs that he has based on the change. All this results in over-stimulation, loud outbursts, the flop to the ground and us as parents left trying to calm him and using clarifying questions to resolve the situation.

This summer Jack was able to attend ‘Extended School Year’ (aka Summer School) to prevent the summer regression. So for 4 weeks this summer the bus came to pick Jack up for his exciting learning experience.  Day 1 began with its own challenges with not having an appropriate seat-belt arrangement which allowed Jack (aka Houdini) to unbuckle while the bus was in motion to walk around and see what was happening.  Needless to say we had to get this rectified…and it did get fixed.

I have to be transparent.  The following day, when a support vehicle drove up to our house behind the bus to get Jack fitted for the “Harness” I nearly lost it.  The ‘safety’ pendulum went to the complete other extreme to a medieval straight jacket without sleeves! Check out his fashion statement below.

Jack Restraint

Each day, as the bus would pull into our driveway at 8:10am, I would fit Jack’s harness to him and then help him up into the bus to attach the harness to the 4 point restraint mechanism in the school bus. I would hug him, tell him that I love him and free him to go explore the world on his bus route to school.

I couldn’t help but think that even though Jack was tethered to the bus (4 times over), he was still in a position that was safe, secure, protected and that would not allow him to hurt himself or others, yet he had a great vantage point out the window to go on his journey to explore, learn and interact with others at school.  I’m thankful I didn’t blow up or lose my cool on the bus driver.

As the school year begins and we have to implement IEP’s, negotiate additional services and adjust to the new schedules we really do need wisdom.  The last emotion we need to be taking to bed at night is worry about how tomorrow’s events will unfold.

My encouragement to you this week comes from James 3:17…

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable,gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
The wisdom that we are to ask for (James 1:5) is pure, and it brings peace to our spirit.  You can always tell whether or not you are picking a battle based upon selfish endeavor or righteous cause by the level of peace within yourself.

Be encouraged, when the first bully phone-call comes, or the daily report gets your blood boiling … seek God’s wisdom.  Let His wisdom guide the discussion with the teacher or parent.

Be encouraged,

Jack’s Dad.

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