Stuck at Home on Fourth of July

July 5, 2014
The rain started on Thursday night and continued all through Friday and most of Friday night. So we stayed home all day. Robert’s suggestions, “Ocean, ocean, ocean, New York, and Mrs. Scott,” were quickly dismissed with a few words and one gesture pointing to the window. Robert didn’t insist, but nonetheless kept bringing his ideas for leaving house every hour or two.
We didn’t leave. The prerecorded call from our town informed us about canceled parade and fireworks. Little children’s bike parade was rescheduled to Saturday.
In 1995 or 1996, Robert and Amanda rode in the parade, as Jan and I walked by. They both looked like hundreds of other children. Nobody would guess, the long hours we spent on boardwalks along New Jersey shore to teach Robert to SIT on his tricycle and allow us to push the vehicle. Nobody would guess long hours in Boston Arboretum spent on teaching Robert to PUSH pedals to move the bike.
Jan in front of the bike saying, “Robert, do this,” and demonstrating the movement of the leg.
Jan next to the bike pushing Robert’s leg down.
Over and over. Left leg, right leg. Showing and pushing. Showing and pushing.
It was mostly Jan’s endeavor, as I followed Amanda’s bike since she was much faster rider.
Nobody would guess Jan’s tremendous patience and his stubborn dedication to teach Robert to sit and turn pedals while looking at this proud father surrounded by equally proud parents. Robert and Amanda were indistinguishable from all other little siblings attending the event. Amanda kept her eye on Robert, encouraging him to move, and Robert followed his sister as close as possible and as necessary in the crowd they were both in.
For the first time, I had a feeling that hard work and dedication might result in Robert being a part of larger community.

As it rained and rained, Robert watched a movie on his iPad, slept, made projects, and studied with me. Robert did some easy math work independently – matching fractions to partially colored shapes, choosing the operation sign to complete the equation, and filling the graph. Then I lead him through two and three steps math problems from 4th grade Singapore Math. He completed 3 pages independently from 1-2 grade science workbook, and then with me 1 page from 3-4 grade science.
He read a paragraph on African elephants, answered related questions and solved the crossword. He arranged independently one set of words in alphabetical order (all the first letters were different) and then with me he did the same with three other, more difficult, sets.
Most of the time Robert spent on making a folder for Ancient China from History Packets. He read, colored, wrote the definition of four new words, cut, glued, made chain of lanterns, and a paper dancing dragon. Then, he wrote a postcard from The Great Wall of China and addressed it to his grandmother. He hung lanterns in his room and showed his dancing dragon to his dad.

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