Please meet guest blogger and current Springer parent, Jamie Brocki. Jamie and her husband Luke began their Springer journey with their daughter, Camryn, 8 years ago as she was entering 1st grade. We thank Jamie for sharing their Springer Experience.
I write these first words while my daughter is meeting up a few miles away with a new friend. A friend that happens to be a boy. Will he show up? Will he treat her well? Will she treat him well?
If you have a middle-schooler, you know these words aren’t all that special. They’re what every middle school parent worries about. And when I’m able to rise up out of my ever-worrying mama self, I am thankful that I can worry about such a cliché thing.
This kid has not had an easy go. She is finding her way in life after an infancy plagued by seizures, and childhood diagnoses of ADHD and Tourette’s. (A quick aside … I find these labels to mostly be a benefit to others. Including myself. They gave me something to research, something to troubleshoot, something to reference to help others understand. For her, I’m not sure they actually mean anything more than a descriptive trait. I am shy but energetic. I am silly and loud. I excel at logistics. My memories have incredible detail. I love being busy, and around people. I have ADHD and Tourette’s.)
My daughter started going to Springer School and Center in the first grade, and she’ll graduate in May as an eighth grader. Naturally I find myself in an incredibly reflective state of mind. I could share so many stories about what she’s achieved there. How her teachers so gracefully helped her navigate things that impeded her learning – without once making her feel less than. How one day she was proudly paraded into the principal’s office by her occupational therapist to show him that she learned to tie her shoes. How she learned to employ strategies like standing desks and voice-to-text and multiplication charts and graphic organizers. How she rattles off multiple visions for her future – not sure yet which one she’ll follow. How she researched her choice of high schools fully embracing her unique learning differences – and what she needs to succeed.
Looking back, what all of it has resulted in is confidence. Belief in herself. An uncertain future, but again, only because she isn’t sure which of the many paths she’ll take.
The day my husband and I enrolled her at Springer is the day the staff and teachers locked arms with us, and became an unshakeable part of our village. While I am certain high school will come with its own knocks, I love that my kid will walk in there with her head held high, something she learned to do as a Springer Eagle.
And yes, the boy did show up. “We played basketball and he was cool. Don’t be weird, mom.”