Monday, July 21, 2003
Second grade was difficult for Kyle. His ears protruded and he had warts covering his hands. Kids teased him constantly. He got a first year teacher who gave them a starfish if they didn't get in trouble all day. He came home from the bus dragging his backpack and would proclaim that he didn't get a starfish. I asked why he hadn't gotten one and generally it was for touching the walls when he walked down the hall, dragging his feet, or other boyish behavior. But when I went to the school's open house on the fourth week of school the chart showed that he was in the minority of never having received the relished starfish. I stayed up all night and prayed. Then I made an appointment with the principal and complained. She was wonderful and agreed this was not a good teacher for Kyle. She asked if we should remove him immediately or should we wait until the next day. I told her the next day was fine. The teacher was fired later and I took extreme pleasure at seeing her years later in a public building with her little boy. He was a normal but wild boy and she couldn't get him to behave at all. I pointed him out to Ryan and reminded her who we were. She was extremely embarassed and tried harder to control her son. It was one of those moments that makes me smile even now. His new teacher was wonderful and while he was still teased he did well academically.
We had bought a small fishing and archery store and ran it as a family. Also that year, my husband took our three boys fishing. An ice storm came up when they were driving home. They were crushed in their suburban between two semis. While not hurt seriously, Kyle was hurt the worst. He had a cooler fall on him. Because of that, I had Kyle talk to his school counselor. It was the beginning of counselors for Kyle.
There are little things that I look back on now and see were the markings of bipolar. His feelings were always so close to the surface. He did some truly amazing, creative pictures. In fourth grade he was given a part as a judge in Tom Sawyer. He had a speech and then a solo. I didn't believe that he could do it. It was a huge amount of words to learn. He didn't even attempt to learn it. The night before the show I asked if he wanted me to work with him. He refused. He didn't know a single line. He did great in a the small scenes. It was like he came alive on stage. Then his big scene came up. I held my breath thinking he would fail and fall apart. He did the scene perfectly. I love to watch it to this day on video. But I will never forget that moment in the audience. He has the same amazing voice as his dad. I love to hear him sing. He has gotten every singing part that he has auditioned for. A local theatre auditioned children for a kids theatre group called Kids Caravan. They auditioned over 1000 kids and picked twenty. Kyle made it all three years. One year his brother really wanted it and Kyle wasn't even going to try out. You guessed it, Kyle made it and his younger brother Johnny didn't. Kyle loved being on stage and singing. He played Jesus in the Passion play at our church and brought tears to the people's eyes. He was so much fun to watch. I love to hear him sing. He sings all the time around our house and in the car when it is just him and me. He went to a concert for his favorite band at the time, Grasshopper Takeover. The lead singer offered people in the audience to sing. A few people got up and the audience booed them off. Then Kyle got up and the audience cheered. He was so excited when he came home. He couldn't believe that they liked him. He loved being in the spotlight. A teacher whom he didn't get along with said that most boys' voices go through changes where they sound worse. She said Kyle's just gets better and better. They really butted heads when he was in Junior High. Kyle is a wonderful artist also. He won the yearbook contest at his school and a few others. But he would rarely finish pictures. I have a box of amazing, half done pictures. I wanted him to take art in high school but he told me that it would be too frustrating. He did well at writing too which was no surprise because his dad is a wonderful writer. Ryan would get 139% on papers and one time he got an A++++++++++++++. In fifth grade he wrote a 67 page paper on Hernando Cortez. His teacher said if she is ever on Jeopardy she would be set. But more often than not he wouldn't turn his work in. If he turned it in, I knew it would be an A. This problem started in the beginning of fourth grade. His popularity soared. The third grade boy who would be reading books in the corner of the playground was now the most popular boy in school. But it wasn't necessarily for good reasons...