We have now completed a first, whole, week of school for Christian.
This is a first, whole week...without Mama...without me.
I was nervous on Monday because Christian gave me a hard time in the morning. He was grumpy and upset and I thought maybe I should just stay with him through school one more time. But when we arrived at school, he didn't even flinch. The aids reassured me he'd be just fine. And I took a leap of faith (one of many these days) and I left him.
I wasn't emotional, I was maybe a little lost. I mean I had Lola, but what were we going to do for the next two and a half hours? She didn't know either as she was just as confused as I was. I loaded her up in the van and she looked over and pointed to Christian's empty seat. She asked where Christian was in her baby gibberish piecing together her version of "Christian" with inflection at the end of her jargon to signify - Where the heck is my brother?
After two and a half hours of twiddling our thumbs it was finally time to go pick up Christian!
To my surprise (again, I shouldn't get so surprised all the time because Christian always has tricks up his sleeve), he had a great day! No attitude at all! Was that morning just his version of a temper tantrum thrown by a stubborn three year old? But now he's on his best behavior for his teachers? Could this mean he actually enjoyed being around other kids? Does this mean he may need a break from Mommy? Well, that's just crazy talk.
I was so excited to hear such a great report. And after making sure to hit every blue, square, handicap accessible automatic door button on the way, Lola marched up to Christian and patted his leg as if to say - There's my brother!
The week got even better. The next day after dropping Christian off at school (again, all by himself) the vision therapist caught me in the parking lot on my way out. She was so excited and I love when therapists and teachers are excited about Christian! She said the ways in which he's using his vision and tracking are indicating that he is using his brain to process the information he takes in visually. She said she wants to go slowly but by what she is seeing we may be able to use this strength for a future communication device. Meaning, we can use his vision to tap into what he wants, what he likes, etc. All great news!
When we came back to pick Christian up the physical therapist reported that he tracked a toy up and down while in the prone position (on his tummy, holding his weight while propped up on his elbows and holding his head up). And he did this for 6 1/2 minutes! She was excited, too, and surprised!
One of the things about Christian is at first glance, people don't expect much from the kid. So it's always a little entertaining for me to watch them discover that he is, in deed, in there. He does have abilities. He does have a personality. He does have likes and dislikes and he's learning more and more how to express that with the abilities he has.
I'm not offended by them not expecting much from him. But I do love when they come back, excitement and surprise in their eyes, with - "Christian did this...and he did it for this much time...and he tolerated this...and can you believe it?!"
Yes. I can believe it.
The last day of school was complete with some good ol' "Open, Shut Them" circle time with the other kids and I was told Christian enjoyed it. (He likes having his hands clapped.)
Christian will go to school next week for two days but then he has his VNS surgery on Wednesday. He'll probably be out of school for the next two weeks for recovery. We chose this kind of timeline so his teachers would get to know him a little before VNS and then after VNS. This way we can gauge progress.
This wasn't a sad or emotional week for me, leaving my boy at school. In fact, while I was away from him I would wonder what he was doing and I would feel so much joy and peace and fluttering of butterflies because I am so proud and grateful all at the same time.
You know that boy that wasn't going to make it that night? You know that boy that literally died and came back to life? You know that boy they said would never do anything? The boy they said may need a trache for the rest of his life? Well, I'm about to go pick that boy up from school.
Yeah, that boy.
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