It was Christian's last day of school today! He made it through his first, whole year of preschool! We really couldn't have asked for a better experience and I can't believe it went so fast.
We baked two batches of chocolate chunk cookies for Christian's team - his teacher, his aides, his PT, OT, Speech Therapist, as well as his team from where he spent the first half of the year.
That, there is a sun tea jug full of chocolate chunk cookies. You may notice Christian is not embracing this cookie jug and I'm pretty sure it's because he wants no part of giving all of them away. Sorry, Christian. They're all for the teachers!
Christian with his teacher, Miss Christy. We'll miss her, but she'll be his teacher next year, too!
I'm so proud of my little dude! He was too tired to celebrate.
This school year was full of a lot of change. I'm sure Christian learned a lot. He learned to hang without Mommy always in his face (ignore the picture above). He learned to be around other kids without getting upset or over stimulated. He made me pictures and projects and even planted a bean plant that sits on our window sill. And it's still growing!
I've learned a lot, too. I learned to trust that Christian would be just fine without me. There was not a single day that I kissed him goodbye that I felt he wasn't safe, cared for, and wanted by his classroom.
I learned that Christian is teaching others at his school about acceptance every day. And I learned that kids his age were readily accepting of him, even getting down right excited when Christian came to school. I learned that Christian had friends! He was invited to his first birthday party of a classmate, he went on his first field trip, and he got to "stand" outside with his friends. I learned there was always room for Christian.
We had a pretty positive experience this year. But in the last few days of school there was what seemed to be a foreshadowing of what may come in our future. After a whole school year of abundant acceptance, I noticed while pushing Christian through the school courtyard during lunch hour, that some of the smaller children, maybe around 1st grade, were not only staring (which we're used to and not really bothered by at this point), but were laughing and snickering at Christian. This not only happened once, but a few days in a row.
I understand the staring. They don't understand what they see. But I learned that the laughing, even from a small child that doesn't know any better, hit me right straight in the heart. I think this experience deserves a whole post, which is coming, but the short version is that I learned that standing up for Christian is going to take a different turn in our future. It won't always mean asserting ourselves and advocating in the medical world or with IEP's. It will mean something totally and completely different. But that's for another post.
For now, I'd like to highlight the positive of this year. One of which being one of Christian's little friends from school named Eva. Eva is a beautiful little girl with big, gorgeous eyes who is living with Holoprosencephaly. She and Christian get to ride in their chairs to recess. And today, the last day of school, I talked to her mom, Gabby for a little longer than we usually do. In those short, last five minutes, we were on the same page like nobody's business. We had different stories in how we were brought to the same school, the same classroom, but we shared the same grief, the longing, and the same bittersweet.
So the biggest lesson for me this year, and fittingly learned on the last day of school, is even when we feel we are alone and that not a single soul on the planet knows exactly what we're going through, we're proven wrong. And that's a really good and appreciated lesson to learn.
What else did I learn? She has amazing insight. We're learning the most from these little ones in front of us that ride their chairs to recess.
"...But I swear that little girl is a teacher! She taught me how to spell, H-O-L-O-P-R-O-S-E-N-C-E-P-H-A-L-Y, M-O-T-H-E-R and more importantly F-O-R-E-V-E-R!" - Gabby's Blog.