Cayman is officially a Kindergartener!! A real school kid! Over 3 years of preschool has helped prepare I have to say us, her parents, just as much if not more than her for this day. It's huge! This is quite a milestone! She's ready, I know it. I have been excited for this day! (Nervous too.) For her to finally take that next step and eager to see what this year will bring to her.
I didn't cry when the day finally arrived.
Shocked by this I questioned denial?
No. I don't believe that is it.
I don't feel the normal sadness like I have watched many mom's experience when they send their "baby" off to Kindergarten. I recall reading a sentence once that said, "A special needs parent doesn't lament over their child growing up." That feels true. Either I am on cloud 9 too high on celebration over the growing up milestones that I thought she'd never achieve, or so emotionally exhausted from the lagging behavioral milestones that leave me earnestly longing to move onto the next phase of growing up, needing a break.
As Cayman has grown it's never felt fast. This is both a wonderful thing and a hard thing.
Contemplative is a good word for this state I feel.
There is a tightness in my chest that I know is normal and will dissolve with time, I'm certain of it. I have learned the things I worry over either won't come to be or if they do there is always a way to surmount the challenge. So don't let it subtract from the gift of what is right now!
I worry about my 6 year old Kindergartener not being potty trained yet. I think, if only I would have worked harder with her. But I have! Oh man have I tried!
It's a new teacher that doesn't know her. What if they ask her to do things that she can't, or worse, not realize what she can do and expect too little?
Her balance is weak and she has to take her time on steps or curbs. What if they rush her?
Will she drink enough?
Will they be patient through her anxieties? Or will they view her as a hassle and not see her place in the mainstream classroom?
Will the other kids understand her? Will she have friends? Will they be nice to her?
What is my role? What is best for her? What are the realistic expectations of where she fits in? What academic goals do we fight for and which do we let go and rewrite?
But today, when the big day arrived, those worries settled beneath something magical. The strength of loving her and letting her go. I can't explain it but I felt ready for this.
The first time I "saw" Cayman was a picture the hospital had taken of her after she was born. I was out cold under anesthesia. When I woke up this is the photo I saw of her...
The most absolute worst photo ever taken of her, hands down!! She looked terrible. I posed a smile next to that picture of my baby. It wasn't a forced smile, it was real. I did feel a tightening in my chest for the unknown but a deep confidence took seat within me that I was made for this!
And that is what I felt today!
|Waiting for the school bus to arrive. Photo taken by Kobe.|
|When you have your picture taken by a 3 year old occasionally you'll get a finger covering the lens.|
|Or you'll get a shot of the feet.|
|Photos of sisters make me go "awwwww".|
|The bus was running behind, very behind, and Cayman decided to take a rest in the grass.|
|She was giggling and acting silly.|
|Then out of nowhere became whiny and moody. That's our Cayman. Very typical of her when she's nervous. Or tired. Or jealous. Or hungry. Or not getting her way. Or....well I think you get the picture.|
|Her Kindergarten days consist of half days, everyday. The morning went by quick and she was back home with us!|
I was happy to see a note in her folder written by her Intervention Specialist telling us about her first day of Kindergarten:
Hi Mike & Kristen,
Great first day of Kindergarten! Cayman was a little apprehensive at first but she was very excited when she walked in Mrs. E's class and saw a friend she knew from last year. Cayman did great during the practice fire drill. She had PT today and Music. Cayman had leaked through her shorts after Music. We will have her take a bathroom break before her special class tomorrow. A few reminders needed to listen to teacher directions. Very happy with how well Cayman did today.
Looking forward to a great year!
Today was also a big day for Kobe.
His first day of Preschool!!
Again, I was filled with more elated excitement for this kid to feel any remorse for his growing up milestone of starting preschool. Maybe that'll come later. I tend to be a deal-with-one-emotion-at-a-time kind of gal. So depending on what day ya catch me on and see me again later don't be surprised to learn I'm kind of fickle that way.
Having a special needs older sister hasn't been easy for Kobe. We call him our second-hand special needs kid. He picks up on Cayman's behavioral delays and mixes them into his strong-willed personality and wow, that's a hot mess fast!
Playgroups, children's church, story time at the library...all of these types of things I have perused to help him progress but he needs more and I think preschool is going to be that exact 'more' that we're looking for.
I'm thrilled to watch what this next year brings for him!
|Attempting to take a Daddy, Mommy picture with Kobe. Cayman was taking the pictures and was very hyper and loud. Kobe was being uncooperative.|
|Hahahaha, now it's Daddy telling Cayman to be "QUIET!" Goodness that kid can be loud! And look at that little pig-tailed cutie standing in the front! Cassady melts me with her adorableness.|
|Still attempting to get a great picture together.|
|It didn't happen.|
|Kobe's preschool days are half days as well but in the afternoon.|
|Naturally, down one child, this momma took advantage of the lighter load to run errands because going out with two kids is way easier than 3!|