I can hardly believe school is starting tomorrow. This year I have three in school with my oldest, Blake, starting middle school, Elena will be in 4th grade and Evelyn will be starting 4K. Truett will get to enjoy some one on one mommy time.
We brought Elena in to meet her teacher the other day and as we walked down the hall she was just beaming. Her face lit up the entire time we were there. She loves school!
Elena splits her time in the special ed and 4th grade classroom about 50/50. When she is at school the kids love her. Many of them who have been with her for years understand how she communicates and patiently wait for her eyebrow raise for yes. They have to put their names in a bin and draw one name to be Elena’s helper for the day so that everyone gets a turn. Other wise it was hard on Elena to choose. Often a few little girls choose to stay in on recess to read or play with Elena. They see Elena like we do. The compassion and care they show often brings me to tears.
Can you believe that there was a time that we didn’t feel that school was a best option for Elena? Her health is too compromised. She gets sick so easy. Every cold leads to pneumonia. She’ll be exposed to germs. Kids can be mean. Will she even benefit from being there?
All of these fears are out there and very real. But the benefit of seeing my sweet girl light up being around her classmates far out weighs all of those worries. The joy that I feel knowing that there is a group of students who don’t fear others who look different and know that all because you are non verbal doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer is priceless. May their hearts never change.
I am so grateful for her teachers and therapists that held our hand every step of the way. Continually pushing us just slightly out of our comfort zones. Seeing the things that we could not. Believing and striving for things that we had no idea were possible.
So to every teacher or therapist or paraprofessional who has ever believed in what appeared to be impossible–Thank You! Thank you for pushing us just far enough. Thank you for valuing my input and role as a parent. And thank you for seeing my child for all that they are and more!
Know that you are valued and that I have and will be praying for you this year. Please continue to expect great things!