When Jackson first started preschool he was still having those awful seizures. Getting him to retain anything was nearly impossible. Now those seizures are controlled and the kid is doing stuff at school that amazes me. He has been raising his hand during circle time to pick songs. He roams the hallways in his walker and bicycle admiring the art on the walls from the elementary school students. He knows he can’t outlast his teachers and will do the work he needs to do. He’s figured out how to rock his chair forward and tries to race the other kids in their chairs. He is the class clown, according to his teacher, and is always making the other kids laugh. If he was neurotypical I would discourage that behavior, but he really is funny and making others laugh is a good talent to have so I say “spread the laughs Jacks.” He is always so excited to go to school and to spend time with the other kids and his wonderful teacher and aides. I am so proud of how far Jackson has come. He has made tremendous progress.
Jackson will be going to a different school next year for Kindergarten. He will be in a Designed Instruction class. They don’t have that program at his current school. It is going to be hard to leave, his Principal has been wonderful in working with us on things we need and supporting the special education preschool. Together he and I worked to get a handicapped front door installed. We also tried getting parents to stop using the handicapped parking spots to drop off their neurotypical children (I say tried because there are still some very insensitive and ignorant parents who think it is okay to do this). His teacher Liz has gone above and beyond to make sure Jackson is doing what he should be doing while developing independence. We have been so lucky to have such a great support system at school. I am so grateful for the last 3 years at Roosevelt Elementary.
I’m nervous and excited to start this next chapter in Jackson’s life. Last week we went up to his new school for a move up meeting with the teachers and therapists and then came back on another day to tour the classroom. It went well. I think Jackson is going to do great in this school and classroom. It’s going to be a challenge and won’t be as easy as preschool has been. It will push him on a lot of levels and I think it will be good for him and for me. I’ve babied him a lot and done a lot for him when he should be doing it. It’s time for him to start learning how to do things for himself. I know there is going to be a period of adjustment and I can already sense the protests he will be putting forth. But onward and forward he must go.
For me the realization that I am now going to have whole days to myself is a bit overwhelming. Over the past couple of years so much has come into my life as far as advocacy work and community projects. There is an abundance of things I want to do. It will be a new chapter in my life. One that I am anxious for. I can’t believe how lucky I have been these last 6 years being able to be a stay at home mom and being there for the kids whenever they need me. I’ve truly enjoyed it and am forever grateful to Kevin for working so hard so that I can stay home. But now I am ready to do something different, to give back to our community and to help other parents. Onward and forward I will go.
As Kurt Vonnegut said “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”