Well, this is it. Tomorrow is the big day. Kindergarten. The day we have been working toward and preparing for for so long is finally here.
I know in my last blog post I said that I was OK. That even though I was thinking about his first day, my anxiety wasn't consuming me. Well, as of a few days ago, it started to consume me. Insomnia (my old friend). Mini crying spells in the middle of the day. More crying at night. Constant stress and anxiety throughout the day with all the "what-ifs" going through my head. It's just so hard sometimes--the struggle between knowing that I have to give him a chance to do everything that any other kid would do, but at the same time wanting to protect him and keep him safe.
When you have a child with special needs, sometimes you forget how "different" they are until you see them around a large group of "typical" children. Curtis hasn't been in school for a few months so I really kind of forgot how he stacked up to other kindergarten-aged kids. On Friday, his school had a pre-arranged kindergarten play date. They do this every year on the Friday before school starts, which is the day the kids get their teacher assignments. It's a chance for the kids and parents to hang out and say hello before the first day of school. Curtis was excited to go see a few friends of his, and the park where the play date is always held is right around the corner from our house. Within the first 2 minutes of being there, I was reminded of how different Curtis is from other 5 and 6 year olds. These kids were running around. Jumping. Racing up the play structure and speeding down the slide--lightning fast! Up on a grass hill they were playing "duck, duck, goose" and Curtis sat down to join while I stood back and watched. He sat there in amazement (as did I) while these boys and girls ran so fast around that little circle. And I felt so sad. Curtis will never run like that. Or jump like those other kids, or go up and down the play structure so fast. In fact, he was so overwhelmed by it all that after the first few minutes he just wanted to go home. And I didn't blame him. Because I did, too, a little. All those kids moving so fast worried me. I kept thinking that if one of them bumped into Curtis he was going to fall down and cry. And then I thought, "What if that happens when he's at school and I'm not there to comfort him after he falls?" Ugh. Anxiety.
So how does Curtis feel about school? He could not be more excited. When we went in last week for his little assessment at the school, he was disappointed to find out he wasn't staying there for the day.
Tonight, we got his new backpack--a Christmas present from last year (thanks Aunt Laura and Uncle Loyd)--and stuck it on the hook next to his big brother and big sister's backpacks. Yes, he has a crazy spiky backpack--and he loves it!!
Then he asked if we could get the lunchboxes out, so we did that, too. He's been wanting to get his lunchbox out and use it ever since it came in the mail about 3 weeks ago.
We also have his outfit all picked out and waiting. His big sister helped with that. I don't think Curtis really cares about that all too much--ha!
Also, to update on the post from last week for those of you who don't get the Facebook posts--Curtis' MRI came back the same as it was when he was a baby. Nothing new, which is good and what we all expected. His next neurology visit is in 4 months unless something happens before then (no thank you!) The neurologist wrote up Curtis' seizure action plan for school while we were there, too. Of course, while I believe the school staff is great, I really, really, really hope that plan never needs to go into effect.
This sweet boy of mine...
He is snoozin' up a storm tonight and ready to take on kindergarten tomorrow. Even with all my fears, I am so, so excited for him. He's been looking forward to being a big kid and going to his brother and sister's school for long. Now the day is here.
Good luck, lover! We are cheering for you!!