Thursday, June 5, 2008
Yesterday was the last day of school. I see milestones at every corner. First, I need to celebrate the joy of growth. And then, to lick a few wounds, too. In September, I drove to same school I've driven to for almost 13 years, but for the first time, I wasn't alone listening to NPR; I had the Rooster en route to preschool, and Peaches on her way to our brand new child care center, so we were loud in stereo with the broadcasting of early childhood. When we got to school, I took their photos, took a deep breath, took a leap of faith. When I picked them up at the end of the day, mentally, I checked it off. "We made it through day one," I thought. WHHHEEEEW. We had plenty of bumps on day one, but I vividly remember when the Rooster saw me across the yard after school. His eyes flashed like diamonds catching the sun, and he took off running in his steady, disconnected gait, full speed toward me, screaming joyfully, "MOMMMMMMYYYY!" As I scooped him up while he said, full of sincerity, "MOMMY! Thank you for the preschool mommy!" On the other hand, Peaches missed the place she'd always gone, her familiar teachers, her adored "Miss Mayra." She wanted me to know: I don't know these people, and I don't trust them yet. On the last day of school, I look at the photos of Rooster from September in wonderment; those clothes long ago made it into the share pile to pass along. He has grown so much. How does this verbose boy resemble the child who could not have a conversation? Well, he still says thank you for the preschool. By the skin of our teeth, he'll be able to return for another year, repeating the program for 3-year-olds, even though he is four. And Peaches? She too grew so much, her hair getting long, her smile getting more and more grown up. She came to love her new teachers, talk about them all of the time, and feel right at home at the school we three share, and yet on the last week of the regular school year, both her teachers left our community, and once again our wary girl will need to transition, to adjust, to develop trust. I am weary. Perhaps at year end, this is to be expected, but I am not in a conventional teaching position, and I work year-round. I don't have time for weariness. Perhaps the biggest milestone of the year, more than 100 days have passed since a doctor told us, "This is autism." I am getting better at saying that myself since then, even though half the time I'm still not sure what it means. More than 100 times, I have checked myself in to the Zen mental spa I call my blog to catch my breath, seek solace, find peace. Another school year has come and gone. I can feel it in deep in my bones.
Posted by ghkcole at 7:55 PM