Monday, September 5, 2011

The Night Before Kindergarten

Another week has passed since my last post...  I hate when that happens.  I've definitely gotten to the point where I need to blog.  Even if I had no readers, I would still blog, and then feel better.  It just helps me to think things over, find the positive, and then hold on to it, until I move on to the next thing.

I have a lot to tell you, but will have to get you caught up later on this week.  For now, I want to talk about how tomorrow is Harlie's first day of Kindergarten!

What I'm excited about:

1)  The fact that she's here, alive and doing so great that she's able to start Kindergarten at all.  This is a day I never dared to dream about.  Since before she was even born, the focus has been on getting through THIS day and worrying about tomorrow, tomorrow.

2)  The hope that being in a general education class will have a profound, positive affect on her in all areas and that she will begin to socialize with her peers in a more age appropriate manner.

3)  The possibility of what she can/will learn this year with more hours in a classroom and the support of a brand new team.

What I'm proud of:

The fact that she's spent more than ONE YEAR of her life confined to a hospital bed, recovering from 20 surgeries and many other procedures yet she's still academically ready to start Kindergarten.  Isn't that AMAZING?!?!?  This is something I must remind myself of if/when I doubt her abilities OR, more importantly, OTHERS doubt her abilities.

What I'm afraid of:

1)  Her not cooperating or adjusting to the new demands of school.

2)  Other kids.  More specifically, kids not accepting of her.

3)  Her noticing the reactions of others (and hearing the comments/questions) and then it affecting the way she views herself.  I think this is probably not an "if" it happens, but a "when" it happens.  And I SO don't want it to happen.

4)  Educators not connecting with her or thinking she doesn't know or can't learn.

5)  That she'll get hurt - physically, I mean.  That she'll get knocked down in the hallway or on the playground and that she will seriously hurt herself.  Her spine is still healing and her jaw is full of screws.  What if she gets hit by a ball in the chest?  I've heard stories of that killing kids with heart defects!  Okay, deep breaths.  I know that's not likely to happen, but it's still something of which, I'm afraid.

6)  Our new morning schedule and her bus arrival time - 6:48am!!!  Students have to be in class by 7:50.  We must be the furthest away, so we are the first pick-up.  Since she's special needs attending a different school than where she's zoned to go - they send a bus to our house to pick her up.  Harlie is NOT a morning person.  I can count on one hand how many times she's woken up on her own without one of us having to go and wake her up.  And most of time you have to physically "help" her get out of bed.

What I'm sad about:

That my daughter does not attend the same school as her brother(s).  I cannot tell you how incredibly sad this makes me.  But I'll try.  When we bought this house - we didn't buy it for the house, but more for it's location - we could walk our kids to school!  When we had Cooper, we were thrilled that she would be flanked by two brothers who could take up for her and look out for her.  We had no idea that they would be no where near her (like miles and miles away) when she went to school.

I am terribly sad that she will be all alone, in a completely different school district.  Murphy is sad, too.  At first he was so excited that she would be going to Kindergarten and he said, "With me at my school?"  And we had to say no.  And then he hung his head.   And I'm sad for Cooper, too.  Because he'll end up being alone, too.  It's just not how it should be when you have three kids so close in age.

I think of how different this experience would be for all of us if tomorrow morning, we could all leave the house at 7:30 and walk down the street together.  But those are the images I have to shut out from my mind.  Just like her not having a trach or her being able to speak or eat regular food.  It is just not to be for now.  So no use torturing myself.

I probably should have ended with the "What I'm excited about" items.  I would prefer to end my posts on something positive.  And I am happy that she's starting kindergarten.  I really am!  But it also kinda feels like I'm throwing her to the wolves.  And for the moment, I am glad for the trach so that Brandy will be with her.  Ahhh, our nurses.  I am so, so thankful for our nurses.

Well, that's it for tonight.  Please send positive thoughts for her (but mostly for me) that all will go beautifully and that kindergarten will be a wonderful experience for her (and for me).

Thank you!


Anonymous said...

Best of luck to Harlie! I hope she has a great day. I think that sending a child off to kindergarten in a new school is nervewracking for any parent, but to add in Harlie's unique circumstances, it is very understandable that you'd be concerned. Hang in there! --K

Veronica said...

Oh I sure hope today went well beyond what you could have expected. You're right, I haven't dared to dream of that day for us yet. John will be a year this month. :) I am going to search your blog to see what Harlie was able to eat at a year. We're moving extremely slow so far towards solids..they just make him gag so badly.

grandma said...

Oh those positive thoughts are there for both you and Harlie...I hope and pray that all goes well and everyone sees what we already know..that Harlie us a beautiful little girl, smart, funny and just wants to lead a normal life...we all wish that for her! I hope she continues to remain excited about school and meets other little friends . I just want her to be as happy as she can be!

Susan said...

(((HUGS))) It's a lot to be thinking of, when you just want to be excited for her.