Ty starts Grade 3 tomorrow and I'm starting to get worried for him. He is such a sweet, sensitive kid, but he's going through a hard time right now with anxiety and worry....what's going to happen with a bunch of new changes? I'll speak to the teacher and tell her/him about losing Zack (I'm sure they will know) and the potential issues that might arise from that grief. I'll be sure to tell them what we see happening at home and I hope that they encourage him and motivate him in a way that helps him to shine. While I know that he is anxious about anything new in his life, I hope that he will relax a bit when he sees his new friends and finds out who his new teacher is. When I looked at the photos from last year, Ty's face looks so terrified (see left)....and I hope that this year, I can capture that amazing smile that lights up his face.
Don't let this happy face fool you...he was a mess on the first day of preschool...as was I!!! I'm blown away that Jayden will be starting JK on Mondays, Wednesdays and alternate Fridays at Ty's school! We are so lucky to have Mrs. Gambino as his teacher this year. She has not only supported our family over the last few months, she even asked to have Jayden in her class JUST so she could "work" with our family. How amazing is that? I'm nervous about the separation wiht Jayden...he sure is a mommy's boy...but he has 4 great friends in the class and a teacher that is wonderful. I can't wait to walk him to the fence and see him start this new adventure in his life. I'm so proud of him and so excited for his teacher to laugh every day because of his incredible sense of humour!
The one thing that is not as it should be is that only two boys are starting school.
Paul and I had struggled last winter with the decision to send Zack to JK or keep him home and away from the germs one more year. We had already made the decision for Zack to attend an alternate school in which they have a large hearing impaired and deaf population. They have two deaf classes and even have a Sign of the Week throughout the entire school- we loved that he would have been embraced! We were totally comfortable in our choice of school (16th Avenue Public School in Richmond Hill) and eager to have him have the type of attention to language and communication that he would have had there. We had met a fabulous and caring teacher who was excited to have a "cutie" like Zack in her classroom. We had worked with Zack's speech therapists, teacher of the deaf and the school board to place him in the Sign/Deaf class with only 5 other kids in primary grades. The plan was set....
Our biggest decision was whether the benefits of school would outweigh the risks to his health. We were very close to making the decision to have his nurse, Sue as well as his Teacher of the Deaf work with him daily at home, rather than exposing him to the risks at school.
And now, here we are. My two boys are ready to start the next phase of their lives, and we are missing this big step for Zack.
I wish that he had had a chance to carry his Elmo knapsack into school, had a cubbie with his name on it and had everything labeled from head to toe! He would have loved the attention in the class, but would have wanted to have his own way. He would have hated having to sit down for too long, but he would have thrived with older kids in the class. He would have had Gtube lunches with vanilla pudding and chewed the toys and puzzles. He would have tried to run at recess to keep up, and thrown his hearing aids all day. Zack would have danced and loved the music time, and put up a fight when it was time to clean up. He would have surrounded himself with drums and blocks, and made the teachers laugh when he tried to trick them.
I'll miss the chance to have had started this school journey with Zack. While, it would have been full of obstacles and frustration...there would have been so much pride and progress. I wish that he had known what it was like to go to school like all the other kids. While he was so incredibly fragile and special, we always hoped that he would experience all things normal...just like his brothers.
Tomorrow will be a wonderful day to start fresh for another school year....but a sad day knowing that I will never feel the pride of seeing Zack start his first day too.