Are WE Ready?

photo (60)There were forms for Owen and Kellen.  Being excited for this big step, I started with Owen.  Name, Birthday, Parent’s Names and Contact information all were filled in quickly.  As I got further along, the questions got harder.

With each medical question, the potential scenarios started creeping into my brain.  What if he started crying and they couldn’t calm him and he started having breathing issues like he sometimes does?  What if the other kids are having crackers at snack and he took one and started eating it?  What will we do for feedings?  He’ll only be there for 3 hours so shouldn’t need food, but if he’s thirsty from playing outside, he may not be drinking from a cup yet.

I started to think, “is Owen ready for a few hours of school each week?”

Then, I got to the question asking, “What do you want most out of this Early Childhood experience?”   The answer was easy,

Owen to have the opportunity to learn from, and play with, his peers.

That question helped me realize that it’s not Owen who needs to get ready for him to go to school.  Of course he’s ready.  He loves to go to school to drop off and pick up Kellen.  When we arrive, Kellen and I go to his locker to get off his coat and boots and Owen crawls into the classroom like he owns the place.  He doesn’t interact with the other kids much (as is developmentally appropriate for someone at his level), but he loves to be in a space with other kids and willingly plays with the teachers.  Just like most kids, he loves music, playing games, discovering toys and socializing with the teachers.  I really believe it; Owen will love school.

Not only is he ready, he will benefit greatly from regular social experience with his peers.  The program would have one teacher dedicated to Owen but they will participate in the classroom setting with typical needs children.  This 1:1 teacher would be trained on Owen’s specific needs.  She probably will have had several students with g-tubes in the past and will be trained in epi-pens and what breathing issues are concerning.

It’s not Owen who may not be ready.  It’s me, who needs to get ready to TRUST his care to someone else.  It’s me who needs to look at Owen and see how far he’s come and give him the opportunities to continue going further.  I need to realize that I won’t always be the best/only person for that role. I need to know he’s ready.

I still have 6-9 months to come to terms with Owen going to school a few hours a week.  Applications are due this month, program acceptance is announced in March and Summer Program starts in June and the regular school year starts in September.  I’m sure this won’t be the last you hear on the subject, but for today, WE are ready.  (Now, we just need a healthy cold and flu season, so there aren’t any big set backs).  We also need the school to have open 1:1 spots.

© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

5 thoughts on “Are WE Ready?

  1. Tatum, this is SO exciting! It sounds like Owen will love school and get so much out of it. Fingers crossed for your 1:1 spot!
    And I can completely relate. One of the sliver linings of my bedrest has been my realization that my son can be cared for people other than me, my husband, and my parents, that, like most children, so many of his needs are typical and those that aren’t can be communicated to and met by others. Letting go is REALLY hard for me. This has been my full time job for over two years, and I feel like I’ve learned and developed a system for his care. As a preemie mom, so much was out of my control, that I think I turned into (always secretly was?) a bit of a control freak.
    But seeing others care for him has been amazing. He’ll come out with a new word and I’ll wonder where he learned it (then realize it’s from his nanny or a book she’s read to him). He’s also become a more adventurous eater these past few months, and become a more self-directed feeder.
    He will start school next year as well–three days a week for four hours. Including a home-packed lunch! Yikes! I’m thrilled, and of course, terrified. But I truly believe the letting go will be good for both of us, even if it’s hard!

  2. It seems you have been learning to let go in many ways since his birth – trusting in others has been a huge hurdle you have already overcome in many ways yet the test still remains! Wasn’t it suppose to get easier? I guess we will always struggle with letting go throughout their life.

    Its always so much harder at the beginning and then once the pattern is set it can get easier to let go – well never really easy – ok its still very rough but at some point it has got to get easier or else we will go insane. I thought letting go was done but oh no I see whats in store for the future in this post and I know one day it will come too.

    Best wishes for a peaceful transition into school – when the time comes.

  3. Fingers crossed for the 1:1 – I’m so excited for Owen. And good luck, Mom. Sending them to school is always a big step. I’m sure you felt a little bit nervous with Kellen too. College is giving me fits – I know she’s ready – sometimes I think she’s more mature than I am – but sending her off into the big, bad world is soooo scary!

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