Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School

Yesterday we dropped Lucas off for his first day of school as a PreK-3 student at Silver Bluff Elementary. He seemed so little among the "big" kids, and I was afraid he wasn't ready for it. We hung around a little longer than we should...surveying the teacher, the other students, interactions among them, how Lucas engaged with them and vice versa. As we said our goodbyes, we reassured him we'd be back soon to pick him up and encouraged him to have fun with his new friends and teacher, Mrs. Morales -- Tom spent the morning working with Lucas so he could sorta say her name correctly...he's getting there. As we turned to leave, Lucas was inconsolable, but what choice did we have but to believe he would quickly turn his attention to the adventure ahead.

No sooner did we get home, than I totally lost it...completely overwhelmed...crying for reasons I didn't quite understand. More than anything, I realized how afraid I am of failing Lucas and not making the "right" decisions on his behalf which could have a significant impact on the outcome of his life. It all sounds very dramatic, I know, my kid is only in pre-K, right? I put so much pressure on myself because I'm aware every step is a building block, and because of Lucas' disability we have to be extra vigilant about his education as he can't quickly recover from a "bad" year or a poor choice. I'm surprised this transition has caused so many feelings to bubble up, but I'm not alone, Tom is struggling too. It's a good thing I took the day off; I had no idea how much I'd need it. We parked ourselves on the beach in the warm afternoon sun which helped soothe our souls and clear our heads.

When the bell rang at 1:50 PM, we huddled with other parents waiting nervously and impatiently for our little ones. Lucas greeted us with a big smile and before we were even off the school grounds he said "more school" -- sounds like we're off to a good start. Keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for Lucas and his imperfect parents who are doing the best they can.

I guess, in the end, disability or not, it's hard watching our little ones grow up and head out into the world. And although I've been whispering this mantra into my son's ear since he came into the world "...grow into a happy, healthy, smart, and independent boy..." this mama is not quite ready for too much independence just yet.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Too Cute for Words..

I just couldn't resist...for those who haven't already seen this photo, here is Lucas with his good friend, Krysta, this past weekend. Lucas and Krysta have been "friends" since Lucas was only 2 months old and for a long time, she called him "baby Lucas" and loved to boss him around (wait, she still does the latter). I was very fortunate to meet Krysta's mom through a mutual friend, and our families have become very dear friends through the years. Krysta will be 6 next month and heading to kindergarten (in a fully inclusive/mainstream setting...yeah!) while Lucas will be 4 in October and heading to Pre-K3....our babies are growing up healthy, strong, independent, and full of wonder, which makes me both happy and sad at the same time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lucas in Times Square!

Here's an excerpt from an email I received today from the National Down Syndrome Society regarding a photo I submitted of Lucas.

Congratulations! After a worldwide search, the photo you submitted for the 2010 NDSS Times Square Video has been selected! The video will play in Times Square in the heart of New York City on the MTV plasma screen on Saturday, September 25, 2010.

The National Down Syndrome Society invites you and your family and friends to celebrate National Down Syndrome Awareness Month by attending the show and participating in the New York City Buddy Walk. Thousands are expected to participate in this event to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people with Down syndrome.
The Times Square Video will begin at 10:15am and will be re-played at approximately10:35am.

For friends in the New York City area...if you have time, stop by Times Square and watch the video yourselves...and consider supporting the New York City Buddy Walk. We so wish we could be there!

Here's the winning shot of Lucas taken in Panama City Beach last summer...