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.