Monday, May 17, 2010

Rites of passage

Next Thursday, my boy, my Bug, will be a preschool graduate.
It is a pebble in his academic career, but I find myself feeling both saddened and joyful by this rite of passage.
Not even a year ago, I never imagined the road we would traveling just to get Bug through a school day.
I never dreamed we would be working so closely with teachers, special educators, and principals just to teach him to get through a normal day.
I never thought my child would physically fight his teachers over obeying classroom rules and sharing of toys.
And, now, today, while far from perfect, is a far cry from the dark days before.
I find myself looking back to days of hope, hugs, and heartaches as my son struggled to understand what was expected from him in a world that just doesn't make sense.
I wept tears of frustration and sorrow as I watched him struggle to make friends each day.
And those tears filled with elation when I saw him sitting in a group of children, simply playing like any other child would.
My stomach clenches remembering every days we have gone to the school, studying his teachers face for signs of a good day, hoping for signs it was a good day with every fiber in our being. And being crushed when she shakes her head and tells us Bug got a sad bear.
Is this year an indicator of Bug's entire life? No, but they are wounds that, as a mother, will turn into scars I will carry with me for life.
Because, while I joke through tears about my son being "that kid", the knowledge that he struggles every day for things that come so easily to his peers makes me cheer all the louder for his little successes.
Bug's school does not host a graduation ceremony for them, but the day Bug completes preschool will be a banner day for our family.
And, as he stands proud, I will stand beside him, one hand held out to catch him when he stumbles, because I know he will.
And, just like I tried to do this year, I will not let my boy fall alone.
When he falls, because, assuredly, he will, I will cushion him, wrapping him in my love as securely as I would a blanket.
And I will look forward to each year to come, as he finds his own feet and his own way, through kindergarten and elementary school, high school and college, knowing what we've done here is give him a foundation for his future.
Which will surely be so bright, my boy will have to wear shades.

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