Given the unique situation with our family, commuting, moving, etc. It wasn't until this week that our boys started school.
Yes. One day before Thanksgiving Break and 2 weeks before they're off again for Christmas.
It seems so silly. But things don't always work out as you plan and last week (With the season's first snow!) was their first day at their new school.
I have the boys going to school on separate days - 3 days for one, 2 days for the other. When I tell other Mothers, they look at me like I'm crazy (a given).
While I would LOVE to have a few free hours to myself while our boys are in preschool, I also know the time is FLYING!! The idea was to have them on separate days so I could have some one on one time with each of them. This also allows for Shaw and I to have Doctor appointments and therapies without Nash having to go, too. We will see how it goes.
Nash's first day was filled with excitement. The library, the science room, his own cubby, sledding on the playground! He was in Heaven!
One sweet, little girl drew Nash a picture. Bashfully, she waited for Nash to take a break from his toys and finally, eagerly stammered, "Nash, this is me and you!" (Read: my heart melted).
Nash gave it a single glance, muttered 'Thanks' and was back to building. No time for the ladies. (Does it really start this early?!)
Shaw's first day of school was slightly different. This was Shaw's first day of school EVER.
The thought of this single day has experienced a number of emotions over the years, some of which included:
Two Years Ago: Likely not an option.
One Year Ago: If preschool is a possibility, what is the right choice?
6 months Ago: He is ready!!!! (and it can't come soon enough).
5 minutes Before: He did it! He really did it!!! Here we go! (Sniff)
5 minutes After: The Greatest Thanksgiving! (Coupled with tears of joy and tremendous pride - and a four year old holding my hand saying, "He's going to love it, Mommy!")
The emotions weren't about my 'baby' going to preschool. They were more about the achievement of getting there and everything I WANTED to say, but couldn't - for Shaw's sake...
A lesson learned from my virtual Preemie Mom friend, Sarah Pope....
What I Wanted to Say...
I wanted to say, "Shaw was born early. He was very, very sick and we almost lost him several times."
I wanted to say, "Shaw has been in isolation for 2 years. He has never been exposed to other children."
I wanted to say, "Please hold his hand down the stairs, because his balance sometimes is shaky."
I wanted to say, "He doesn't like his ears to be touched because they have given him so much pain."
I wanted to say, "Please wash his hands because if he gets sick, we end up in the hospital!"
I wanted to say, "Don't let him hit his head, because he has a shunt and it could cause more surgeries."
I wanted to say, "His threshold for pain is extremely high. If he complains, it is significant."
I wanted to say, "We have fought and fought to keep this little guy alive and healthy. He is a miracle and everything he does is exceeding any expectations!"
Instead, I swallowed all emotions and said (with the exception of a 'call if he is vomiting (shunt malfunction) or breathing funny (airway disorder)': "Have a good day!"
And cried all the way to the car.
There is an opportunity here. An opportunity to start over. Very few here know our story. Being a preemie doesn't have to define Shaw. It is certainly a very well respected part of our journey that has changed all of us - but at this moment, this first day of school - is telling Shaw's story more my for me or for him? Michael and I want Shaw to tell his own story....
Life being extraordinary.
Time will tell. Our story will surface at the right time - and of course to help Shaw if he is lagging or struggling in any way. Everyone knows what to be looking for... And we will cross each bridge as we get to it and tweak our future at that moment, but today, it was Shaw's first day of school. !!!!!! And we are celebrating!
Just two little (big) boys going to school.