Preschool was playing. Aaron could play. Play along side those peers like it was nobody's business.
Kindergarten though, it has expectations.
I thought I was ready. But this morning as I took Aaron to his first morning of kindergarten it was so much harder than I excepted.
Everyone was great. His teacher, his aid, fabulous, willing to accommodate and understand.
His preschool teacher came and gave him a hug, the secretary welcomed him back with their little routine of say "hi" them you can look at the cool clocks on my desk. Everyone full of warmth and acceptance. Wonderful.
...he is still different.
Every year the gap between the capacity and capabilities of Aaron and his peers widens,
& today it felt vast and deep. And my emotions went swirling down into the darkness.
All summer we've been working so hard and focusing on all his growth and gains
(being positive, because what other option do you have?)
And today was a just a bit of a reality check.
I mean, things went good.
Considering it was a whole new classroom, whole new routine. He was an absolute champion. Really.
Yet a lump forms in my throat as I once again consider how difficult every aspect of normal social life is for him. Things that delighted the other five year olds, normal exciting things...walking to the bulletin borad to see their name, listening to a story, doing a craft...were things Aaron could only do assisted. And the kids are starting to notice.
Not in a mean way at all, just taking notice, "Oh he's different."
Inclusion. Acceptance. Good concepts, but in the end the five year old wants to play with other kids who want to play like them.
At one point the four boys (it's a staggered entry, so only a third of the class at a time) stood.
The one little boy pointed to the other boys and said, "Those two boys are my friends."
"Those two boys" is what he said. All I heard was, "Not Aaron."
My friend after I'd given her a recap, said,"It's hard" (oh how I love her--love how she so often says those two little words to me and fills me with all the validation, compassion and hope I need)
She reminded me all parents feel that to a degree. Placing their precious children, who, every instinct in their whole being is telling them to protect, in a place were everyone doesn't have to love them, and where not everyone will even like them.
Then she said how much it made her respect and be in awe of Heavenly Father's abilities to parent, to show up at the door of mortality, and let us face our fears and challenges. Trusting us. Knowing that necessary steps in growth and progression take choices and distance.
But He always knows what we need.
Ben gave all three boys and me priesthood blessings to start the school year.
|My little conquerer|
|Hmmm, still adjusting from the summer schedule (or lack thereof)|
|How do you not love that smile?|
|If the smile doesn't get you the laugh will!|
|Fingers crossed |
(we've been signing letters, and he likes something about the feeling of the "r")
|My little guy going off into the big world!|
|Some security in the sameness of the sand table|
|Lining up some play dates|
|I am, as always, so very proud of, and oh so very humbled by my amazing son.|