Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Tears for My Big Little Man
I'm outside right now with only Eli. I'm watching him now, dance his own special moves unique to each song with his wide mouth grin and I feel like time disappeared. We just completed the process of transferring Eli from home therapys to the public school. Literally this next Monday he can attend preschool and continue his work in a classroom setting. We knew this would happen when he turned three. I've been gearing up for it and thought is have two more weeks before it would happen, but apparently the IEP meeting means he can begin now. While I know it would be good for both us, part of me aches inside.
For the last three years I've been at 99.9% of all this therapies, learning alongside home, gleaning as much I for as I can from the therapists. I've worked with him to strengthen his muscles, learn to roll, sit up, walk, jump. We've spent countless meals helping him learn to feed and attempt utensils. There have been all sorts of 'experiments' with differing textures, movement, sounds, etc to figure out his sensory sensitives and help him overcome it. Then there was all the time spent methodically introducing the things that were hard for him to take in at increasing intervals to help him cope with our sensory ladened world. There have been times where I am so sick of things being thrown, or hitting and screaming on his part. Times where I was tired of cleaning walls and floors for the third time that day because of his frustrations or sensory issues. The exhaustion of appointments in addition to five hours a week spent working at the preschool were all so he could have peer motivation to work on achieving his milestones - it is all finally at an end. I should feel proud, happy and definately relieved, but mostly right now I feel sad.
Little man at Stepping Stones Preschool with me in the playroom.
After much thought I realize that it's because I won't be there. Who will protect him, who will explain when his screams are out of fatigue and over stimulus or just plain excitement to other children and adults. Who will interpret for him when others don't know sign language or find him healthy outlets when all the environment is too much to take in? Most of all, who will sing to him his lullaby that unfailingly calms him, no matter how sad he is, or how big the hurt. It's not that much different from a parent saying goodbye to their child for their first day of school and yet it feels much more because he is so young and innocent. With the older two i enrolled them at a preschool where I could aide and watch like a fly on the wall as they ventured into the bigger world. I won't have that with Eli. He isn't even verbal yet so he can't really tell me about his day. I feel like a limb that's been cut off and my heart bleeds. Ready or not though, it's time for the big leap. I know we'll be okay, both of us.... in the end.
Eli playing tag with Isaac.
(Tuesday March 17, the big day)
We started preschool today. I asked to give the kids a brief intro of Elias and sent him out to play. It's not that I think his teachers are incompetent, far from, it's simply the neurosis of being a mother! I had a two presents, one light and the other weighed down. My thought was to have the kids move the boxes and see how one is much harder to move, likening it to Eli and his body, that everything uses muscles and so everything is harder for him. Despite that, he loves the same things they love, the slide, the swings, music and dance. The kids were more fascinated by the presents and I went in knowing that this little intro was more for me and Eli than for them. After all, they're young and don't have the prejudices that adults have. I then bade him farwell and walked out to his wailing. A half hour later I walked to the car and could still hear him crying on the playground and had to swallow my tears.
Doesn't he look darling with his backpack on? Oh so grown up, my bug little man! As hard as it was, I'm sure things will get better with time and this will all be just a memory.
We want to give a big shout out to all the therapists we've had these last 3 years. From Ms. Lori who's been with us since Eli was 6 months, to Ms Sheila our newest help. We've loved you all and you guys have become family to us. Ms. Jen who miraculously won Eli over on her first visit using bubbles, Ms. Alicia who help us with Isaac in addition to Eli and saved my back by loaning a swing when Leora was born, Ms. Teri who helped with feeding and added new songs to his playlist, Ms Clara who loved to sing and Ms Christy who brought some of the most memorable sensory experiences for Eli despite all the work and mess! We can't begin to name or thank all of you. Here are some of the latest therapy pictures, making playdough in one and playing with whipcream. Ms. Christy said that four adult hands weren't fast enough for Eli's two little ones!
Thank you one and all for being a part of our journey and faithfilled thoughts for this next one!