My little guy is finishing up preschool next Thursday. I'm not too worried about kindergarten in September- I think he's ready and he will have an IEP for at least the first part of the year, which will help with the transition.
But next Thursday I have to say goodbye to his teacher and his therapists at school. These people came into my life at one of my lowest points. Ethan had been tested the previous fall and diagnosed with a whole host of developmental issues. Oh, and that was also when his eating issues were at their most severe and he was going through testing at Children's and there was so much unknown. And we'd finally decided to try a NG tube to get calories in him. So he started preschool with that in his nose and taped to his face and everytime I saw him my heart broke a little.
Then he started school and suddenly our life was filled with knowledgeable people who soon came to love our son and fight for him to catch up and manage his problems. And 2 1/2 years later he's getting ready to enter a mainstream kindergarten class. Several of his other classmates didn't even talk a few years ago in those early days at preschool- one of them growled and licked adults. They're all chatting up a storm now- and the growling kid is a polite, verbal, funny little boy. The girl who used a walker and had braces on her legs runs along side the others in their preschool races. It's been nothing short of amazing to see these kids blossom at school.
Next Thursday we have to say goodbye to these kids that have been part of Ethan's life (they come from all over Seattle and all bussed to school and will be attending different kindergartens) and the teachers and staff that have done nothing short of working miracles and who have encouraged me when parenting a special needs child got hard. I'm afraid I might break my no-crying rule. I don't see how it can be avoided.