Off to School


So next week is a big one.  Claire’s first day of preschool.  On Wednesday, I get to drive up to her school’s breezeway.  Claire and I will be met by her 1:1 aide in the drop-off line and I will put Claire into the school’s stroller they have reserved for her.  I will tell her how excited and proud I am of her, and how she’s such a big girl.  I’ll tell her I’ll be back to pick her up in a little bit when her school day is over, and to have a great day.  Then I’ll give her a huge hug and kiss, tell her “see you soon” and I love you… and away they will go into school, and I’ll continue to proceed through the drop-off line before exiting the parking lot.  Wow.  My nerves are out of control right now.  Not only is Claire my youngest, going to school for the first time ever, but she’s “Claire” and letting her go into the world for the 1st time by herself, is beyond scary.  I’m sure I’ll be fine once I get used to it, and I am sure this is 99% harder for me than it will be for her.

I am truly happy for Claire though.  I think this will be great for her – not only from a learning perspective, but for a social and play perspective as well.   I am at peace with our decision to send her.  We’ve met with the school many times over the past few months (technically our first meeting with the school was in January – so 8 months ago!) and over this time, we had a lot to discuss.  The overall experience was emotional and tiring (mostly because this was our first time going through all of this), and it required numerous hours of preparation as we mentioned already.  But it was worth it.  I feel we’ve prepared the school as best we could to understand not only about Rett but about Claire.  And, I feel we’ve set Claire up for success come her first day, best we could.  The school has been great to work with and they may still think “we are the crazy parents – probably a tad over the top” (I joke with them all the time about this) but I also think, since many of them are mothers themselves, they really understand the importance of advocacy in general and they’d do the same themselves for their child.

I feel good about this.  I am excited for Claire.  I think this is going to be okay all around.  I am still super nervous and scared, don’t get me wrong.  When the teachers showed me Claire’s room the other day, I most definitely got teary eyed when I saw her cubby, her circle time area, her desk area, among other things.  I can’t imagine her being there and me not being with her.  We “get” each other because we are together all the time.  We goof around, and have fun.  I believe in her, and I know what makes her tick. We also get through the really hard “Rett” days together too, and although it’s hard to put those moments into words, I will say there is a comfort in knowing we both get it, are on the same page, and agree that Rett Syndrome, truthfully stinks sometimes!

I’d like to share one document I put together for her school staff.  It’s an “All About Me” presentation.  I met with the school staff this week and we went over this specifically.  I’m sharing this because maybe after reading through it, you will learn something new.  Maybe about Rett.  Or maybe about our Claire Bear.  Her personality right now is hilarious.  She’s into a lot of teasing… and enjoying every minute of it.  Enjoy! –Colleen.    >>>> CLICK HERE <<<<

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