The return to school
We're gearing up for the return to school and this year.... drumroll... Hank goes to Kindergarten!!!!
I'm both sad and elated. My littlest one is getting older and time slows for no man.
The other day I told Ronnie, "we need to really cherish the things Emma is doing because she is doing the lasts."
She's the last one I will teach to read, write, do math. She is the last one who will play a sport or 5, go to friends houses, etc. She isn't the youngest, but many of these things are going to be my "last".
Sitting down for Hank's kindergarten IEP meeting was an emotional one for me. Which is always strange when I look back after awhile. It's not like anything they said was a surprise. I wasn't caught off guard when his learning goal was so simplistic. They didn't throw me for a loop with physical and occupational therapies, speech and vision and hearing interventions... none of it is new news.
It's simply the fact that Hank is 6. Which is first off, a legitimate miracle. Secondly, doesn't seem possible. It was another conversation where I said any time I think of what Hank would be like if things were different, I automatically go to a 1 or 2 year old... learning to walk and talk. But the truth is, he would be extremely verbal and more than just learning to walk. He could be playing rec park sports and riding a bicycle. He is 6 years old. The disability keeps him so infantile that sometimes it's hard to align with the truth of where we would have been.
Some of these giant milestones in life are heart-wrenching reminders of all that cCMV stole from us. They sneak up too, these emotions. They aren't there and then something happens. You can't put your finger on it but your heart races and you want to vomit... it feels like a dream that you can't wake yourself up from. When the moment passes, however long it takes, your breathing adjusting and your vision clearing away... You feel a twinge of anger that this was the deck of cards you got and a small piece of sadness that nothing will ever change it.
Then from the chair next to you, a small giggle. A smile and some laughter, watching a cartoon or playing with a sibling. Something from heaven to remind you that even though this wasn't the hand you would have chosen, it's yours nonetheless. That beautiful face holds every ounce of love for you that they can. Your heart bursting with all of your love.
It moves on, the grief and anger and depression and anxiety. Coming and going like waves on the sand.
I'm ebbing and flowing lately. Hurting at all he is missing. All we have lost. All that we will never know. What he will never do. I'm rejoicing in all that we have experienced. All that we have gained. What we do know. What he can do.
Life will continue to move forward, and we will go with it. We will hold on to our faith that our path is set for this reason and each time a mother (or father, grandparent, etc.) emails in to say "Thank you for this." I will be reminded.
My shoulders were strong enough to bare this load. I lay my burden at the foot of the cross and trust that we will all be just fine.
Walk on, Momma. Kindergarten is the beginning of a great new world for your little. We will all be just fine.
Light and Love,