Friday, June 7, 2013

Congratulations to my (always be my baby) Boy!

Today my son will graduate from the 5th grade.  By the time you read this I will be sitting in the auditorium, watching as each nervous 5th grader walks in while cameras are flashing and parents are cheering.  I will be holding back my tears, as I am now while writing this.  My daughter will ask me if my tears are tears of joy and I will reply with a yes.

I have mixed emotions about my son moving on to Middle School, as most parents, but I have a little extra to deal with because of his special needs.

First and foremost, I am so very proud of him.  Proud of the progress he's made over the years.  Proud of how much effort he puts into things, especially things he really enjoys.  Proud of the things he's accomplished when we weren't sure he would.  Cursive handwriting, for example.  Most kids with my son's syndrome struggle with it.  My son writes in cursive every chance he gets.  He still needs to practice, but he's determined to get it right.  He's a perfectionist when it comes to spelling.  He used to get upset when he got 19 out of 20 correct on a spelling test; having a full meltdown for missing that one word.  He doesn't do that anymore.  Progress.  He has his multiplication table up to 10 memorized and will continue to memorize up to 20.  He loves basketball and plays every single day in our backyard.  There is progress everywhere; strengths and weakness all over the place, but that's how we're all made.  We all strive for progress.

I am anxious.  I was planning on homeschooling both of them, but after a meeting at his school we learned that he would still require some therapy.  I can educate my children, however I cannot be a speech or occupational therapist.  We were concerned that he would miss out on those services, thus I prayed and asked God to place my son where He thought best.  The day I was ready to purchase their curriculum I received an email letting me know that my son had gotten into a new Charter school.  Thank you, Lord.  Still, I'm anxious.  Have I done enough?  Have I thoroughly prepared him for this next step; for this new adventure?  I trust that God put my son in the right place and have to remind myself that ultimately, he is in God's hands and God is enough.

I'm sad.  My son will always be my baby.  Always.  I just can't believe that he will be starting Middle School.  It's gone by way too fast.  I remember when he was in preschool and how tiny he was.  I remember him using sign language during song time.  I remember how he struggled in Kindergarten, when we didn't know he would need someone with him constantly, thus he didn't have a one on one.  He had a hard time staying focused and on task with the larger classroom despite the fact that he had been in an early intervention program (which had a preschool setting and very set schedules) since he was 18 months old and then in a special needs preschool starting at age 3.  Still, he thrived and grew and continued to make progress.  I wish time would slow just a bit, but we're all moving forward.

I will sit and watch as he makes his one minute speech, thanking all those who have been so supportive of not just him, but of us, all these years.  He was blessed with teachers who were patient and took the time to really understand him.  They saw and appreciated his positive attitude while working with his vulnerabilities.  He was given behaviorists who stepped in to guide him throughout his entire school day and to watch over him as I would if I could.  We were blessed with an IEP team that made every annual meeting easy, even though I was always armed and ready for battle.  Every year during those meetings I've been reminded that God is in our corner.

My chest will swell with pride as I choke back tears and watch him finish his speech and take a bow as he always does when he receives applause.  He will smile and get a thumbs up from us.  And as I sit and watch the rest of the culmination I will wonder where the time has gone.  I will look at my son and cherish this milestone.  I will pray, as I have every day since he was born, that God be with him, guide him and protect him.

Though life can be a rolling coaster, with its unseen curves, uphill battles and thrilling plummets, I am blessed and honored that God chose me to be his mom and that I get to come along for the ride!

3 comments:

Patience Oliver said...

This is really beautiful!

Heather said...

HI! I have a question about your blog could you email me please? Thanks, Heather
Lifesabanquet1 (at) gmail (dot) com

Raquel said...

Thank you, Patience.

Heather, if you leave your question in the comment section, I can see it without having to publish it.