Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Last August, I pleaded in prayer, with anticipation, with excitement, and with fear... I wrote an open letter to Reese's potential teachers and classmates to simply get out my emotions.
This year has superseded any expectations I may have had.
I asked you to be patient. And you were, you so were. You waited on Reese to answer questions, you gave her time to think. You helped her recall that piece of information that was back there somewhere - and if she couldn't you guided her toward the answer as seamlessly as you could. You watched her squeal with excitement when she understood something and immediately conjured up a plan to aide her with what she didn't. She never felt rushed or as if anyone was frustrated with her. She took her time to learn and you gave her that time without hesitation. You are so patient.
I asked you to be safe. No one outside of our family is seen as a safer place than her teachers and friends at school. They are who she lists that she loves, they are who she trusts when I make decisions that may change that day's schedule. No one was ever threatening to Reese and she learned each rule and regulation of the classroom with nothing but smiles and hugs. You let her cuddle you each time that she asked - and I do know that sometimes she knew right when you might have needed it. You gave her jobs when she felt aimless, you gave her strength when she looked defeated. The trust she has does not falter - and along with that comes so much love.
I asked you to be kind. I could not have written a better end to a kindergarten story than the friends that Reese has made. No one saw her "bad arm" as a problem. No one cared about her teeth being gone - except that they wish that they had lost theirs, too. When Reese was gone for chemo at first, they worried - truly worried. Her friends get emotional when Reese is hurt. The kindness shown by 5 and 6 year olds outshines most adults that I know. They defended, they hugged, they cheered every.single small victory. They pushed her hair out of her face when it brushed over her eyes. They wrote her notes of love. Her friends think her AFO boots are cool and that her having a resource teacher for some pull-outs is jealousy worthy, for sure. She was never left out, lest another friend set them straight. She is wanted and needed and loved and she feels every bit of that.
I asked you to be diligent. I slightly chuckled at myself when I re-read this one as within the first weeks of school, I asked them to be LESS diligent since I was getting numerous calls because everyone wanted to keep me in the loop. She figured out the bathroom in no time and her playground aide was gone quickly. They even built a ramp for Reese to walk onto the playground with because the step was very large. Every detail was taken care of. If she was falling behind, we re-organized her services. If goals were passed, I got calls about adjusting those. The care taken for this year was so supremely planned that I was able to sit at home with my coffee and laptop and feel nothing but overwhelming peace.
I asked you to be you. And wow, did I get some amazing people in our lives. YOU were what made Reese succeed. YOU were what made her love school. YOU were who knew what to do in all situations because you are so wonderful at your job. Every day was a blessing to Reese and I hope that you learned just as much from her. She doesn't fully understand that next year means such big changes, but some of her friends will hopefully follow her to the next classroom adventure. Every new person she will meet will be trusted because YOU are handing her to them. I apologize if that seems overwhelming, but I don't think it will be a problem as I have seen the people she has met at this school. I have walked the halls with Reese Skelte and it is nothing short of a small celeb with high fives and hugs and waves. How did she get so lucky...
My 3 elementary aged kids know that they are so special to one another. Seeing each other at lunch, in the halls, wherever always brought a story home. "I saw Aidan today!!!" was worth hearing a thousand times. "Sawyer was in the library!!" was information I may have known, but still loved having repeated by an excited 5 year old.
Kindergarten was something I could not even picture happening 3 years ago. I couldn't imagine how this would even look like. I didn't want to even go there out of fear of "what if..." But now, every morning, we jam out to dance music, unload the huge van, and shake our booties while we give kisses before they cross to the school. Tomorrow is the last day of the year and I will likely cry for the opposite reasons that I did last August. How amazingly bittersweet.
eta: last day of school pics!!
and now to compare beginning of the year on the left - and end of year on the right!!