"School's out for summer!"
It's graduation season. People keep putting up posts on facebook about their kids graduating preschool, kindergarten, finishing first grade, whatever. They all share the same sentiment: wasn't it just yesterday that I walked him/her in for the first day of school?? Well, I have the same, but different, feelings. Little Bird is finishing up her preschool career this week. Only I'm not really feeling like, 'wasn't it just yesterday...' I'm feeling like, "Noooooo! I need more time! I need another two years to prepare her for kindergarten, get her more speech, OT, play/social therapies!!" But I don't have another two years or so. I have about 2 or 3 months. It's not enough.
I spoke once before about this age and why FIVE is such a magic number. Didn't click on the links? I don't care! The point is, five is a big deal and I'm in it. Little Bird started out her preschool career in special ed/developmental delay preschool. She did not thrive. It wasn't until she was 4 that I realized that it wasn't her, it was the program. We've seen an amazing change now that she's in this inclusion program with regular boring ordinary typical kids. It's literally like social therapy for her. I've definitely seen loads of behaviors from those kids that I wouldn't want to see in my kid: pushy pusherman, whiney whinerstein, overly-sensitive sally, bossy bosserfield, etc. But these kids have opened up to my kid and have truly fallen in love with her. They beg for play dates and really enjoy being with my bird. It takes us forever to get out of there because every single kid demands a hug goodbye from Little Bird. I think there's only one little girl who's a little uncomf with the bird's differences, but I think that's okay. Most of the parents have also been very open, welcoming, and accepting. Only one parent seemed a bit off-putting. Don't worry, you know I can handle her.
Next year, Little Bird will be in a kindergarten class with some of these same kids. Most of the kids will go on to the local elementary schools. A few will stay here in this smaller program. I think there will be about 7 or 8 kids in her class next year. She will be the only kid with special needs, once again. And again, she'll have a great advocate with her. I'm just as nervous as I was a year ago when I knew she'd enter this program after leaving the "special" preschool program. But after seeing how amazing this year was, I am a little bit more ready... Ready to see her grow and thrive.