We sent him off to his teacher’s bench early Tuesday morning. It was his first full day of Pre-K, the first of many days of public school.
This day was one I feared since the NICU, watching Finn’s tiny pink lips breathe in and out, closed around his feeding tube.
Sure, he’s been in daycare since infancy, but this was different somehow. I was sending my heart off between two wheels, trusting the world to treat him fairly, give him a chance, open doors, be kind.
He popped a wheelie, yelled, “Wahoo!” when he saw cute little Mrs. Brown, and zoomed off.
I turned around, my eyes stinging with tears. Then Paisley almost ran off the curb into a line of cars and I forgot to cry. A busy day at work kept my mind distracted.
He won’t really tell us anything about his days…nothing true, anyway. He said he played in the dirt all day and that his new friend’s name was Booty. 😉 Mrs. Brown tells me he always asks when nap time is and even fell asleep sitting upright in his chair.
He’s adjusting well and is excited to go to school each morning, a blessing for sure.
When asked by kids in his class why he’s in a wheelchair and “what’s wrong with him,” Mrs. Brown says he responds that “his legs aren’t very strong and he uses his wheelchair to move.” I’ve never heard him respond to anyone about his disability before; probably because we answer for him. This is pretty close to what we’d say, except I don’t want him to believe he isn’t strong…just stronger in some ways than others.
I’m so proud of you, Finn. You are teaching us all that it’s okay to be different. And what’s more, that it’s okay to LIKE being different! Your joy humbles me. You don’t make excuses for the things you “can’t do;” you simply find a way. I am so grateful for the confidence God gives you.
Here’s to 14 years of childhood education–Whew, that sounds daunting!–a rich education mentally, physically, socially and spiritually.
Will you pray with us for one or two really good, loyal friends for Finn? Friends that would see his differences as a blessing, not a burden. We all need a couple friends like that, don’t we?