On Wednesday there was a graduation ceremony/end of the year party in BOY's preschool class at school. He was SO excited! He was up at 5:30am and couldn't wait for Mommy & Daddy to come to his party later that morning.
When we arrived, all the children were wearing necklaces made out of colored noodles and paper flower cut-outs, with their name and 2008-2009 printed on them. There were the requisite adorable songs with hand movements in staggered sync, with impromptu squirming, and roving eyes making sure the parents were watching. And then... Then, there was a dance. Set to the Mexican Hat Dance, each child had been paired with a partner. They had been rehearsing for a month. BOY was partnered with a darling little girl in a purple dress named B. As soon as the first note began, they were ready. There was a mix of leg kicks, arm in arm circles (similar to a square dance), and even a circular waltz-like movement. And, my BOY was into it. Big time. And his parents turned to mush...
The past few months, BOY has been in what they call a blended inclusion class. It is a class with general ed students, and a few children with special needs. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life was the sight of the entire class doing the dance. Including, one little girl who in a wheelchair dressed in a pretty dress, with a little boy holding her hands and gracefully dancing with her, around her chair, and focused on her.
BOY is in a school now where he can fully be himself. Instead of the boy disrupting the class, he has become the "ray of sunshine for the class," the one who "is always so happy and fun." (Teacher's quotes.) His needs are getting met, and his gifts are being appreciated.
This last year has brought about many changes for BOY. Three schools, challenges, incredible growth... In the fall, BOY starts Kindergarten. He talks about wanting to start TODAY. I look at him and see how ready he is to begin a new chapter in his school life. Personally, as his mama, I'm not quite there. Yet. But, I will be... by September.
"Keeping Focus" - painting by Chuck Gumpert.