Wade is officially a preschooler! This is his second year of school, but it is his first year in an inclusive classroom. Although it is a lot of hard work getting things in order, we are very excited about the possibilities.
Wade is in the afternoon class--12:15-3:15--this year. I secretly think this assignment was on purpose to see if I could manage to get him to class before the bell rang:-) I am happy to report that this schedule works much better for MY schedule! I am not a morning person, so I really struggled with getting things together and both of us out the door last year when he was in the morning class. I'm doing much better with this time change. Although Wade is eligible to ride the bus--which would probably make things much easier on me--I take him to and from school. I just don't like the idea of him sitting on the back of that bus in the wheelchair accessible spot all by himself. Since I'm able to drive him, it also gives me the opportunity to communicate more with the school. It helps me feel like I'm more in the loop. I'm not sure if the teachers prefer it this way, but it sure does make me feel better. Not to mention that if he rode the bus, his scheduled pick up time would be 11:07AM. That's a little over an hour before school actually starts!
On Wednesday, the third day of school, I wheeled Wade into class behind the the rest of the kiddos. As I stopped in the doorway, a little girl looked up from putting her things in her cubby and exclaimed, "Hey Wade!" I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest. Her little voice was so sweet, welcoming, and accepting. Come to find out, this is the same little girl who had shouted, "Hey, there's that boy!" just the day before when Curtis dropped him off:-)
On Thursday, we had a meeting at the school in the library. We were concluding the meeting as kiddos were getting lined up in the halls to go to class. When Wade entered the hall from the library, I could hear, "Hi Wade!" and "Hey Wade!" and "Wade!" from all of his classmates. It's such an amazing feeling to know that Wade is being included and accepted for who he is.
As of today, Wade has completed his second full week of school. To say he is exhausted is an understatement! Due to the afternoon schedule, Wade has been forced to give up his naps. Unfortunately, he has not adjusted his morning wake up time to make up for this. He is still getting up between 5:00-6:30AM! I'm hoping that as we get more settled into the school year he will realize that staying in bed until at least 7:00 isn't such a bad thing! One day during the first week of school I told the assistant, "I don't know what y'all are doing all day, but he sure is worn out." She said that she wasn't surprised because Wade spends the majority of his afternoon laughing at his friends! I'm so happy that he enjoys going to school and has so much fun playing with his new classmates. Although the struggle to make the curriculum and environment accessible for Wade is absolutely draining, the smile on his face and the acceptance of his friends makes every single step on this journey worthwhile.