was an AWESOME first day!
There is a Garth Brooks song that I believe is titled “Unanswered Prayers” and it was in my head for the better part of the morning. I had dreamed about, prayed about, and planned my “future” daughter’s first day of school. The first day is one of those milestones that even when you are pregnant is so close you can *almost* taste it. You can see your child heading into class, glancing over their shoulder, and making sure you are still watching… even though they are trying to be tough. You can visualize driving away that first day with tear-stained cheeks knowing that your baby is growing into their own little person. It seems silly in comparison to other milestones, but it is definitely one that I *thought* I knew exactly how I wanted to go. I was wrong. It didn’t go that way at all. And yet? It was such an amazingly awesome day I could cry happy tears just thinking about it. So incredibly not what I had planned and yet somehow… God always knows how things should go better than I do.
We started today off early because we had to finish registration and get in to give the school nurse all of Alyssa’s emergency stuff prior to school beginning. Since I was spending the day at the school we just kind of walked around outside for a bit after that was wrapped up. I showed her the play areas, where the offices were, etc. Then, we headed into her class and off to the buses to pick up the other kids in her class. It was so funny as each of them walked off the bus because their little three and four-year old selves were so tiny compared to the size of the bus. We headed back to the classroom and began DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time. Each of the kids were told about Alyssa joining their class. They’d pause for a second in anxious excitement that they got to tell her their name after DEAR was over, but aside from that there was nothing but enthusiasm about the books.
We went about the day singing songs, doing activities and learning the fine art of sharing. Alyssa made fast friends with one little girl in class. We’ll call her S because I don’t want to give out other people’s children’s names on the internet. As they played together, or rather near each other, it was amazing to watch each of them react to the other. Alyssa was so excited about S setting up play icecream for the baby doll and prepping the table that she forgot for a second what she was “supposed to” do. She was sitting on a little plastic chair and grabbed onto the back of one of the rounded wooden chairs and PULLED HERSELF TO A STAND… like it was NOTHING. She stood there, I sat with my mouth agape, and she proclaimed “HI!” to C in the sweet way that only she does. She stood for about 10 seconds before it dawned on her that she was totally “flying without a net” so to speak. I still can’t get over the fact she did it like she had done it a thousand times. Such a seemingly “simple” thing… and yet such a HUGE leap. It’s amazing what the drive of peer pressure does to kids 😉 .
After finishing up inside play we headed outside. The weather was too perfect to miss. Her teacher, Mrs. L, had asked on Friday what we should do with Alyssa during recess. Usually the kids just do their thing but she didn’t want Alyssa to feel left out being in her chair. Boy…the kids made sure that didn’t happen! As my sweet little girl sat in her wheelchair and watched with glee as 8 other kids bustled about her… one little boy figured out if he jumped from behind the little wall and roared… Alyssa roared with laughter. Then, as the other kids started running in the grass I decided I’d run and push Alyssa in her chair. She? Thought it was HILARIOUS to be able to keep up with the kids. One little girl brought her a dandelion from the grass and said so sweetly “I got you flower!” Another little girl decided that was a great idea and before I knew it there were five little kids running about picking every dandelion they could find and placing them on Alyssa’s lap. Each time they’d run toward her she’d squeal with delight. Each time they ran to get another flower she laughed a bit louder. As I stood there I was filled with joy. I quickly realized if the day had been filled with the things I thought I wanted… I would have never gotten a chance to feel that feeling. I would have missed out on the beauty that is eight preschoolers completely accepting difference… with no question… no explanation… no judgment. They took Alyssa for exactly who she was, welcomed her into their world, and found a way to include her.
The rest of the day went wonderfully… aside from a bit of a tug on a classmate’s shirt. However, I do suppose that’s par for the course with a three-year old. Alyssa burst into tears when the teacher said “Time to get ready to go home!” LOL! So, I think she had a great time. It is tiring being a school girl though. She was passed out before we even made it back onto the main street and the two of us took a nap when we got home. We both made it through the day. A day completely different from what I had planned but it couldn’t possibly have been any better. So, tonight? I’ll make sure to say a special thank you to God for knowing what I needed better than I did. Tonight I am filled with the peace that I prayed so hard for just a few short weeks ago. Tonight? I have hope for the days to come 🙂 . Most importantly? Tonight I am so proud of my little girl for being exactly who she is. Without her I would have missed out on all of what made this day amazing. 🙂