I used to get myself worked up into a terrible panic about Max going to school.
How would anyone be able to care for him the way I do?
What if he caught a cold?
What if he was ignored all day long?
What if someone hurt him?
What if kids only made fun of him?
I never stopped to think of the wonderful things that school could bring. I never stopped to think that the teachers and staff would care for him as much as they possibly could. Or that he would be included into everything. And they would be gentle with him, and find that he was one of the best things about school.
And then, we found out he couldn't go to school. Not in the way we thought he might. Last year, for Max's first year of school, we started it out in our dining room. Because Max is so severely allergic to vaccines, he can't get them. That means the chicken pox vaccine, pertussis vaccine, flu vaccine...all of them. Most vaccines have preservatives in them, gelatin preservatives. That's the piece Max is so allergic to. So allergic that the head of allergy at Children's Hospital says he would only approve vaccinations in Max if he was in a trauma bay in the emergency room, or in the PICU...both having crash carts readily available. . . dramatic, no?
So, since he's allergic, and any one of those illnesses would take him down hard, we get to enjoy school together. At home, with a teacher from the school district who comes out to teach him an adapted version of his classmates curriculum. And of course, he's still got his class at school who visit with him every day.
Today, Max and I got to meet his second grade classroom teacher. She came over for a bit to chat with me and Max, to get to know him a little better before school starts next Monday. She brought with her, greetings from his first grade teacher too. It was great to hear about all the fun things they'll be working on this year. Things like Flat Stanley, Bugs/Butterfly Pavilion, Pumpkin Run, and fairy tales.
Max was so excited to visit with his teacher. He woke up at about 7:00am ready for school. I had to convince him to let me sleep just a wee bit longer. Once I got him up in his chair he was a chatterbox! So I hooked him up with his Dynavox computer so he could chat his teacher up as soon as she got here.
As I was getting his morning routine cleaned up, he was telling me "school work" "I like this" " I love you". When the doorbell rang, I heard him clicking through his choices to "hurry up!".
He did well to get himself to the area to say "hello" to his teacher, something we've been working on for a few weeks now. She and I were talking and a couple of times he would say "that's funny", or "uh-oh".
He had to tell her his jokes too. I really really REALLY need to put some new jokes in there. They are getting old! And, with a lot of new friends, and some from last year, he needs new material! He likes to tell jokes so much with his friends, that we've moved the "Do you want to hear a joke?" button to the bottom of his choices so he has to scroll through to get to it. It's good practice for him to get through the choices to what he really wants.
We're still waiting to hear about who his homebound teacher will be, and what days he'll have school at home. But, comes a week from today, Max will be in second grade. Going to school, exactly as he should.