The realization of our move to another ZIP code has come to fruition, as the kids had their last day of school (now old school) and had to mentally prepare to meet a bunch of new kids Monday morning.
We had tried to negotiate with the school about keeping the kids at the school until end of the school year, for the simple reasons of stability. And, the fact that we were driving them to/from school every day. Our son has Down Syndrome and for us this move could potentially regress his development, and surely it would in the child’s best interest to stay in the known environment.
Yes, we know we moved to another ZIP code and that this normally involves moving kids to a new school unless you are willing to pay for tuition. But, we wanted to do what was right for the kids.
Anyway, this post is not about the educational battle, but the fact that we all cried!
My wife had organized enough snacks to feed a small village and had scheduled a farewell party with the teachers. There were hugs, presents, dancing, more hugs, friends departing each other, contact details being shared – it was a realization that we were part of the community after all.
Parents were hugging us too, and even the teachers were getting emotional. After all, we have some great kids and have been with the school for over 3.5 years. Kids had participated in school sports, activities and birthday parties. It has been an awesome experience to be part of that community.
As we were getting ready to pack the car, our son’s aid (Mr. T) walked our son to car. It was clear that he was affected by this departure. They had developed a bond beyond aid/student, and become close as brothers. He had bought him some awesome shoes. Some days they had dressed alike and they had so much fun together. He alone has been the reason we wanted to stay at the school, and he can take full credit for the amazing development of our son. Of course the other teachers did an awesome job too, but this relationship was special.
The aid wants to be part of Christian’s life going forward. It was just not something he said. We could tell he meant it. I even heard him say to my son “I’ll be here for you forever. You have taught me more about life than anyone”.
Dude! that made me bloody emotional, which is awkward when I want to have a tough appearance with my ginger full beard and cool shades. A tear rolled down my cheeks, but I caught before anyone noticed.
Now a chapter has been closed, but we start writing a new book. It’ll be awesome to meet all the new people and make new friends (again!). The kids will have an amazing experience and it will be a positive opportunity for our son.
It is our responsibility as parents to stay in touch with the friends we made, and encourage our kids to feed those relationships too. They made friends for life.