Tonight, I am typing while Maddox bathes, in awe that my baby girl just completed her first full week of school. I am kind of surprised I even allowed it to happen! I quickly had to learn to relinquish my parental control and depend on others.
This week, I put her on a bus with strangers and prayed she'd get safely to her destination. I counted on her teachers to make sure she didn't choke during lunch time. I counted on the babysitter to be there to get her off the bus. As a mom, you have to learn to trust that everyone will do what they say and that is a huge delegation of responsibility, something I was not prepared for - at all.
I have to admit, the night before Maddox's first day I slightly panicked about her not being able to communicate her name to a stranger if she needed help or was lost. I got out everything she owned and started writing oher name and my phone number on it.
The week is over now, I can breathe a bit easier and what I have learned is that I am thankful to live in a town with so much compassion. All of the strangers Maddox encountered this week felt my new mommy pain and went so far very out of their way to make this insecure parent comfortable.
I had the opportunity a year ago to take a job teaching at a prestigious college, but one of the weighing factors of our decision was where we wanted Mddox to grow up. Our choices were between raising her in a large city with many programs, or a small but welcoming community with not so many programs to choose from. This week I learned we made the right decision. We most definitely live in a heck of a small community and the people here showed me time and time again this week.
There was one night where I was in tears debating on if we had made the right decision but Maddox kept coming home sharing new things, new songs, new handmotions, new signs, new words, you name it. I snuck in one day to observe. She walked in a line, she put her coat away, she followed directions, she played house! I had honestly doubted whether Maddox would succeed in a classroom of 16 kids. Really, I think I learned the most important lesson this week, not her.
Stop doubting what Maddox is capable of.
Many many years ago, I was nearly denied a chance at a public education and was told I'd do better in a school for the deaf. I can only imagine what my life would be like today had I not been mainstreamed with speaking and hearing peers. I continually ask myself, how can someone learn to live in a mainstream society if he/she were taught in a secluded society? That is a talking point for a whole different blog!
In summary thought, after this week, I am able to sit back and watch the magic of education unfold. There is no doubt in my mind I made the right decision to put Maddox's life in the hands of a public school teacher. They have been able to offer her more for her in a week than I have in a year.
(That message aside, Maddox wouldn't have been in the place where she was, ready to begin preschool with the same skills as every other peer without the support of our incredible baby sitter and therapists.)
On to week two, look out world, Maddox Lucille is here to shake it up a bit.