Today was Matt's first day in school! We were so excited for him, and more than a little nervous too. He has never been away from us unless my in-laws were babysitting so we had no idea how well he would do with strangers.
We got to the school early because I had paperwork to turn in to the administrator and I need to give Matt's teacher his Diastat pen in case he had a seizure. I am a big fan of this school. Since it is a charter school that mostly deals with students with special needs, the medical staff is all CPR certified and trained to give Epi-pens and Diastats if needed by the students. Matt's class size is very well controlled, there is an adult for every 3-4 students, so I felt comfortable that he would get adequate attention. The classroom is filled with adaptive seating for those students like Matt who cannot sit or stand on their own, so I didn't have to worry about him being laid down somewhere and get hurt. When come in the classroom, wash his hands (not only to kill outside germs, but also because of food allergies of other students) and sign him in.
The room was bustling with drop off activity this morning, parents leaving meds and food and signing forms before kissing their kids goodbye. One of the aides came up and took Matt from me and brought him to the carpet with the other students to read a story and play with some toys. I felt my throat close up and I was ready to start bawling about leaving my baby. He was a little fussy at first, then he noticed all the activity around him and started studying the other kids. This is what I hoped for when we first enrolled him-peer interaction. Within a few minutes he didn't even realize that we were still there and Joe took me by the arm and lead me out of the room, not before I made his teacher to promise to call if he needed me. I didn't cry when I left, but I wasn't ecstatic either. I missed my little boy.
I dropped off Joe at work and went to Target since I didn't want to go home alone and that I wanted to be close by if the school called. I never go anywhere alone, and usually the only time I leave the house is to take Matt to doctor's appointments or therapies so going to Target was a luxury. I felt like something was missing the entire time I was there, I checked to make sure I didn't lock my keys in the car, that I had my wallet and my shopping list. I didn't realize until about 30 minutes later that I had been walking around the store with my cell phone in my hand, just in case they called.
Sure enough, about 45 minutes before I was supposed to go back and pick him up, his teacher called and said that he was upset and wouldn't stop crying and would I please come get him. When Joe and I got back to the school he was sitting in his teacher's lap and whining a little. Joe picked him up and the crying stopped instantly. I grabbed his backpack and sippy cup and said goodbye to his teacher and thanked her for calling us. As soon as we walked out the classroom door, my little monkey turned his head and smiled at me. He missed me as much as I missed him. The first day was hard, but I know it will get easier as time goes by. I can't wait to see what he accomplishes in school.