Well the time has come for my little “baby” to graduate from Preschool. I know, I know–it will be a blink of the eye and she’ll be graduating from High School and then college and who knows…Medical School?! No, she tells me she wants to be a writer and illustrator this week.
It may be a bit selfish, or just silly, but I am planning a graduation…um…let’s call it “Get Together” for Kate and her friends and their parents. You see, Kate has been going to the same school for over two years. It’s not just any school. It’s not just any dorky little celebration, either (last year the teachers got dressed up and there was a special celebration in the gym). Kate attends the Brokaw Early Learning Center and it’s part of the greater school district in which we reside. She was admitted the dayafter her 3rd birthday. She was admitted because she couldn’t talk. She was admitted because her verbal communication was severely delayed. She was admitted because she has verbal Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).
The first day of school, I drove her in the comfort and security of our minivan. By the second day, I put her on the big yellow school bus. I told myself I wouldn’t cry, but as I looked up at that large grumbling bus in my cul-de-sac to see my little girl’s impish face staring back at me in that window that swallowed her up, a big fat tear slid down my cheek. She was going to school. She was going to be in the hands of educators and speech pathologists who would help her find her words. She was going to be o.k. But at the time I didn’t know that.
After lots of hard work and learning and patience and more therapy, I am happy to report that Kate is ready for the next step: graduation. And then kindergarten.
Silly? No. Really wonderful? Yes. My little girl still continues to struggle with speech issues, but you know, she is considered “resolving,” and that is an accomplishment to be proud of.
So, Kate Riley you will have a graduation celebration. Because we couldn’t end this part of your life without one.