Today my daughter goes to Kindergarten. This is a milestone I don’t take lightly. It’s truly a bittersweet moment for me. On one hand I am going to miss my little buddy. The girl that has been by my side for five years is going to school, and leaving me for the day.
However, this is also a day that I wasn’t sure was going to happen. I think back three years ago when my daughter was evaluated by Early Intervention. Words like ‘sensory’ and ‘delayed’ were being passed back and forth. The idea that she would require aids and special assistance were a real possibility. I cried that first night after the initial evaluation and googled ‘sensory processing disorder’ about a hundred times to read different articles.
The next day I met with the speech therapist and she said that ‘we would need to work really hard’ to get D caught up. The first year we had therapists in and out of our house 5 times a week. I spent my time working with D on everything the therapists told me to do. If I wasn’t doing their suggestions, I was researching different things to buy or rent that the therapists recommended such as trampolines, feeding utensils, and toys. We gave up television in our house for about a year and only occasionally watched episodes of ‘baby signing time’ to learn sign language as a way to communicate with D.
Two years ago I dropped D off at 3 year old preschool and she cried. I cried at home, and waited by the clock till I could pick her up. She could barely communicate and it was heartbreaking. I didn’t want to put her in preschool, but the therpists said she needed to be exposed to other children. After I picked her up, she couldn’t even tell me what her snack was that day. Slowly through the work of a wonderful speech therapist 2x a week and being in preschool, D learned to talk. She also started sleeping through the night and had less tantrums.
Six months ago she surpassed the speech therapy evaluation and this Fall we are taking a break from occupational therapy. We still have our hard days. Sometimes getting dressed can be challenging as I have to cut out every tag. Or, textures of food will cause gagging. However, D can communicate everything to me now, and that makes life so much easier.
So whereas I cry dropping my ‘baby’ off at school, I also cry tears of joy that D can go to kindergarten this year. I think of all the hours spent in therapy, in waiting rooms, researching, and praying. It doesn’t even seem like this is the past of the same girl yelling how much she loves kindergarten and putting on her uniform. I’m so proud of D, and how she exceeded my simple dream go her to be able to go to kindergarten.