And in what feels like the blink of an eye,
But also a lifetime,
We find ourselves doing orientation for kindergarten.
And I have to swallow the lump that sits in my throat,
As we endeavour to embark on yet another brand new world,
One that must grow once more,
Bringing with it a whole new set of requirements,
A swagger of questions,
And undoubtedly increased exposure,
As yet an even brighter spotlight turns on Isaac,
One that I’m beginning to find harder and harder to shield him from.
But the excitement is bubbling also,
As I take secret glances at my baby,
Who is transitioning into a boy before my eyes,
Who holds himself with such confidence,
That I have to marvel at his bravery,
And remain optimistic that he will take everything in his stride,
As he has always done so far.
But as we take the first steps into the jungle of school transition,
My primitive instincts take charge,
Protection mechanisms are high,
Seemingly beyond my control,
I’m like a lioness,
Ready to pounce,
At the slightest hint of danger.
Because we must judge everything,
On any given moment,
For every aspect of his learning,
And it seems a mountain so vast,
That despite my adrenaline surging me forward,
There’s just still so much ground to cover.
And they beg us for answers we do not have,
Because while I know him completely,
The environment is so unknown.
Trial-and-error seems too risky,
Time-will-tell seems too defeatist,
And yet this is reality.
But please don’t make assumptions of him,
It’s now my turn to beg,
See him beyond what you think you know,
If you must assume anything,
Assume nothing is going to hold him back.
And get to know him,
And see how he surprises even those who know him the best,
At every turn he takes.
And more than anything,
Give him time.
Time to move,
Time to respond,
Time to speak,
Time to shine.
Time to be Isaac,
We can’t yet say what a day to day,
Week to week schooling life will look like for Isaac,
Whether he will sustain his strength to walker,
Whether he’ll be understood clearly enough by speech alone,
If the power wheelchair will become his go-to mode of transport,
If his peers will see him for who is beyond the equipment,
And teachers aids.
And most selfishly,
Will he cope without me?
Am I ready to have him in the hands of the department,
Entrusting them to care for him,
And meet his needs,
And help him to excel in all aspects of his learning?
I fear I am not,
But Isaac is.
And this is what I must trust in.
Trust that despite desk heights,
Isaac wants this rite of passage,
And trust that he will guide us,
Confide in us,
Make his mark,
Grab every opportunity,
With pride and determination.
And while the prospect of kindy is daunting,
The road of schooling is long,
And like any learning,
Definitely will not be linear,
Possibly even more windy for Isaac,
But we can take as many turns,
And pit-stops as necessary,
Because it’s the journey,
Not just the destination.
And as always,
He will embrace his uniqueness,
Celebrate his differences,
Embody true courage,
Display strength of character,
And show us all how to just-get-on-with-it.
And that is education.
Here we go!
The End of Chapter Twenty