We have had a few milestones with Elijah lately. He started pre-school two weeks ago. I never thought I'd willingly put my three year old in school. I thought he'd be happy at home with me until he was five. I actually pictured that for all of my unborn children when I was a newlywed dreaming of kids.
When Jaycee turned three, it seemed like I had no choice. She had to go to pre-school. With her Down syndrome, she was so far behind and she needed all the experiences at pre-school that I couldn't provide (or didn't have the energy to do). So, she started the special education process right on her third birthday and received all of her needed therapies at school. I hated to send her to school. She seemed so small and young. We had been through so much together and it was hard to let go. Prior to school, Jaycee had only been watched by close family members. The school staff would be the first non-family people to watch my dear little girl.
Even though I hated the idea of sending her to school, I knew she needed to go. It would be good for both of us. I knew the school staff personally, which made sending her easier. We both cried the first week or two though when we left each other.
Flash forward a few years, it came time to have Elijah screened for pre-school last month. He didn't have a diagnosis or something wrong that absolutely made it necessary for him to start school so young. I did have a few concerns with Elijah so I decided to get him screened in case he would happen to get in. He did get accepted into pre-school. I found myself getting ready to send my little 3 year boy to pre-school. This time was different. It was my choice. It felt like a happy milestone. I took him to school the first day. I may have had a few tears but it wasn't a heart-wrenching situation like with Jaycee.
This week Elijah started riding the bus. I never thought I'd send my 3 year old on the bus either. But, he's been begging to ride the bus ever since Jaycee started riding last year. (I cried my eyes out the first time Jaycee rode the bus.) He was so happy to get on it. I watched through the bus window as Elijah took a seat next to Jaycee on the bus. He had a huge smile. Then I realized I did too. It's funny how different things feel the second time around.