My first born started school in Sept of 1975. He was 5 years old and went to a private kindergarten. He is now 41. I tell you this because I have had a child in school since 1975. That is a very long time. My youngest is 21 now. Because she is in special ed she is still in school, that is until June of this year.
I love her teachers and her class and mourn at the loss of them. But I also mourn the passing of this era. It is very hard for me to see it all coming to an end.
Anna is my baby. I know she is 21 but she is still the baby of the family.
The time is drawing close and sometimes I feel like I can't breath. She is protected, loved and spoiled in her class. Now the only choice I have for her is to choose a program for her to attend everyday. She will be with strangers all day long, with little protection against those more aggressive, or dare I say, more sexual.
I do have 3 other daughters in programs for the disabled but they are higher functioning and can come home everyday and tell me what they did, how they were treated, and talk about the good and bad things that might have happened that day.
Anna will not be able to do any of that. She can usually tell me where she has gone, or what she ate, but not who treated her with disrespect, not who may have hit her, or even who stepped up to be kind to her. She will not be able to tell me if a stranger approached her while the job coach had her back turned. Or if one of the more advanced boys took advantage of her in the back seat of the van.
I know I sound paranoid, and I am not a paranoid kind of person, but Anna is my baby. I am her protector. I just don't know how I am going to let her go.
I just need to write this all down because sometimes I think I am going to explode if I don't tell how I feel.
But...I do know this. In spite of all my worries and paranoia, I do know that she is protected by One far greater than me. I know I can count on the Lord to take my worries and give me peace. I know I have this for the asking. I know this, but it is still hard to let go.
Anna has the perfect world now. She has the perfect classroom situation. But we move forward like everything in life. Puppies don't stay puppies, babies don't stay babies, and we grow up and older each day.
So I will send her off to program in a couple months. I will look at this as a new challenge. Something new to explore and make perfect for her. She will adjust eventually and most likely enjoy her new environment. If not, then we move on to a different plan or program.