Thursday, September 8, 2016

Good Morning Little School Girl

Today is momentous.

I am writing this from the second floor, in the boardroom aka "the parents waiting room," of the Little Village School while Josie is downstairs in her Kindergarten classroom.

Josie's first day of school. Josie's first day away from home.

Throughout 2014, when Josie's seizures were bad, really bad, and we were in and out of the hospital, it was hard for me to envision this day. The idea of handing her over to spend the day without us nearby, or without her Janny (Janice/nanny) was unfathomable. And here we are.

I'm sitting in this boardroom alone, surprisingly. I guess it's not every child's very first day away from home. Yup, this is my first rodeo. People from the school, including the school director, have been coming in to give me reports.
"Josie is doing great, she's laughing hysterically at animals noises."
Obviously, who doesn't laugh when adults make animal noises?

Josie's new PT just came by to see me and immediately said, "wow, she's cute." That face is gonna get that girl everywhere, I tell ya.

There is just so much I can say about how this day feels. I know, while I'm sitting in this room, which, by the way, now has four more (emotional) moms, that I won't be in this room every day. This is a new chapter and Josie is able to receive the education that is available to her. This is exciting and amazing. And eventually, or maybe never, I'll get used to not knowing exactly what she is doing every minute of the day. I do know that she is spending her days in the most enriching environment. She has her own nurse who is looking out for her every need.

When we came for "meet the teacher" yesterday, we walked into her classroom to a parade of Teacher Assistants celebrating Josie's arrival. Janice and I both cried on the spot. Her teacher is perfect. The six TA's are perfect. The teacher next door came by to meet us because she's from our town!

Oh two dads and another mom just joined this "parent's waiting room." It's a party now.

One of the most beautiful things about being a special needs mom is meeting so many people who choose to work with disabled children. I think some people are born with a gene to care for those who need more care. They're so patient, truly excited, concerned, soft, strong, thoughtful, comforting, and loving. I am so grateful for this breed of people who choose to follow their caring passion. They are instrumental in our children's progress. I've always loved to watch the excitement in our therapist's eyes when Josie does well. And while they go on and on talking to me about all the different thoughts they have about Josie's therapies, abilities, and their plan for her, I can't help but drift off and think, man, are we lucky you care so much.

This school, the Hagedorn Little Village School is filled with these incredible people who make a tremendous difference. If you can feel energy around you, this place is humid with love. I feel really good about this. I'm confident our little Beanie girl is in great hands.

I think I'll stop being anti-social and join the party of parents in this waiting room, now.

This post title couldn't be more fitting. It's an old blues song by Muddy Waters that Widespread Panic (and others) cover sometimes. And these are the very words I said to Josie when she woke up this morning, "Good Morning Little School Girl." She smiled. And to make it even more perfect, I'm going to see Widespread Panic on Saturday night in Coney Island with my closest friends. Ain't Life Grand? That's another Panic song. I'll stop before I keep speaking in song.

Josie's teacher, Kaity!


Janice trying not to cry while saying goodbye to Josie as she gets on the bus for her first day.


How many days will I go to school with you, Jojo?