School Kid

I’ve been trying not to think about it all summer, but on Sept. 7, right after Labor Day, Joe will be starting school. (?!?!?!)

He’s been approved for inclusion in the Early Childhood Special Education program through Colonial Heights Public Schools. The process involved evaluations by speech, physical and occupational therapists, as well as meetings with some of the teachers there. Every single person we’ve met has been incredibly knowledgeable, reassuring and enthusiastic. I’m so glad to know that he’ll be in such good hands!

The school day will probably be just from 9:30-11:30 at first, and then 9:30-1:30. It may only be three days a week (we iron out the schedule in a final meeting next week), or it may be five.

His teacher, Ms. Shannon, showed me the classroom after a meeting at the school last week. She flipped on the light, and all I saw were tiny little chairs, tiny little tables, lots of books and toys, a play kitchen, and a great big carpet for story time. It started to hit me: Wow, he’s really going to school!

Then I saw the cubbies. Remember cubbies, from kindergarten? Those little drawers with names on them, so you knew where your stuff was? Joe will have one of those. At age 2. Gah, it’s killing me.

And guess how he’s getting there? A bus. Well, it’s more of a passenger van, full of baby seats, but it’s a big vehicle that I will be putting him on! And then not getting on myself! I tried to weasel out of that part and just bring him in the car, but the teachers said it’s easier on the kids if we don’t have dramatic goodbyes there at the school. So I can have my little freakout in the driveway instead. Thank goodness Patrick will be home that morning!

So I’m nervous about how I’ll do with the change, but I think Joe will do great. Ms. Shannon is wonderful, and Joe is so interested in other kids that I think he’ll be thrilled to have lots of them to follow around and look at for a few hours.

In the meantime, we are having fun picking out a backpack, lunch box (!!) and a list full of school supplies. Get ready for about 6,329 photos on Sept. 7!