Today is Robby's last day of school. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was packing his lunch and nervously preparing to embark on this new school adventure. Looking back, I can't help but think that change has been the theme of the year.
We began the unintentional trend by changing Robby's school. The transition was easy for him yet angst ridden for me. I worried about everything, from the curriculum to his making new friends. My new school fears evaporated when, after picking him up on that first day, he told me that he loved his new school and can't wait to go back.
A month into the new school year I became pregnant. Although Robby didn't learn the news until January, when he not so lovingly sealed himself inside a box for two hours, the impact the pregnancy affected all of us immediately. I was vomiting so frequently that it became second nature for Robby to say, "Oh that's just my Momom getting sick again."
I wasn't able to take him to the park after school due to pregnancy exhaustion. I went to bed at 7, leaving the nighttime rituals to his Daddy. Meals became whatever I could prepare without vomiting and heaving. My roles had changed, but thankfully his Daddy was there to pick up the slack.
Robby had ear surgery in October, and it was successful in restoring some hearing. After the procedure his school ramped up his speech therapy. In March I learned that my little Koopa no longer qualifies as a student with a moderate speech impairment. He has been downgraded to mild, an improvement I attribute to his wonderful teachers and staff at his new school. I was so happy to sign off on this change of category!
His teachers work with him to bring out success, not failure. When Robby was afraid to read in front of his peers, they asked for help reading to the babies. Reading in front of the infants built his confidence to the point where he is now reading to his friends. This flexibility is something that I cherish about his school, and the reason for his successes this year. Reading to the infants also helped acclimate Robby, giving him a glimpse of what to expect when becoming a big brother.
In April Robby experienced one of the biggest changes in his life by becoming a big brother. Although he is not terribly fond of the newest member of our family, he has embraced his role and responsibilities. Every once in awhile he says, "I don't like Hamlet. But I know that I have to be nice and I'll make sure that nobody kicks him in the weenie." I feel sad that he doesn't like little Timmy, but I also know that the fact that he feels protective is a huge step in the right direction. At this point, I'm happy for baby steps.
Through all of these changes, his school has been a constant. Switching schools, although a difficult decision for us to make, was the best thing we have done for him. He is thriving, and I couldn't be happier. Last year Robby practically skipped to school on his final day, anxious to put the year behind him. This year he is asking if to attend some of the summer programs because he is going to miss his friends and teachers. What a difference a year makes!