My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The First Day of Kindergarten

From a mom's perspective, it seems like just yesterday. As I type today, I have tears rolling down my checks as I did on August 28, 1995. Sarah had just celebrated her sixth birthday earlier in the month. She was so excited. I was a wreck.

She had been in the peer modeling pre-kindergarten class in our district for the previous two years and had done well. She had learned to speak through her trach, she was 100% potty trained, she followed directions and the teacher told me she was ready to move on. But I was still nervous.

The peers in the pre-k class were there because their parents had made the choice to send them. For whatever reason, they understood the concept of inclusion. And there were only eight of them. In kindergarten, there would be 24 students, and they did not all know Sarah. One huge plus was the teacher, Mrs. Anselmo. She had been TJ's teacher and we loved her. Still, this was different. This was my child with Down syndrome. My medically fragile, baby girl.

The morning that school was to start, everyone woke up early. Sarah could not wait to pull on her white ruffly socks, her big girl leather shoes, and slip into the dress I had made specially for the first day. She was so proud that the buttons down the front had numbers on them and she could read what they said. TJ was right beside her ready to start 2nd grade. He would be just down the hall if they needed him. Looking back, I wonder if he felt that pressure on his shoulders? If he did, he never let on. After a quick breakfast, they went out to wait for the bus.

Sarah had picked out a new bookbag that was so big she almost fell over carrying it. She had a matching lunch box with her favorite sandwich, peanut butter and jelly. I remember TJ being so protective, but I'm not sure I realized how important he was to her at the time. I watched as Sarah did whatever he did. When he put his bag down on the driveway, she put her bag down.
.
Soon the bus came and off they went. I stood paralyzed in the driveway watching the bus turn in our cul-du-sac as though it was in slow motion, my eyes filled with tears. I wanted to scream, "Come back, come back." And then I spotted Sarah, just barely tall enough to see out the window, waving and waving, so happy. It was a surreal moment for me. I did not want her on that bus. Wait, what was I thinking, YES I DID...

12 comments:

Lacey said...

I can't imagine the feeling. Joy that your DS daughter was going to a "normal" school. But fear that she is so fragile, may get teased, or sick. I would have bawled my eyes out.

Emily said...

I have to be honest... I am dreading the day when the bus comes down my street to pick up my little Justin. You have raised a beautiful daughter and I hope I can do the same with my little boy!

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

that thought just makes me want to cry too - you so want your baby to go to kindergarten but at the same time, can't she just stay your little girl??? why does it go so fast? (and why does time take so long when you are little???!!!)

AZ Chapman said...

hay not fair I was going to reflect on my school years this summer. I can join in right?

Carol N. said...

Thanks for this post - I am already thinking about when Aidan starts Kindergarten.

I take him with me to the school a lot (daily) to pick up the big boys, because I want the kids (and staff) to know him and have a positive relationship with him before the big day.

stephanie said...

I think about that day a lot, even though Em is still a baby. Sarah was so lucky to have TJ to look out for her.Sarah on the other hand looks like she had NO problem at all! She looks ready to go gettem.

Lianna said...

I'll be facing that day soon enough, come September. Although the bus service is offered to our family, I just can't let go. So I will walk Gabe to and from Junior Kindergarten.

Thank you for posting this particular post.

ABandCsMom said...

I had a terrible time when Carly went to kindergarten. I HATED it..but then realized. No, I can't hate something she loves so much. Tomorrow, Carly will complete kindergarten. A day that I wasn't sure I would get to see her do. I'm very proud!

I just love to read about Sarah. You just can't imagine the inspiration she gives to me.

Scarehaircare said...

I walked The Love Magnet to school for the first day of kindergarten. I was afraid, too,especially since we were in a new neighborhood and a new school.I didn't know the teachers or the aides very well. Her brother was going into 1st grade and took his self-appointed role and protector very seriously. He stuck by her through all recesses until it was clear that she was doing fine. Only then would he join his own friends.

When I picked up The Love Magnet after school, worried about how well things went, her first words to me were "Mom! Do AGAIN!" She couldn't wait to go back.

Kay said...

Your post today hits home with me. My four year old will begin preschool in August and we set up for him to ride the bus. He is very excited when he sees a bus and we live 1 mile from the school but, I'm having a hard time thinking of him on the bus pulling out of the yard.

Monica @ Monkey Musings said...

I love her dress and hairstyle. So precious. Looks like a great big brother.

Perplexing Situation said...

oh geez..the bus. It still scares me. Yet, it's a symbol of independence and growing up. Yes, it's good she went on the bus, happy and waving.