One of my kiddos just left us for an extended medical leave. We knew it was coming- something the family had been preparing for over many years, but it is still hard to accept that someone so little is going through something so big. I haven't been able to get her out of my mind all day. As teachers we love to have control- control of how we teach, our classroom, our kids. We mama-bear our kids at every step of the way- protecting them from all sorts of dilemmas, difficulties, and injustices. It's hard when something comes around that we can't protect them from, especially because in the adult world we can comprehend that it is a good thing in the long run.
Long run good things are difficult to ask young kids to buy into. Long run good things aren't exactly any child's speciality, especially if that child has a disability.
Yesterday we had a celebration of our friend because that's what she wanted. She told me exactly what kind of cupcakes and icing she wanted, and exactly who she wanted to come to our party. All the kids thought it was her birthday and in the end I let them think that. It was too much on her to explain over and over what the celebration was for. Although most of the day was difficult for her, she was a rock star at her party. I've seen hostesses from the south who weren't as gracious and welcoming as she was. She practically waltzed around the room, fetching water for her guests, welcoming adults into the room, and chatting with her peers. She'd even put her hand on my shoulder as she walked past me, silently telling me she had it, she could manage the party.
She's strong and determined. She hosted the party and I know she'll use that same determined spirit to get through the next few months. I just need to calm myself down and remind myself that she will be OK.