This time of year brings to the surface lots of emotions for many people. Sadness for loved ones that are no longer here, exhaustion for pretty much all of us after a busy year but also great joy in what has been achieved, after you feel like some (most!) days you are wading through jelly after juggling appointments, school, work and family life in general.
This week, Mr Danger and his twin sister graduated from their pre-prep class. We took our seats – front row, of course!, and Bryce made his way with Mikey to the back of the ‘waiting’ area. I was really nervous because it was 6pm at night (very late for us!), the show was about to start, Mikey seemed a bit overwhelmed with it all and he was saying ‘poo’ a lot! We didn’t want to ignore his request, toilet training is a very slow process for a lot of special needs children, and is complicated by CP and Epilepsy due to the weak muscles and lack of control of certain muscle groups, coupled with confusing signals from the brain. Bryce took him to the bathroom for ‘just in case’ and Mikey wandered out on the stage as the kids – including his twin, were singing their alphabet song. Mikey sat on my lap, near the stage and watched happily.
When it came to the formal part of the night, Bryce stayed with Mikey right up until his name was called. Being at the end of the alphabet, the twins were the final ones to be called. Jaz proudly walked out, beaming that she was being awarded with her move to big school. All my worries of Jaz being ‘too small’, ‘delayed’, ‘language and speech impaired with suspected learning disabilities’ disappeared. In that moment, I could see that this little champion was certainly ready to take the next step in her life and progress to ‘big school’!
When the teacher called Mikey’s name, I was beaming. Jaz was standing there waiting for him. He was holding hands with the teacher but at the last minute, let go and ran towards the audience, giving a little twirl in his graduation outfit. He was so proud!
In years gone past, I have been so hesitant about end of year concerts and sensory issues for both of them, and one year I was so sick with gastro that I was confused with the timing of the concert and we totally missed the whole show – plus we had my parents with me – Nanna & Poppy – so I was doubly upset. In fact, I was hysterical. It had been another huge year. They had just turned 3, and it was the same year that Jaz had her open heart surgery and Mikey was battling with HHE and we still felt uncertain about his future. I did feel crappy about it all, but they gave us a little show at home – a very VIP experience. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t worth the stress I had allowed myself to be consumed by, as the twins were none the wiser to what had happened!
This week, their graduation was so very different. I could see the change in them, being older and how far they had both come, but I also noticed the change in me. I was still nervous but I needn’t have been. These 2 are so ready for the next step, that it’s a natural one. They both need to learn in their own unique way. In fact, all the gorgeous kids in the class had reached the same point, ready to transition to the next phase of life.
It was probably me all along that wasn’t quite ready for this, despite thinking I was! Deep down, I was anxious about 5 days a week. I actually am in the processing of learning to really ‘let go’ so that they may achieve the independence that they need to learn and progress through life.
I am sure that all the parents in the room were feeling the same way – and slightly nervous but grateful the next step was around the corner.
To go forward in life, is to continue to learn, live and love with those around you. Mikey has his own unique way of doing things and we will be sure to watch as he shows us the way, giving us a twirl from time to time. Because of course, this is his show, and not ours.