One might downplay today’s events, but not me. I know full well the significance of Namine’s first day of school – and not only because it is the first day of school. No, for Jessica and myself, this day means much, much more.
This day was no surprise to any of us – neither Jessica, me, nor even Namine herself. She’s been excited about school since we started telling her about it, after all. She has been long ready for this day, our little independent one has. She’s been ready far longer than we have, that’s for sure.
I’ve heard it said – I don’t know where – that kids are sometimes a better judge of when they’re ready for something than their parents are. That’s not always true, of course; after all, we parents are in business of knowing what’s best for our kids because we have the knowledge, the wisdom, and the common sense that comes with age. We’re not born knowing this stuff, so we need parents to guide us.
But sometimes, we parents need a little guidance from our children, too. We need a little hand-holding, we need a little lesson in faith. And Namine has taught us a lot about faith. I wasn’t sure I was ready for this day – Jessica, I think, was a little more ready than I was, but I have ever been the more protective and worrying parent – but Namine was absolutely ready. And that made the difference to me, because she proved that she could be (although sassy) the mature child we knew her to be.
When we brought her to school early this afternoon, she was friendly and talkative – even to the teacher she’d never met before. She wheeled herself through the halls by herself, needing little guidance as she swerved to avoid colliding with other students. (Her improved upper body strength really paid off.) She made a new friend in a four year old named Tyler (if memory serves), whom she gave high fives. They said hi to each other and smiled at each other. (Of course, Namine has always been more social than Jessica or I would have been in her place. That in itself is a wonder.)
The first day of school is quite an event in itself. But today has more significance than just being the first day of school. Today marks another success – one more proof against all that was predicted for Namine. The odds have been stacked against Namine from the start, or so it seems sometimes, but Namine is a strong child (delicate, yes, but also strong in her way), and she has prevailed in this too. She loves school, and that is another success. (Remember also that we had thought that Namine’s attending school would have to be postponed, due to heart surgery – but she won’t need that for another year!)
Of course Namine was so excited about getting to go to school again tomorrow, so she refused to go to sleep for some time.