I’m having a hard time figuring out how to start this post.

Probably because my emotions are all over the place.  Today is the last Friday of preschool, and I’m just back from our final monthly parent meeting at the school.

Next stop, kindergarten.

There’s no question that Howie’s ready.  We went over his last preschool progress report and reviewed all his goals and objectives.  He’s where he needs to be.  His teachers have created a fantastic transition plan for him, and the staff at the elementary school is well aware of his challenges and his strengths.  They are ready for us to be there.

But I’m not ready to leave this school.

This is the school where it all started for us.  The school that took us in when things were going so wrong.  The place where we realized that we needed to get Howie evaluated and get him services.  The staff that held my hand every step of the way during all those evaluations.  The people who introduced me to the words “social story” and “applied behavior analysis” and “sensory diet”.  The teachers who became partners in ensuring Howie’s success.

We were at a breaking point when we started two and a half years ago.  Things could have gone so badly.  But instead…

Everything has gone so right.

Clearly, I fear change.  I’m not afraid to admit it.  And it’s not that the new school is bad.  In fact, it’s wonderful.  My oldest goes there now.  I know it will all be okay.

But I’m so comfortable in my preschool bubble.  I know who to call when I need help.  They know me and understand me.

In our meeting today, Howie’s teacher reminded me that “change is growth”.  She was talking about Howie, of course, but she was speaking to me as well.

When Howie started at the school, he looked like this:

first day of school

And now he looks like this:

end of preschool

My friends and I joke that we’re in a constant state of being proud and scared with our kids.  With every accomplishment they have, it leads to the next stage of challenges and hurdles.  I’m so proud and amazed by all that he has done in these few short years.  I’m also scared out of my mind about what comes next.

I’m preparing myself with my timers and my visual schedule.  Just don’t be surprised to see me having a meltdown on the driveway come August 30th.

Closing time
Time for you to go out to the places you will be from
Closing time
This room won’t be open til’ your brothers or your sisters come
So gather up your jackets
Move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend
Closing time
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Closing Time by Semisonic