This isn’t how today was supposed to go.
My big boy, Ryder, strutted off to fifth grade as planned (how did he get to be a fifth grader!?), but we’d long imagined that on this day, he’d have his little brother tagging along. Not long after Truman was born, nearly five and a half years ago, Ryder excitedly figured out they’d get to have one year together in the same school, with Tru in kindergarten and him in fifth grade. He couldn’t wait to show him the ropes and be his protector. He talked about it often – until last winter, when it became clear Tru wouldn’t be ready for kindergarten this fall. His particular blend of challenges from developmental delays and ASD would make it really difficult to focus and flourish right now. Ryder was bummed, which is so sweet.
While my heart fluttered with pride this morning as Ryder boarded the bus to start his last year of elementary school, it also ached for the little guy at our side. I wish I could just wave my magic mama wand – the one that can fix practically anything, from hurt feelings to scraped knees. It’s hard to not have the power to fix this.
That said, I know this bonus year is also a huge gift. I would have been a complete mess sending Tru off to school and now I get one more year with my little shadow. More snuggles, more giggles, more adventures, more alone time. We and his team of specialists have an extra year to work with him and plan ahead for his kindergarten debut. And he gets one more year to learn and play at a preschool he loves.
As I was typing this, Tru just crawled into my lap, put his head on my chest and closed his eyes. I kissed his little head, breathed in his little boy smell, and closed my eyes, too – soaking up the moment and feeling grateful he’s still right here by my side…in my arms…under my wing for one more year.
Come to think of it, maybe this is exactly the way today was supposed to go.