Excuse me while I get a little emotional. Today is Rowan's last day of his first year of preschool. I can hardly believe that a whole school year has gone by already. I just registered him for summer camp, the pool opens this weekend, and I packed his lunch and carried his backpack for the last time this morning.
It's hard to describe the leaps and bounds that Rowan has made over the last year, and how, without a doubt, preschool has played such an integral part in his growth. His teachers have been phenomenal, his little friends love him so much, and to walk into the classroom and see him as a fully-integrated and appreciated member of the class is possibly one of the most special things we've ever witnessed.
That's the hard part about having a kid with special needs - you know that on some level, he's not quite on an even playing field with other kids. And it's not even that the field is uneven, but rather, he's usually on an entirely different field altogether. So, when we enrolled him in preschool and chose to put him in a regular classroom, we had a lot of fears - fears that he would be outcast, he wouldn't interact with his peers, that he would get too frustrated. But, the glorious thing about 4 year olds is that they're still a little unaware of the "coolness" factor, and social status just isn't a thing yet. They all love Rowan so much and they understand him in ways that I'm not sure even Erik and I do.
This morning, he walked into his 3/4's classroom and sat down at the little craft table for the last time this year. I wanted to freeze time. I want to remember his face beaming with pride because he finally figured out how to use scissors. I want to remember his smile as he sat in the rocking chair in the reading corner. I want to remember him walking up to his little friend Emmitt, listening to him say "Hi!" enthusiastically, knowing that a short 8 months ago, he wouldn't even look him in the eye.
It's been such an incredible year for our boy. It's been hard, there have been a lot of challenges and heartache along the way, but to look back at where we were in August and where we are now, I can't help but fall to my knees in gratitude. I am so thankful for the people in Rowan's life and how much they love him.
And we are so proud of you, our brave, strong boy.