Tomorrow is an end. It is Jakob’s last day of school in Ladner. His last day with his teacher and his friends – the friends he started kindergarten with, the friends he played so well with, the friends whose parents I know and trusted.
Tomorrow is an end. It is Ella’s last day at First Steps Preschool. It is her last day with her teachers who poured everything into helping her become who she is going to be – teachers who genuinely cared about her, loved her, prayed for her, prayed for us. It is her last day in the only classroom she has ever known, where she has friends and where the children accept her and include her.
Tomorrow is an end. Tomorrow we say good-bye to yet another team…but, you see, this time it is different because this team was different. This team was not only Ella’s teachers, therapists and support worker, but her ballet teacher, her daycare and her community. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all of these people. Why? Because above all, they genuinely loved Ella and not only wanted her to succeed but KNEW that she could succeed.
Because when you have a child with special needs, this is not something that is taken for granted. It is a rarity in a world that focuses on the disability instead of the ability. And truth be told, I fear the future. I am so afraid that Ella will not have teachers or therapists who see her potential but rather, right her off because they don’t believe a person with Down Syndrome can learn to read, or dance, or have friends. I am afraid that they will treat her differently, when really, she just needs to be treated the same. I am afraid that they will set an example of exclusion and discrimination and I am afraid, most of all, that they will say “no”.
Of all the things that we are leaving behind, Ella’s team is the hardest to let go of. I can only pray that in our new town she has a ballet teacher as great as Julie, an aid as wonderful as Kathryn, teachers as loving as Dawna-Lyn, Lisa and Colleen, therapists as devoted as Tricia and Christine, a team leader as diligent as Sarah and daycare as positive as Kids in Paradise.
Thank you…all of you.
|I think she was being a unicorn here…