I am having a really hard time accepting that my little man is, as of today, no longer in elementary school. I did not struggle like this with my daughter. She was much more independent and much less ADHD. I have so much anxiety about what lies ahead. Elementary school has not been the easiest for us. We have had a roller coaster ride with really high-highs and really low-lows. Social media only highlights all the glossy images of ones lives. Little to never do you read about the struggles when you have a child with special needs. My son has come a very long way this year. I know for a fact he would not have come this far without the support of his 5th grade teacher Mrs. Bartholomew and much more so his tutor, special ed teacher and his guardian angel, Mrs. Susan Clayton. Never have I had such a bond with a teacher. These past 2 years she has celebrated every little thing and kept me informed when he was back sliding. She was firm but caring, organized and engaged. She provided us with tools that have really changed our lives for the better. I could barely speak to her on the day of our 5th grade picnic because I got so choked up knowing this was going to be goodbye. Teachers like this are few and far between.
Summer is going to be a big change for my little man. He has a lot of things he has to learn to do on his own.
We have already tackled one HUGE obstacle. So many more left. Nothing comes easy for him and he gets frustrated very easily. This year he has also become hyper aware of his shortcomings and sensitive to what his peers have to say. I am lucky that he is generally a very happy kid and things roll off his back most of the time. Kids can be so cruel and the thought of middle school and some of the bleak memories I have of my own middle school experiences have me losing sleep.
I have cut back significantly on photography work over the past year and a half and this is why. I need to be home, present and available during this time of my sons life. It won't last forever but while he still needs me I will be here for him anyway he needs me to be.
Without further adieu, some highlights of the last 2 weeks of school.
The graduating class creates self portraits every year that are displayed permanently on tiles in the hallways.
His best friend
The only picture I have from his last field day. Someone was pissed that they lost Tug-O-War.
His very first Boy Scout backpacking trip.
5th Grade awards
His Bestie His friend in the hood and since birth (they shared the same baby sitters, too) won student of the year!
Followed by all day 5th grade celebration picnic
All of 5th grade
Then they had 50's day
And it all ended this morning with the 5th grade walk. The entire school, teachers and parents, line the halls with signs and bells and cheer them on as they parade the halls one last time.
These may not be my finest pictures, but I will treasure them always.
Goodbye Fort Daniel.