As the school year wraps up I always find myself turning inward and recognizing my mixed emotions, so different from other parents as they pick up their child on that last day. Most parents reflect on their child’s growth from fall to spring, over and over you hear “he has grown up so much” or “I am so proud of who she has become” or “she is so mature now”… I however do not have that story, that comparison doesn’t exist in my world. Unfortunately my story of watching my child from fall to spring is the exact opposite, far from the norm. And after experiencing this for 4 years, I have learned to focus on what I get to witness, the gift of how my little boy impacts so many! I may not walk around and talk about it or post on Facebook about what I witness at the end of the school year, but it’s something more then seeing a child a little taller, or a little more mature, or a little more social, I recognize my heart a little more fuller. A heart filled with joy, and inevitably some sadness.
Yesterday I was stopped by a parent who told me how their son prays for Jack every night. Jack’s aid just told me how difficult it was to watch Jack’s hearing specialist say goodbye without crying. The emails and notes start to come, sharing a personal experience they have had by just knowing Jack. The stories in the parking lot or front office always end with a big smile and often a couple of tears rolling down their face. The teachers, aids, support staff, and therapist who closely dedicate themselves to educating Jack have also grown from fall to spring. And the students that grew up over the year, grew up around Jack, little hearts touched in a special way. I hear comments all year but at the end of the year there comes these big wave of stories – struggling to let my little boy go, move on, letting feelings surface, missing a student already. The attachment is profound, Jack has made a difference. And then, as always, just like all kids, Jack moves onward and upward in the school system which presents new teachers, staff members, students, aids, and support staff. I came to look at as an opportunity for more lives to be touched. Jack will be leaving public school this year, his needs are far to great and unique to be served in public school. We are blessed to have a beautiful local school catered for students with significant disabilities, and Jack will go there. Another school and more hearts to be touched.
I could go on and on about teachers and their talents, but I actually was blogging to share Jack’s teacher, Ms Amy’s story, and how she has been touched. A teacher who jumped in feet first or actually head first, who took on taking care of Jack’s needs and giving him an education. In the fall, he actually started in a different class and she took notice of his special needs, she started to request some time with him. She had him come in her classroom whenever he needed a break. Soon the now and then became a transition into her classroom full-time. Her determination and dedication to supporting and serving Jack was overwhelming, a true blessing. Daily notes, pictures sent to my phone, rearranging of her schedule, thinking outside the box, and the list goes on and on. Oh and not to mention she met my demands and expectations, and for those of you who know me, I set the bar high. So I guess I should not have been surprised to learn she was doing an Ironman, Ironman Wisconsin. Then shortly after I heard of her huge physical and mental commitment, she requested to dedicate it to Jack. Soon after she made it her responsibility to share her life experience with Jack. We will be cheering on an educator who gives herself to little people on a daily basis, an educator who happened to have Jack in her class this school year. A women who will pull her strength from a boy whose strength is insurmountable. Please take a moment to read how Jack has impacted her and if you can, please support her. We are hoping to raise $2,000 to help save Jack!
September 7th, Jack’s 7th Birthday, Ms. Amy will swim, bike, and run for Jack!