No matter if your sixth grader attends the last year of elementary or the first year of middle school, sixth grade is a big deal. There are so many changes, expectations of a new level of maturity and relationships with classmates begin to change throughout the year. Well, that is for typical students, not for The Princess and this morning, I am having a hard time with it.
This is the first year she won't advance with her class. The typical sixth graders are at the middle school this year. She will to attend the Complex Needs Classroom for at least another year and truly, I am grateful that we have that resource. I was very glad when I heard the news in May that we would be staying, but today I felt the tinge of sadness that although this is "our normal", this wasn't our dream. This is our stark reality as well as hers.
I know I'm not alone (though sometimes it feels like it).
Even with that, I still like the "back to school" season. I like the newness, the crispness in the air and the over all feel of the activity. I do better with structure and I know The Princess is happy to be busier. She is working hard on learning to stand and the communication exercises seem to be helping. Someday I may really get to know what she is thinking. Will she care that she doesn't "fit in"? Will she notice that she isn't typical? Will she stay blissfully unaware? (I have to admit I hope so.)
So this is where we are for now. This is our life. We trade worrying about boys, mean girls and the pitfalls of middle school for timing her g-tube feedings, getting her incontinence supplies delivered and making sure her services at school allow her to go as far as she can in her life. In the meantime, we enjoy the smallest of moments and the biggest triumphs. We will continue to experience the treasure the God has placed in our lives.