My baby graduated...from pre-school, that is. Maybe not considered such a big milestone by most, but a HUGE one for my little man. I did not know if I would ever see the day that Coulby went to a public school, much less blossomed in one. I have watched Coulby grow into himself in the months since he started school, and it brightens my days.
I remember when Coulby was an infant and I declared that he would be home-schooled so as not to expose him to the germ-infested classrooms of the schools, just begging to make him sick and hospitalized. Most people thought it a great idea, although I must say that Coulby's geneticist and dietitian ALWAYS encouraged us to send Coulby to a traditional school environment. It would help with his socialization, they said, and would expose him to germs in order to build up his immunities. Coulby deserved the chance to go to a school with a teacher who was not his mom, and other students who would become his friends. I am so glad that my declaration to home school Coulby was not the path that I chose for him. I am glad that I gave him the chance he deserved.
I did not cry when the teacher introduced the graduating class of 2009 and the procession of boys and girls filed into the room, with Coulby bringing up the rear. I thought it dear when he spotted his entourage of fans in the back of the room and cried, "Look! There's Poppop! I wanna go sit with him." And I thought it very much in character that the only one whose hat was pulled so far down it almost covered his eyes was Coulby's. Guess who was the only one not singing along with the class? Coulby. He was more interested in sitting down, standing up, and waving hello to us as we tried to no avail to gesture for him to pull his hat off of his eyes and sing along. And that is Coulby. Always has been. You cannot fit him into a mold no matter how hard you try to squish and squeeze him in. Despite all of the times I find myself wondering how I am going to make it through Coulby's toddlerhood, much less his tweens and teens, I would not want to change him; mold him. I love that he is special, not to the point of being strange, but just special enough that everyone who comes into contact with him knows he is. They just know. That is Coulby.
This school year has been a mixture of ups and downs, but an overall success as far as I am concerned. I was so nervous to put Coulby into public school that I think my nerves made me cry more than watching Coulby walk into his classroom for the first time. Ashamedly, I anticipated the worst: germs=illness=living at the hospital during most of the duration of Coulby's first year of school. I was surprised...pleasantly. And reminded to keep the faith. Coulby was sick more times than I can even begin to remember during the past school year, and has been hospitalized for just two of those illnesses, one being metabolic related, and the other only to ensure hydration. TWO times! He endured the rest, including a stomach virus (which always landed him in the hospital as a baby) here at home. I got to take care of my sick boy from the comforts of home. Quite novel.
So way to go, Coulby! I could not be more proud of you! Of your accomplishments in school, but also of the person you are becoming. You are such a blessing and I know you will continue to touch the lives of everyone around you. My special boy.