Seth (5), my dude with autism, has attended his Early Childhood preschool for the past two years. He has come an incredibly long way in that time and today is a completely different child largely due to his two teachers along with his speech, occupational and physical therapists.
Today was his last day. And it made me wonder if mama birds who know it's time for their babies to learn to fly out from their safe nests feel the same mix of emotions that I am right now. I'm sure it's all basic instinct for animals, and many times I wish it were for us humans, as well.
I'm so proud that he will be entering the regular kindergarten classroom (with a few concessions) and know that's where he needs to be. But my mama heart is worried about him leaving the safe haven of the world he has known for nearly half of his life to move into a bigger one, one that has many more expectations, more room for misinterpretation and emotional upset, more kids that won't understand why he acts the way he does much of the time. I'm worried about shoving him out of the nest.
I know there will be a few bumps, that he won't soar at first. But watching him find his wings, well - I've been doing that for awhile now, so I know just how amazingly awesome that is.
In the words of singer Mark Harris, "I'll have tears as you take off, but I'll cheer as you fly ..."