The First Day of School

The First Day of School

Is it really all that bad?
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It's 6:45 on a Saturday night as I sit home and write this. I just finished an episode of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came on right after. Of course, I watched it. I always long for that nostalgic feeling. But why was this channel even on in my household? (Disney Junior) Well, it's because I have a three year old son.

No, I'm not the typical college student. I am engaged to my son's father and we are getting married in March of next year. My son has some developmental disabilities, mainly a speech delay. So we have had services and programs for him since right before he turned three. Mainly, these women would come to my home and work with my son on his behavior and his speech. We've made some significant gains in these areas. Socialization has always been an issue for my son because he has no siblings. His grandparents and parents are usually around, but there was never any need for a daycare service other than the short few weeks he spent at my school's child care center. So, this past summer, we decided to put him in a two hour program to be with people his own age. He attended four days a week and was put on a bus to and from the school and our home.

Since my son turned three, he aged out of a program known as Early Intervention. He now has to move on to the behemoth that is the New York City Department of Education, a company, and it is a company, that I eventually want to work for in some capacity. My son is now involved in a program called CPSE, or the Committee on Pre-School Special Education. He now attends a full day program in another section of the island.

The school has been wonderful and totally accommodating to my family as a whole. They hold support groups for moms and dads, as well as different therapeutic options for the children. They have music groups, yoga instruction, and even therapeutic horseback riding. It's safe to say this school is a hot commodity, and I'm so happy that they chose my son to attend. After a short break at the beginning of September, it was time to start his new program. Here is where I experience most mother's form of absolute dread: the first day of school.

I meticulously packed my son's schoolbag for his first day. His lunch and snacks were packed. I made sure there were enough pull-ups. All of his forms were filled out. I dressed him, he had breakfast, and we waited at the door for the bus. The bus pulls up at my house, and lo and behold, my son is running towards it. He just can't wait to get away from me. He gives me a big hug and a kiss, and goes straight for the matron waiting for him to put him in his seat. I wave goodbye and walk back to my house.

Surprisingly, I didn't get upset. I actually kind of felt like partying. When you have a child with certain needs, sometimes life can be immensely stressful. It was kind of nice to finally have some time for myself. The first day, I got a lot of reading done for school and worked on some assignments. My fiance works full time so I was home alone.

As the week went on, I started to get bored. Like really bored. What was I supposed to do all day? My schoolwork was done, the dishes were clean. It's hard to find a part time job that's willing to work within "mommy hours", which are the hours normally associated with children being in school. Laundry was folded and put away. (I honestly don't understand what some mothers complain about. I only have one child, so maybe I'm lucky in seeing it this way. I mean no disrespect, being a full time mother is a hard job in and of itself.)

I decided to join the PTA and mother's group at my son's school in order to pass some time. I clean and I clean. I do my schoolwork. And sometimes I just sit on my porch and watch the birds and the bees fly by. To be perfectly honest, I don't dread the first day of school. It gives me time to be me, which is sometimes what you forget when you're a mother. You shouldn't let that label define you, because you're your own person as well. And the first day is school is what helps you realize it. Now I can take an uninterrupted bubble bath. Now I can finish my novel that I put off all summer. Now I can watch soap operas. Anyone have any good recommendations?

Cover Image Credit: CCT NEWS

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

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