Today was William's first day of school. And we're not talking daycare - he's a student of Gilchrist Elementary School. Yes, he's not even 3 yet and so you're probably a little confused, but he is starting in the Leon County Schools ESE program. William has some set backs to overcome and we have been doing everything we can to get him all the help that's available. His language therapy through Early Steps will stop at age 3 and since he qualifies for continued help, they encouraged us to put him in now, at the beginning of school, instead of waiting until November.
It's a big step for all of us and has been a very difficult decision. There's no doubt we want to do everything possible for him, but it's also very daunting contemplating sending your 2-year old to a public school! This is a 5-day a week, all day program too, so it's not even just a nice half-day thing! We looked into Christian pre-schools, but decided that it's best he try this first, which will prepare him for preschool and then next year, he can go anywhere through the VPK program. And that will only be half-day, so I'll have my little buddy back home more often! :)
He is the youngest in his class, but his teacher said he is not the youngest that she's started. She also noted at the orientation, that he's very active, so it was nice to say to someone else, "You'll have your hands full!" :)) We know there will be ups and downs for him (and me) in the days and weeks to come, but we're excited to see him grow and experience a new environment and I'm looking forward to a little free time with just Abbey home! I've got all kinds of things to do while he's at school! :)
He did so well this morning - we are SO proud of him! He loved carrying his backpack and lunch box and he wanted to walk all by himself. His room is at the very back of the campus, so he walked slowly down the long halls, checking out everyone going by, and watched all of the big kids go into their rooms. Although he nearly got mowed over a few times, he made it to his room safely, then went right in and got to checking things out. There was another little boy who kept calling his name; I think he was excited to see a new kid! Hopefully, they can be good friends. After putting his things away, I wasn't sure whether to say good bye or to slip out, but we said good bye and I even got a kiss! Then he walked away with his teacher as I walked out the door. No tears for him, but a few for me.
We wanted to get as many pictures as possible this morning, but of course, he wouldn't look at the camera and we were in a rush to get into the room on time.