I mentioned before that our girls had been “visiting” the local school for the deaf, since the end of October last year. Considering that there were only a few weeks left of the year and also considering that it took a while for us to make our final school choice for 2014, we decided to wait until the new year, to buy uniforms when we would then officially become part of the school family. These two girls have been so excited to go school uniform and shoe shopping. The excitement has almost been excessive, and leaves me a bit concerned at what dad’s future credit card bills may look like considering the fuss that navy blue shorts and shoes picked out from the boys’ section caused! We have had fashion shows sporting our new outfits, and much giggling as everything got labeled with their initials that they eagerly signed. We’ve also had pink wagons packed to the brim with clothes and school accessories, and wheeled everywhere all day, in an attempt keep an eye on their new acquisitions and protect them from their somewhat envious baby sister.
Today was their first day of preschool. At 5 am, Hadassah was hanging over my tired body signing, “hurry hurry” and “wake up” whilst shouting “school, school!” Such excited giggles as we drove through the gates and delight to see their teachers! Their huge, heavy back packs laden with new stationery were carried lovingly and they very proudly and enthusiastically enjoyed dressing into their new uniforms; you could see that they felt at home. I was expecting a few tears, but today, there were none.
First school days in my mind are associated with “first school” photos. I can see the picture of me at the age of 5, drowning in my starched dress, with my little brown old-school suit case as my new accessory. It’s a proud and exciting moment for both kids and parents, albeit often teary. In a previous post, I mentioned how we started visiting a little mainstream school up the road when we first moved to the “city”. My over organized self, decided to make the most of a gorgeous sunny day during one of our visits, and take a “first school” photo. It’s close to perfect; two little rosebuds amongst the shrubs in front of the school sign, smiling for mom. So, admittedly, one of my first thoughts this year had been about this kind of clichéd photograph. Do I really need the school name in it? I mean, “….school for the deaf” is as large as life.” I’ve made peace with the word “deaf”, but this school photo thing, is just a small reminder that this was not what I had always envisaged.
I decided to pluck up the courage to get my shot. Yes, the sign may not have the most pretty, and impressive name, but my two little rosebuds are still the focus of my lens, their smiles, make me smile and their wrinkled little noses still make me want to eat them up. And, you know what, I need that “…school for the deaf” lettering to be bold at this point in my life…it speaks of my continuing journey through grief and acceptance, and I’ve learned things worth more though this journey, than fancy text books that came from centers of education that had ostentatious names, could ever have taught me. They are enrolled in a school for the deaf – and I want them to always know that mom and dad were no less excited for them. Yes, my picture is different to the one that I had in my head this time last year, but this mommy couldn’t be more proud! They’re going to be loved and cherished here, learn, grow and have fun – what more could I wish for?