It’s the last day of August 2015, which means one thing in our house-it’s Mini’s first day of Montessori. She should be starting primary school this week, but we have felt she isn’t quite ready. For the last few days I have watched as her peers progress to “big school”, my timeline flooded with boys and girls with beaming grins and uniforms that seem much too big for their tiny frames. I thought I would be feeling low about this, but in truth I’m not. Those thoughts come again-so far away from the hopeless despair I felt with her diagnosis, when all I could see was Down syndrome and so very little of the fantastic Mini-that she is exactly who she is supposed to be and exactly where she is supposed to be right now. Another year of preparation for school will be just what she needs.
I watch her now as she zips up her jumper and pulls on her schoolbag. No pretences, no airs and graces, but a fearless, independent little lady who is full of fun and mischief. The language might not be wholly there but her sweet intentions are perfectly formed. She insists on a schoolbag for her baby sister, who she knows would love nothing more than to be heading off to school with her. At the gate she slows down to make sure that Mini Mini and myself have caught up to her and Papa. We are all in this together and I feel lucky to be able to experience this day as a family.
At the door of the preschool, it takes her no more than a fleeting second to release her grip on her Papa’s hand and pull up a chair. There are new friends to be made and new adventures to be had. We parents are relegated to the sidelines. It’s harsh but as it should be. There she goes, my girl. She’s gonna do just fine.