The beginning of September marked a major milestone in Kate's educational career: the beginning of kindergarten. All summer long I harbored a great deal of anxiety over this transition. She would be leaving the safe haven that was preschool, the magical place that transformed her from a screaming, dysregulated toddler into the delightful child she is today. It was the place where everyone knew her, students and teachers alike. It was the place she loved.
So it was with great trepidation that I put her on the bus that first day and bid her farewell. For the 2 1/2 hours that she was gone I paced back and forth, waiting for the phone to ring telling me I needed to pick her up immediately. Surely she would be overwhelmed by the bus ride and the large building and the new teacher and the 19 new classmates. I was confident this kindergarten thing was a recipe for disaster.
So it was with great surprise at dismissal time that I was greeted by a smiling Kate coupled with an enthusiastic thumbs up from the teacher. "A fabulous day!" the teacher gushed. No time for elaboration, Kate was quickly deposited into the car and off we drove, leaving a million unanswered questions swirling around my head. A fabulous day? What did she mean? A fabulous day for a kid with issues? Or a fabulous day just like any kid might have? A fabulous day as in she didn't throw herself on the ground and scream? Or a fabulous day as in she talked to the other kids and played with them? A fabulous day as in she blended in with the rest of the class, the autism indiscernible?
I looked in the rear view mirror to gauge Kate's reaction to all of the newness. It was the smile that silenced all of my questions. She is happy and that is all that matters. A fabulous day indeed.