Thursday, August 19, 2010
Happy 1st Day of 5th Grade!
What an exciting day! We had our doubts a few months back whether or not Brayden would be able to re-join his friends for the first day of school. He's certainly had a rough start to the summer with 2 blood transfusions, neutropenic isolation, a hospitalization, and having to miss chemo for the first time. Thankfully, he's been on a great streak the past 5 weeks with much better results. So after getting to surprise him by sneaking away to WM one evening when we hoped it wasn't crowded, he got to pick out his own school supplies for the first time in 2 years. His diagnosis came one month before 3rd grade was over and was in full force all of 4th grade. It's almost unreal to try and wrap my brain around that. He's endured so much already. The good news was seeing his excitement when we told him what we were up to. He loved getting to pick out his own stuff. Back at home, he packed & re-packed his backpack so many times staging all his new goodies. We were so thankful when his results last week in Little Rock let us know for sure he was starting out the week with better counts and with this being a steroids week, he would for sure get to join his friends for the big 1st day!
We were able to meet his 5th grade teacher the week before school started. Bryan and I have been so excited that he would have a strong male influence this year. We absolutely love his teacher and his ideas, his plan, his strategy. We're thrilled about possibly having to be so involved in his day to day schoolwork like we have been for all of 4th grade. The kids at school certainly have a healthy fear for this teacher, being a Chaplain in the Military. But we're pumped for the structure, discipline, yet fun that comes with it.
Brayden and I planned out while we were in Little Rock his lunches since we have to make his lunch each day for school. We had to go back over the Germ-X plan and reiterate using those Clorox wipes on his table at school before eating lunch. We stressed drinking plenty of water and hoped he wouldn't overdo it. He put in his request for his special 1st day of school breakfast and I was so thrilled to be planning this for him. He was so excited and so looking forward to normalcy again with his class. The night before he confessed he was nervous. I can't imagine what he must be feeling. Everyone has witnessed what he's been through and they know his story. But with that comes amazing support, love and encouragement. We have been so blessed by this school and are thankful for the families within it.
The big first day Brayden beat his alarm clock out of bed. He had layed out his own clothes the night before and beat me into the kitchen to start prepping his lunch. Wow how the first day of school times have changed. My little man is growing up. I relished those special things for the first day and realized he's wanting that responsibility and taking ownership. It's a great thing, but sad for me to see how his needs for his Mom are certainly changing. I was so proud of how prepared and ready he was & of course had to get our traditional pictures. We loved that drive again to school in the beautiful sumemr mornings. Brayden had to stop on the creek and roll down our windows again to listen to the water. Ahhh...traditions and the comfort of normalcy. Except for remembering all his morning meds, it's almost like everything else going on under the surface wasn't there for a minute.
Thankfully, Brayden tried to give me a hard time the night before about me walking in with him. I would have been worried if he didn't. But I think he knew by my look back to him that there was NO way I was giving up the morning picture tradition! He obliged me and I promised to not over-do it. As soon as we were out of the car, he was running into school, he just couldn't get to the door fast enough. He was so excited about this last year of elementary school and the bigger desks, the change in responsibilities. We were happy to see some new faces and another boy! With only the same 3 boys in class, I think they were happy to not only have a male teacher but another boy to get closer to evening out the score with the girls! It was tough to tell him goodbye but I was filled with happiness for him getting to enjoy the normal 10-year-old things of life.
That afternoon, we continued with our tradition since Kindergarten of a cookie from Jimmy John's and debriefing us on the day's activities. His favorite part of the day was recess. He loved getting to play soccer again with his 'boys.' Ahhh...breathing in normalcy.