It’s hard to believe, but Cooper started Kindergarten a few weeks ago! Starting school is such a definite life transition, but he’s handling it like a champ! Cooper was SO ready for school. He has always thrived on routine, he’s very social, and he was chomping at the bit to start reading. School’s been going for a little more than four weeks, and he hasn’t complained once about going. He loves his teachers, has made some new friends, is sounding out every word he can see and constantly coming up with numbers to add and subtract! He’s just thriving, and it’s a thrill to watch.
Of course, the whole transition was a little more emotional for us! We could not be more proud of our boy, but it’s a crazy thing to think he’s officially moved into a phase of life that will last the next THIRTEEN years (probably). In an even more pronounced way than before, he has a whole little life that happens away from us every day. The amount of responsibility thrown at these kids who were just babies a few weeks before is astounding. Even though he’s done great, I was overwhelmed on his behalf with all the new things they have to learn in the first few weeks. Not just letters and numbers, but school rules, how to walk in a line, the teacher’s lingo, a schedule. It’s crazy!
For Cooper, there’s the added responsibility of managing his diabetes while he’s at school. Of course, we’re still several years away from him being able to do that independently, but already he has taken on more responsibility (dropping off his supplies with the nurse every day, walking to and from class alone). It was very stressful for me to add so many more people to our diabetes management team – two teachers, a school nurse, an after-school care teacher, and a friend’s mom who picks Cooper up a few days a week. I like to be in charge, and it was really challenging for me to accept that I won’t be in charge most days. Obviously, we tell the teachers and nurse what our preferences are, but Cooper is one of 19 students in his classroom, and one of several hundred at his school. We have to balance his individual needs with our preferences and the needs and preferences of all those other kids and parents. More days than not I speak to the school nurse once or twice during the day. She’s great about calling if anything pops up that’s out of the ordinary, and I appreciate that so much. As Cooper’s body adjusts to the new schedule, we make adjustments to his pump settings as needed, and we all figure out together what’s going to work best each day. I feel like as we all get used to the schedule and each other, those calls will become less frequent, but for now, it works. It’s still pretty stressful for me, but I’m working on it. 🙂
Paul and I both loved school and still love learning about new things. We could not be more thrilled that Cooper seems to be following in our footsteps. We’re so thankful for this great experience and can’t wait to see what comes next!