Today is a bittersweet day. You see, today my baby finishes Preschool and is officially a Kindergartener. It seems like yesterday we found out about Addie’s hearing loss diagnosis and so many questions arose. Preschool was a big one. Do we enroll her in a typical preschool? Do we enroll her the preschool at Providence and drive her in? Then I found out about the Rocket Program in our local school district.
In November 2012, Addie started the Rocket Program (a specialized preschool environment for children with additional needs, i.e. speech pathologists, physical therapists, etc.) in our local school district. Since the school year starts in August and we did not enroll until almost Thanksgiving, we had to go to a school slightly farther away (the closer school was already full). This ended up being a sign that we were meant to be in the city we were in.
On the first day I met Mrs. Cindy and I instantly knew my daughter was in the best hands possible. I arrived to pick Addie up to see a smile from ear to ear on her face. She had a good day and she could not wait to go back the next day. Through the next two school years, several IEP meetings, and countless conversations at school drop-off and pick-up, Mrs. Cindy became a part of our family. Addie talked about her all the time- the books, the songs, the art projects. She became a person I would ask advice of in regards to Addie and typical Preschooler stuff, and I knew that if I ever needed help with Addie’s education in the future, I could contact her. Even though it has been well over a year since we bumped into her at the local grocery store, Addie still looks for her every time we go shopping.
Now she is graduating from the Rocket Program and, starting today, is officially a Kindergartener. It is a bittersweet day indeed. “Big Girl” school is right around the corner, but there will be no Mrs. Cindy. My routine for the last 2 years will be no more. No more driving across town, parking at the park and watch Addie run to class with her friends. No more chatting with Mrs. Duffin and watching Addie progress from ignoring her to giving her running hugs and showing her anything that she deems new or awesome. No more catching up with Addie to hand her her backpack and stop to chat with Mrs. Cindy. No more trying to find shade and watching 2 of the cutest toddlers play while waiting for Addie to get out of class, and then watching her run with her friends to the cars.
I know we will start a new routine and form new relationships with the new school, but this one has left a lasting mark on not only Addie, but on my husband and me. We will never be able to say thank you enough to the woman who has not only helped Addie get to where she is today, but to the woman who has helped Ben and me navigate the waters of the hearing loss diagnosis and parenting in general. From stories of Addie’s kindness to Kindergarten readiness, Mrs. Cindy has reassured my confidence in my daughter even more. Her speech and thinking progress is a difference of night and day from when Addie started school, and for that we say thank you. Thank you for being the absolutely perfect fit for Addie’s first teacher experience. Thank you for playing such a pivotal role in helping Addie being the best Addie she can be.