Big Day


This is proving harder to write than I expected.

The ACN starts school today. It is her first day of grade primary/kindergarten (aka “big girl school.”) She is very excited. She squealed with delight whenever I asked her about it.

Oh, and I may have a stroke.

I know that this is such a huge and awesome day. Logically. But, I am stressed out of my mind.

She’s just so little and defenseless, and the world is so big and (sometimes) yucky.

I still sometimes see her as that little, tiny baby in the incubator.

But, she is big now. And very smart. And this is going to be so good for her. She LOVES kids. She loves activities. She should really, really adore school, as she did daycare.

Plus, people fall in love with her when they meet her. She makes friends like no one I’ve ever seen. My sister and the ACN were grocery shopping one day and a stranger walked up to them. The woman asked, “Is this [the ACN]?” My sister was confused, but nodded. The woman continued, “My son is in daycare with her. He talks about her ALL the time. He says she has pretty hair.”

Another little boy at daycare used to try to give her hugs and kisses every day as she was leaving. The little girls would get excited to hold her hand when they all went on their walks.

Things like this happen a lot with the ACN. The gruffest, toughest men meet her, she flashes one smile and they are smitten. She’s a bit of a flirt.

Once in a while, my mind goes to bad places. Like kids picking on her. Then I think about driving up there, beating the kid’s family with a bat and burning their house to the ground. I, of course, realize that these are thoughts that I probably should be keeping to myself. But, a few days ago my father was mumbling something about anyone giving her a hard time and he said, “…then I’ll have to go up there and kill them. I’ll go to jail for the rest of my life. It will be a bad scene.”

1) I am probably not adopted.
2) We may be a tad protective.

I shouldn’t let these thoughts in, I know. The ACN is insanely loveable, and will have one-on-one supervision at all times. She is going to thrive.

Whenever I talked to her about “big girl school,” I acted nothing but excited. Of course, she made it easier by being so excited herself.

This is a good thing, Peter.

I feel guilty for letting negatives come into my head on such a milestone occasion.

When I stood by that incubator for the first time, I prayed so hard for days like this. So hard. That she’d get the chance to experience things that most families take for granted.

And I couldn’t be more thankful. Truly.

She fought even harder to get here.

She’ll always be my hero.

UPDATE: The ACN is at school. She got nervous as it got closer to the time to get on the bus and started crying. Her grandpa took her out to play in the rain. She loves that. The bus came and she cried as the lady busdriver was strapping chairy into place. When my sister met her at school she wasn’t crying anymore, but she was very quiet. My sister likes the EA (education assistant?) My sister gave her a little “Getting to know me” book we put together for the ACN. When ACN arrived at her classroom, a little autistic boy named Ethan that she went to daycare with was sitting inside the class. He yelled, “Yay! [ACN]’s here!” Then all the other kids said, “Hi [ACN]!”

We like that.

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  1. KFarmer says:

    I like that too.

  2. James Cooper says:

    Haha, everyone should have an ACN in their lives. I think the world would be a much better place then :-)

    The bit about you and your dad being protective reminds me of my father and his brother acting as their sister’s revenge squad. Anyone wronged her they had to answer up to her brothers. That may have staled her social life a bit, which may have been part of the plan…

  3. Maggie says:

    You should be proud. She’s a fighter and a beautiful one at that!

  4. Kukka-Maria says:

    I love that you feel the need to protect her–it’s so authentic. Keep in mind, though, that she will someday be a typical teenager who, when faced with your over-protective nature, will roll her eyes and sigh. It’s what teenage girls do–chair or no chair!

    These big growth steps will continue to happen. Gaining independence is what we want for them, but the act of letting go is miserable!

    Great, heartfelt story. I especially loved the story of her courageous birth!

    Who knows, though…I am just a cat.

  5. Sara says:

    You’re such a big ol softie.

  6. Marina says:

    As a teacher for students with hearing-impairments, I completely understood how you felt, Peter. It’s very hard to let the little one come to school when you know how the outside world is. However, it sounds like she is in good hands, and her fellow students seem to have taken quite an interest in the ACN’s well-being. To me, that is perhaps the absolute best environment possible for her. It’s a blessing that I feel every parent of children with special needs would want.

    You do do right by her. I am sure I don’t need to tell you that, but I feel the need to say it to you.

  7. Peter says:

    kfarmer: The other day, a little girl in her class, that was also in daycare with ACN, went home and told her mother that she was mad at the ACN’s EA. She said, “That stupid lady was giving [ACN] dry crackers. She likes something on them!”

    James: Everyone SHOULD have an ACN. They rule.

    kukka-maria: I am totally expecting eventual eye rolling. This little twerp has had an attitude since she was tiny.

    sara: You know, I really, really am. But, don’t tell anyone.

    marina: Thanks for the nice words. I think my main problem is somehow reconciling what I logically know and what I feel. I hope to get better at it. Though, if history has taught me anything, it will be very much gradual.

  1. April 14, 2009

    […] “Big Day” […]

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