Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Graduation Week

 Four Years ago, our Brenna started her school days in a whole new venue. After three years of planning, PTA-type meetings, riding across 3,000 miles on a bike to raise funds,our small private Christian school opened the doors to Special Education. One amazing teacher, me being a part time aide along with three others, and now two full time beautiful aides later, Brenna graduates from 8th. grade.

 We have had inservices to educate teachers, Doug and I have gone into classrooms to educate Brenna's peers, we have had professors of Special Education come in and talk to the entire school class by class about disabilities. We have gone into the middle school and met the "R"(Retard) word head on. 

Brenna has been water girl for the football team, played on the co-ed soccer team, and basketball team. She has been on the girl's middle school basketball team. She has sung in choir, gone to choir festivals, done P.E., art, exploratory and intramurals. She has learned her way around the school, kept two jobs-one in the kitchen, one keeping the lost and found clean. She has done small groups, community service projects,science projects, state fair projects, and learned part of the muscular system. She has read to pre-schoolers, knows everyone on campus and has learned to not wander the school when she didn't feel like going to class.

She has argued with peers, cried, laughed, danced, been invited to parties. She has learned that pouting will not get you what you want. Her peers have learned patience, love, self-respect,shown abounding love and know when to push her to do more, and when to hug her.

I have somewhat let out my feelings on this blog and have been overwhelmed with encouragement and love. I cannot thank you enough. I have been dealing with denial all week, snapping at people I love and realize I am doing this because I am sad and I am scared. I don't want to leave this environment. I don't want to face life skills. I don't want to think about Brenna at age 20 and beyond just yet. But time marches on and so do IEP's.

We have been blessed beyond belief to be able to merge with the local private high school and the doors are slowly opening to Special Education there as well. It will mean more fund raising, a year of driving Brenna to High School, where she will participate 1/2 day and then picking her up and driving her back to this sweet place where she will continue to work on her academics. She will still have friends, all though I worry about the transition and her wanting to stay at the High School. But until we raise funds for a teacher and make way for the other kids to come in the following year, this is how it will be.

Today I will watch graduation practice,hope I don't cry, then do horse lessons with Brenna and make dinner, and clean up. Regular day, Regular things, but my heart and mind are in other areas. 

Ahh, this girl. 
Who knew?


  1. Way to go Brenna!
    This time of year really gets to me, and I don't even have anyone graduating!

  2. This one gave me a catch in my heart and my throat. I don't think you'll be able to watch even the rehearsal without crying either.

    So go ahead and cry. It's your privilege as a mom.

    What a blessing that the doors opened for the high school merger. God will go ahead of her and make any crooked places straight.

  3. Sniff is right...sniff, sniff! You have every reason in the world to be proud & a little scared dear friend. Brenna has a heart of GOLD & is AMAZINGLY AWESOME! She is going to do fabulously in highschool...how could she not, she's just so coool. {look at those sneakers!}
    But as Mommy's, our job is to worry about the 'what if' contingency...My daughter is 28 & I'm still thinking "but what if your car breaks down on the way to San Diego & you have Kai in the car?" & she calmly answers "I'll call AAA." LOL Sometimes the answer is so simple...I just can't see it. Your a Rock Star Mom, I'm proud of YOU!!!
    Smiles & Hugs,

  4. You and your daughter sound amazing! Such a sweet story.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I just wanted to pop over and meet you. :)

    Have a great week,

  5. OH what a sweet post, Lynn! You must be SO proud of Brenna and her accomplishments! I know it will be a day full of emotion and memories for you today. Change is always a little scary with new challenges... but it also offers new opportunities... XO

  6. and you have to walk through all of the fears and hopes all over again because, "ah, this girl" is not simple, though she is wonderful. Will they accept her? Where will she fit in? How will she cope in this new place? What will be asked of us again, and again, and again as her parents? When do I get to rest? When does she get to rest? God is very busy with this family, holding you, challenging you, pushing you. Will the homework ever be done? Is it ever, in this life? All I know is that Brenna, with A LOT of support finds her way and brings out the best in many people, including her parents. And these people bring out the best in her. And we all stay close and hold each other's hearts so that she, and we, can see the beautiful light that is in each of us. To open the doors over and over again. It's never easy. But love asks much of us, especially you. Especially you. I love you, brave bear.

  7. Hi Lynn,
    This post is so touching. I was not able to have children and I'm okay with that now. But, your post has touched my heart and brought a few tears to my eyes. When you're ready to start fundraising for a teacher, please let me know; I would be honored to make a contribution.

  8. oh lynn, aren't these milestones a roller coaster ride for our emotions??? don't hold in your tears, you'll get a headache. my daughter just graduated from college - talk about the blubbering mom. she told me should could see my waterworks from where she was sitting. i told her it was liquid pride, that's all.
    i was so privileged to work for many years in a wonderful elementary school that was home to many pioneering sped programs, some very intense, some not so much. i loved each one of those kids, loved watching them grow, loved watching everything they had to teach their class mates. i watched their folks come in full of worries, and leave full of worries. in the end, worries or not, each one of those kids found their own path, at their own pace, and left a trail of stars behind them. reading your post i realize how fortunate we are to have the funding needed for these kids. let me know if i can make a donation for your fundraising.
    brenna has a great support system in her family it sounds like. i'll be willing to bet she rocks her way through high school!
    and those sneakers - holy cow! i want some of those!!

  9. So many gave so much...especially Brenna...and it worked. I will pray that high school works as well, Lynn, and I am so glad she gets to have only a half- time situation. In my experience, high school kids have even more compassion and openness than middle-school but sometimes the teachers are not as open. I keep remembering my favorite school when I was a school psychologist, a small private Catholic school where those teachers gave and gave to help kids fit in and hope it will be similar to that.

    You and Doug have done wonderful things for your bright shining daughter!

  10. Lynn,
    Did I tell you I am working with Susie? She is helping us make a banner. I hope we will be able to do more with her.
    I saw your lovely blog and Diane Cook's and was sold. Plus I know she is a dear person.

  11. Congratulations to Brenna! She looks like such a sweet girl and she is truly blessed to have you as a parent. My thoughts and prayers are with your family as she enters her high school years. I pray that she will have many fabulous memories to carry with her throughout her lifetime.

  12. Ah, yes. I know the feeling of just wandering around when you don't want to go somewhere...........

    There really is a cure for that???

    Oh, Lynn. Life skills?

    You have to know, don't you? You rock!


    And Brenna still has the best shoes.