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.