Butterflies, determination and new beginnings….

Butterflies have descended upon my stomach and seem to refuse to go away. It all started on Friday afternoon when the realization that I had to run a 5K race on Sunday for the CASANA Apraxia event fell on my head  like a large boulder. I hadn’t run a mile in over a year and I had no business even attempting to run a 1K let alone a 5K. Between work, school, kids, life in general, I couldn’t seem to gather enough energy to get my butt out and running. Simply put; I’m exhausted. I figured that I’d be ok and that somehow I’d make it through. Yeah I know… Not my most brilliant moment. Why, you ask, did I do this? One word. Eli. The way I see it; Eli has had to fight to accomplish almost every single developmental milestone in his life; from eating to speaking to coloring. Every challenge, every teary eyed therapy session was met with strength and determination that never ceases amaze. So if my little 4 year old conquer his fears day after day then Mommy can deal with her fear of running a 5K and just suck it up. And I did! Sort of….. I kept my expectations fairly low. All I wanted was not to look like an ass and make a fool out of myself in front of complete strangers. Eli’s little face was etched on to my brain keeping me going. There was a time, however, that I seriously considered walking back to the start and calling it a day. With the exception of a few other unprepared stragglers I was almost by myself when I saw hubby alone on the side of the trail cheering me on. When he saw me about to burst into tears with frustration he ran along side me and talked me through whispering words of encouragement as we ran. It’s at those moments that I am reminded how lucky I am and how I love him so.  After speedwalking about 90% of the run, I ran the last stretch (where everyone was watching) to the finish line  so as to avoid the whole not looking like an ass thing. (Yay!)

The walk portion of the event was after the run so Eli, hubby, the girls, friends and Eli’s teachers did that part (without me because I could barely move after the run!). Team Elias was a success and I am so touched by all the friends, teachers and therapists that came out and supported us and the cause to bring awareness to apraxia… Thank you guys…. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!

Here I am Sunday night and after today the butterflies should have flown away, but they are still fluttering in my stomach. Eli’s first day of school is tomorrow and so begins an additional 9 months of anxiety. Due to Eli being nonverbal for the most part his communication book becomes my lifeline in being able to understand his routine and catching a glimpse of how he is progressing. As soon as I get home the first thing I do is tear open his backpack and look for the book.  I scour the few precious sentences from his teacherfor any indication on his happiness, progress and even stubbornness since he can’t tell me with his own words. So my heart will be in my throat from the moment I leave the house until I get home to read that report. That and Eli having a new aide to greet him when he gets to school has my stomach in knots. One day I hope that the butterflies will leave and only make themselves known to me when I see them gently gliding in the air. In the meantime, I know that as a mother that feeling will never completely go away..

All about the kids…

Today was pretty much all about the kids. (When isn’t it!? 🙂

Eli had his first day at school at the out of district school. After balling my eyes out from watching my baby boy hesitantly walk on to the new bus, with the new bus driver and new aide; I had to get my butt to work. After settling myself in, I called the school and I received a “so far so good” response that pacified me somewhat. Then at the end of the school day his therapist called and i almost fell off my chair when she told me her opinion of his first day.. She thought he did great!
When he got off of the bus and inside he cried for about 10 minutes which can actually be pretty normal for a 4 year old in a new school. Then he stood by the door for another 10 minutes with his coat and wool hat still on as he refused to take it off. My guess is that Eli was praying that this was a big joke and that mommy would come storming through the doors to rescue him. (Awwwww!!) Thankfully, his teacher knew better than to fight him on his first day and let him keep his coat on until he was comfortable enough (and hot enough) to take it off himself.
Besides those small bumps Eli was a rockstar! He engaged well with everyone, smiled, laughed, played and transitioned well to other activities. Eli went to gym class for the first time ever and after a little convincing he participated and had fun. He even went to music class… I am not sure what he did there, but hey that’s pretty cool! He had snack and lunch without much convincing..

All in all, not a bad first day at all! I am really proud of him! The teacher even ended her first note to me by saying that he is ‘adorable and such a sweet little boy.’ Yay!!! The little bit of cologne and gel that Hubby put in his hair helped 🙂 He looked so GQ with his grey and black v-neck sweater, blue jeans and black boots.YES I know, we are not beneath making our kid look ridiculously cute to help him win some points!

I am well aware of the ‘honeymoon’ period that some children go through when they go to a new school. In other words, some kids behave well their first few days since they are still unsure of their surroundings, but then become terrors once they feel at home. That could very well happen with Eli, but hey, I’ll take the good days anyway!

On another note, Boogie came to work with me today since Hubby worked a double shift last night and I didn’t think it would be wise to leave a 7 year old with a sleep-deprived comatose father.
(Shameless brag alert!) She makes me sooo proud. All my coworkers were shocked at how well she behaved. In other words she did not make any loud disruptions! She quietly played her Nintendo DS, watched movies on her portable DVD player (thank God for technology!) and colored while Mommy worked all day. All day from 9:15 to 5:30! Not bad huh? I was raised very much in a ‘children should be seen and not heard’ household. I am not as strict about it as my mom was, but I have tried to teach her to be respectful in situations like the ones she encountered today.

After work she ate McDonalds and then we headed to her swim class… We got there early so we waited in the bleachers as we waited for Boogie’s turn to swim. At one point I looked over at her and watched her as she patiently sat. I couldn’t stop looking at her and suddenly I realized why. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Boogie no longer has the baby face I was so accustomed to. I could see a faint glimpse of her as a young girl. It seemed to happen overnight. Here is what I saw….

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Then it was Boogie’s turn for her lesson. She did awesome! This is the first session where I did not detect any nervousness or insecurity about swimming.

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Overall the minis had a wonderful day on this Martin Luther King Day… My dream of seeing my children be happy and well rounded children was accomplished; at least for today.

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