I’ve just finished icing cupcakes for Tim to take to school tomorrow for his end of year class party. Except for Tim it’s the end of his 7 years at the most supportive primary school in the history of the world.
Tim finishes Year 6 tomorrow and should be staying on at school for another year with his peers to finish Primary school, but he is leaving in order to go to a new school next year who have already moved on to the concept of having Year 7 in High School (if you’re not in Qld you’re wondering why and let’s just say Qld is catching up after 50 years).
I am still pinching myself that this is happening for him. I can still remember being in tears in the Principal’s office 7 years ago – could he really come to school? What would they do about his toileting? How was he going to cope with the other kids when he was so far behind? Was I making a huge mistake?
From that first day, the Principal of this amazing school made calls to the Dept Education for me to get Tim in the right year level. He and the deputy figured out with the Special Ed unit how to support Tim in the classroom. Extra visits were made, schedules were changed and a plan was put in place.
I won’t say it was easy. I was in tears most days for the first few months of school. On his very first day of school the phone rang at 11am. Surely it hadn’t gone that badly. Yep, I had to go and pick Tim up – because he’d gone to the toilet and got bitten by a wasp and had an allergic reaction to it and spent the next week on antibiotics at home and in bed. Every time I thought it was getting too hard and I questioned myself, the teachers and staff at school reassured me it was OK, they were dealing with things and it was all fine, they were happy to keep moving forward.
They put him in a 1/2 composite class the following year. I was sure they’d made a mistake, this kid was still years behind his peers. They knew what they were doing though – he has awesome role models and an awesome teacher and by the middle of Year 1 had won the Student of the Month award.
And so continued his schooling. He has had amazing teachers every year. He has had more support than I could poke a stick at. I’ve had a beautiful supportive community of kids and mums who take Tim as he is and embrace his quirkiness. He was always invited to birthday parties. He was always included. I still get calls from mums wanting to know what special treat they can put in his christmas card so he doesn’t miss out and they know he can’t eat the stuff they would usually send. On Monday there was a surprise Farewell party for Tim and another of his friends who is leaving to go to the same school as him. Some of the kids asked could they make a slide show of memories of Tim and all the funny things he’s done and then started telling me stories of some of the ways Tim has made them laugh over the years. There were 12 year old boys coming up and patting him on the back saying they were going to miss him.
So the cakes I made tonight were made with much love and a few tears. I’m so grateful to have been part of this beautiful community and I’m going to miss them terribly. I’m so grateful that Tim even got to be at this school in the first place. I’m so grateful for the wonderfully supportive staff who took him in and nurtured him and spent time and energy well above the call of duty to make things smooth for him. Without their dedication, patience and kindness well I wouldn’t know where we would be, certainly not in a position to have him move on to the great school he’s off to next year. It’s a huge milestone and it says so much more about Tim’s growth than just his moving on through the year levels. He grew in every sense of the word in this beautiful place and I am sincerely blessed that I got to share Tim’s journey with these wonderful teachers and staff.
So it’s Farewell to you Mudgee. I’m going to miss you so much. Thanks for the memories and for loving my boy.