Cerebral Palsy, Love, Nursery School, Our Son, Parenthood, Toronto

Dear Teacher

When I dropped off my son today you asked if you could pick him up out of his stroller before I had the chance to hug him goodbye. ‘It’s ok,’ I thought to myself, ‘just go with it. The last thing you want to do is to get him crying, so don’t make a big deal.’ I bent down to give him a big kiss and said ‘I love you.’ He looked like he wasn’t exactly sure what was going on but he was going with it too. You picked him up and held him in sitting position facing out and took him over to say hello to the rest of the class while I put his bag on his cubby hook and parked his stroller nearby for snack time. I gathered up my things and readied myself to leave. You brought him back with a smile to say goodbye. I smiled quickly and we both turned away from each other so that he could be immersed in classroom activities with the other children. Thank you for taking my child into your arms and introducing him to his first day of independence.

Thank you for taking the time to meet with the therapists and the school manager to talk about my son after our visit yesterday. I know that you will be better prepared after you’ve read their notes and mine.

There are some things I need you to remember to make sure that Sebastian has the perfect day. Because, of course, I want every day to be perfect. Even though I understand it can’t always be. Please choose the chair that will allow him to sit close to the floor with the rest of the children during circle time. He likes to sit next to the other kids so that he can see them and hear the funny things they have to say. He really just likes to hear their cute little voices and I’m hoping that each day he hears them will bring him one day closer to finding his own voice and sharing it with us. I trust that you will put him in the corner chair with the tray and some toys he can manipulate on his own during play time but that you will stay near him to make sure he indeed can manipulate that toy. At least until his fan club arrives.

Thank you for watching him during snack time yesterday while I was feeding him. I trust that you will do your best to feed him while you are also required to give the other children their snack. I hope that on the days you have volunteers in class they can learn how to be Sebastian’s buddy during snack time. Remember to break off a small piece of his fruit bar and place it directly on his molars, alternating sides with each bite. This helps him chew but sometimes he needs a little massage on his cheek to remind him there is still food in there because with his hypo-sensitive mouth, he can’t feel it as well as you or I can. I hope that you will watch his hands as they reach for his mouth and stop him from biting his fingers because they get stuck when he does that. If he does this you have to place pressure on his lower row of teeth to open his jaw to let the fingers go. It’s painful and the tears will nearly break your heart, like they break mine. Sometimes if he’s really hungry I have to place a mitten on his left hand to keep him from accidentally biting it. One time he bit it three times, two fingers. If you look away just one moment it can happen. I understand that it might, but I have to hope it doesn’t.

I need you to remember how tired Sebastian will get as the morning progresses. This will make him hungrier at snack time and it will be harder for him to hold himself up during the end of the morning circle time. I’m wondering if you could sit near him just in case he needs a little bit of extra support. I’m happy the OT discovered the boppy pillow would be helpful for him to lean on in this situation. I know that as time goes on he will get stronger and more able to tolerate the hard work he’s doing to participate in class.

I see your bright smile when you talk to my son and watch him with the other children. You told me he has beautiful eyes and that his smile is divine. Thank you for seeing my son in the way that I see him. Full of happiness and light. And a regular girl magnet. He’s going to have so much fun and I’m happy to have you on this journey with us.

Looking forward to hearing about his first day on his own,

Sebastian’s Mama

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3 thoughts on “Dear Teacher”

  1. As a teacher like you, I couldn’t help but think of what a miracle Sebastian’s teacher must be! I’m so happy that you’ve found school 2. Love you

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