Janey's new school has a half day on Fridays. For now, I am going to take her to her old school for the second half of that day. She got home on the bus about 12:45, and off we went. I must say---one thing I don't miss AT ALL is the drive! I got very used to it over the years, but it only took a week of the bus for me to get NOT used to it! But it was always worth it to arrive at our destination, and Friday was no exception. Janey did look confused at first when she saw where we were---like she was thinking "Hey! I am going to the new school now! Why are we here at the old school?" but it only took her a minute to get very happy she was there. We went down to her old classroom, where her classmates were waiting to see her.
And then---a movie moment. One of those moments that you can't script, one that will stay in my mind forever and ever. Almost every kid in Janey's old class got up from their seats and ran over and hugged Janey. It was a huge, amazing group hug. Many kids were saying "Janey! We miss you!" Janey had a second of looking overwhelmed, and then she smiled---a calm, happy smile, like she was just getting her due! Wow. That was wonderful.
Michelle, Janey's ABA therapist who works with her in her new school and also did at her old school (and still works with other kids there) told me the kids ask about Janey every day and want to see pictures and hear about what she is doing. That's great to hear. It was also great to hear all she had to tell me about the new school---stories like how Janey noticed the para in the room had a pickle in her lunch, and started asking every day for a pickle, so now the para brings her one too, how wonderful the gym teachers are and how much Janey loves gym, how they work on life skills like brushing hair and teeth (several days I noticed Janey came home with her hair more skillfully done that I did it in the morning), how another girl in the class sometimes looks to Janey to see what she is doing, and then does what she does (it was great thinking of Janey maybe being a bit of a leader like that!)---so many good stories. And Janey, the little sneak, is evidently using the POTTY at school---something she won't do at home and wouldn't do at her old school. I don't think she realizes we all communicate!
Last week was really a terrific week. Janey went happily on the bus like a pro, I got almost all good reports, we had the triumphant return with the hug---it was terrific. This weekend is seeing a return to some cranky behaviors, and some poor sleeping, which I hope is just the weekend change of routine and not the start of a tougher spell, but we'll always have last week!
Thanks to all of you for your support, here and on my Facebook page. In my extreme nervousness about how all this would go, it was a lifesaver to have a place to post updates and share my happiness and concerns. It amazes me every day that there are people out there all over the country and world that care about Janey and our family. Please know how much it means to me.