Monday, August 22, 2011

Moving forward

In a little more than two weeks Diego will begin his kindergarten program, the culmination of a tumultuous Turning 5 process that was anything but smooth.  Those issues, having finally been resolved are for another story.  Here I want to mark the momentous occasion by sharing a few photos of our son from this past weekend.  I was standing behind him as he started to run through the sprinklers at the park.  I quickly grabbed my phone to get some action shots as I felt they perfectly captured our situation.  Here is Diego, plowing ahead despite everything that may try and hold him back.  Although he craves routine, he has just enough of an adventurous streak in him to try something new.  Plus he loves the water!  

I continue to marvel at his progress and more importantly his potential.  I know he possesses all the pre-academic skills he will need for the upcoming school year and we will closely monitor the new school, teachers and therapists to ensure he gets the type of help he needs.  For now, we will enjoy the few weeks he has before school starts and try to convince ourselves we are not nervous about sending the little guy off to kindergarten…

Friday, August 5, 2011

Graduating from preschool

In just a few days Diego will finish his two year preschool program.  That in itself is a major accomplishment for our son, a sweet little boy that struggled to sit still and focus on tasks and made requests using one-word approximations and hand gestures.  Now with two years of preschool we have witnessed so many positive changes and have marveled at his ability to use language more consistently.  As I look back to the few months that preceded his enrollment in preschool, I remember just how nervous we were about sending him.  When originally touring schools in the spring and summer of 2009, the program we ended up choosing for him stood out because of the staff.  We felt welcome right from the start.  Despite our anxiety about how he would handle the separation from us during the day, we felt Diego would receive excellent care and that definitely turned out to be true.  We will be forever grateful to his teacher, aides and therapists for all their hard work.

As an example of just how much progress he has made, I’m going to include the following story:

Not too long ago I used to wonder when Diego would start calling me by name.  Would he use “Dad” or “Daddy”?  Perhaps even “Papá”.  I knew whatever he decided would be fine by me and since he turned 5 this year I figured it was only a matter of time before he began to use one of them.  Sure enough, one afternoon at the end of April we were getting ready to leave for music class and Diego said “Daddy” for the first time without prompting!  He wanted me to hurry up and put my shoes on so we could leave.  I know I’ll never forget that moment, I ran up and gave him a high five and then started hugging him.  I was beaming with joy the rest of the day.  It took five years but that feeling I had was more than worth the wait.