After lots of stress and faffing, fear and worry, Charlie has started mainstream school. We never really even knew whether he would be able to. As CP is such a varied disorder when Charlie was diagnosed we couldn’t be sure he would ever reach such a stage.
Charlie has been desperate to go to BIG school- as soon as he was settled at Little Imps he announced he was ready for his Red Jumper and that he wanted to go to school with his big cousin.
The meetings with SENCO and his Reception teacher and TAs all meant that the school were reasonably ready to facilitate Charlie’s needs and although his ECHP is still pending we (royal) were as confident as we could be that he would be ok, at least initially.
The summer holidays were filled with activity for Charlie and September came round fast. His uniform all freshly pressed and ready for his first day, his bags packed with PE kit, waterproofs and waterbottle (- not to mention his wheelchair, frame and sticks!). He had loved trying on his uniform and Lou and his Grandma had revelled in helping and taking pics.
The night before his first day had Lou and me nervous and anxious and Charlie as excited as on Christmas Eve. ‘One more sleep Mummy!’ he said after his bath as we tucked him in.
So, bright and early Charlie woke and got ready for his big day- breakfast eaten, face washed and teeth brushed in record time just so he could put his uniform on. For his first day he had an entourage- proud Mum and Dad and a beaming Grandma busy fussing around as Charlie had to swat away cameras.
Little could Charlie know how monumental the walk to school was; how we had feared it would never come and the trepidation we felt leaving him at the door.
Fortunately, Charlie’s older cousin was already in the playground and ‘shooed’ us away from Charlie’s wheelchair and promptly gave him the all-important unofficial tour of the playground, introducing him to the older boys and generally making Charlie feel like royalty. We were so proud of both of them.
As the classroom door opened some of the children rushed in, some cowered behind their parents legs- Charlie was off, in like a shot without a look back! I had to shepherd Lou away from the door so Charlie wouldn’t she the tears streaming down her face- at least this time they were happy tears!
As per usual all the build up of anxiety and the fear of the unknown were unfounded and Charlie, as usual, waltzed though another challenge. The boy continually inspires us with his determination and lack of fear facing up to obstacles and we could not be more proud.
Charlie has now been at school 3 weeks and despite being exhausted at the end of each day he appears to be happily ready to work on a Monday and has already developed the Friday feeling ready for when the weekend comes. He even gets homework!
As most parents probably find, we struggle to find out anything he has been learning or even what he has for dinner- talk about blood out of a stone! The only thing we know is he really doesn’t want to be on the ‘raincloud’ on the behaviour chart and he is disappointed not to have been ‘Star of the Day’ yet, you know though Charlie, Daddy loves a trier… you’ll always be our Star.