I rolled over again and checked the time. 2:12am. Yuck. I stared at Micaela’s sleeping form on the baby monitor and swallowed. In about 5 hours she would be on the bus for her first day of preschool.
My mind thought forward to her day ahead. I thought of the teacher trying to get all those little 3 & 4 year-olds used to class routines while Micaela crawled around and threw her little fits. I knew she would have difficulty with most classroom activities like story time and desk work. I knew it would be hard for everyone trying to find a way for her to participate in PE and art when so many things were designed for children who could walk and talk.
I laid there in bed and tried to push back my panic. I felt like someone sitting at a table with a puzzle and offering a piece that wasn’t even from the box.
There were other options. I could delay it. I could take Micaela to school for her therapies and bring her home with no classroom time, no peer interaction. Then the hurt would be less for everyone, including me.
As I sat, cupping the warmth of a coffee mug, a floodgate of memories opened. You see, I was once a teacher. The last two years I taught I had an inclusion classroom which meant that children with special needs were students in my class. Precious kids with difficult conditions dramatically changed the culture of my classroom those years. And yes, even then, different hurt. Different hurt, but it made me strip away ideals, build and strengthen my teaching techniques, and create little fissures in my heart where love and compassion built new heights of caring. Different hurt, but changed and grew both me and my students.
To be honest, those “different” kids were held closer to my heart and more brightly in my memories than any others. By the end of those school years they were the hardest students to pass on to the next grade level, the most difficult to say goodbye to.
Like so many other times before, I was going to have to trust God. God created Micaela with purpose just like He created each one of us. And everything God makes is good. Even those different lives that make others wiggle and squirm in the discomfort of change. In the end, the growth is precious.
So, Micaela, with a big grin on her face, rode the bus that morning.
It was a long day. It was a difficult day. But it was a day that God had provided for.
You will keep in perfect peace
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"...and God was already there with me."