Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This is His Week

It's countdown week. I'm counting down until my 2nd son starts kindergarten.

This week, it seems, is all about my son.

I began preparing for my son starting kindergarten in the Spring of last year when I first met with the school nurse and principal. My son is the first student at the school with a severe food allergy. We had more than one meeting and determined that the majority of work would have to take place the week or two before school started.

Kindergarten starts one week from today.

I found out his kindergarten teacher on Friday and we began emailing over the weekend. Yesterday, I stopped by the school to see what needed to be done to have the peanut-free table set up. The rest of the school (including my 3rd grader) started school today. I talked to the head of the cafeteria staff. I talked to the person that is going to be in charge of the health room this year (and that's a recent change for her- she's performing a dual duty- working in the office and manning the health room).

I was on the phone with his allergist yesterday, trying to get his opinion about the best protocol for handing my son's Epipen at school when he is at PE or on the playground.

I set up a meeting with his teacher for this Friday. Now others will be attending- the two other kindergarten teachers, the health room staff, possibly the cafeteria lady and possibly the principal. The more people I talk to, the better off my son will be. If I have learned one thing in the process so far, it is that constant and effective communication is essential.

We also have the normal meetings. His district health assessment on tomorrow and his kindergarten assessment on Thursday.

I am counting down until he starts school. I trying to cover all the bases, knowing that it isn't possible to cover them all before school starts.

I cannot stop thinking about my son starting school.

On top of everything - Tomorrow is his birthday.

I had been so focused on preparing for school that his birthday snuck up on me. On Sunday I took him out to look for school supplies, browse the toy store for gift ideas, and enjoy a dinner date together.

My son's birthday suddenly seems perfectly timed- it's making me have a dual focus - providing for my son and celebrating him.

After all, I have much to celebrate. He's a boy full of energy. He is a talker. His favorite color (today, anyway) is gold. His favorite superhero is Superman. His favorite food is Chili, which he has requested for his birthday dinner. His favorite song is "Sweet Home Alabama." He is my miracle baby (born 5 weeks early). He is a gift from God.

When asked what he is looking forward to most about kindergarten, he gave me 2 responses.

1st, he said - "Not having homework!" Clearly, he got that idea from his big brother.
2nd, he said - "Learning how to read!"

This is an exciting week for him. I am trying to keep that in mind so I don't get bogged down with the details of his peanut allergy and keeping him safe.

This is his week to celebrate getting older.

Here's a picture of us from dinner the other night.

19 comments:

RLR said...

Happy birthday! And hope school goes smoothly next week - I'll be thinking about you!

Jeanne said...

How exciting! I'll be praying for a smooth week as well! I'll also be eager to hear how the food allergy world works in elementary schools as we have 2 more years before we tackle this milestone!

Foursons said...

You are doing a GREAT job Mom! You are the perfect advocate for your son and the school is lucky to have you as his parent. He will do very well because of all your hard work.

And I love your son's answer about school- learning to read. He is off to a great academic career in large part to you.

Carrie said...

I think of you and your family often, especially when we flew to Canada and they were offering cookies or peanuts! I was horrified and instantly thought of you. We choose cookies.

Then on one of the flights home the flight attendant informed us and many around us that there was a young girl near our section that had a peanut allergy and would we please not open or eat any peanut products. But when the snack service started near me, by a different flight attendant she was offering peanuts. Someone quickly informed her that what we were told. Obviously the entire plane was not informed. I was again horrified and thought that they could have at least made a brief announcement!

I will be praying for your family as he starts school.

everydayMOM said...

You're doing a great job! You're such a trail blazer for the kids who come behind him, too!

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Happy birthday to your son!

Reading your post about the allergies, I thought..."wow you've really covered all the bases!" But of course you would and should. It must feel interesting being an allergy pioneer at his elementary school. The parents with PA kids who come after you will be grateful for the time, effort and thoughtfulness you put in to make all the kids safer.

Jill said...

Such a cute kid! Happy Birthday David!
-Jill

He & Me + 3 said...

Happy Birthday sweet Boy! You are doing such a great job with your son and his allergy. You put me to shame and I have two with nut allergies. Good for you. You inspire me.
Hope he has a blessed birthday and the best year in school.

Carrie said...

What a wonderful week of celebrations! He's super adorable, and I can just feel the excitement he must have! Best of luck to a great start...but sounds like you've done wonderfully preparing for this! Can't wait to hear about his first day! Happy Birthday to him! :)

Mimi said...

It sounds so hard to have someone you love with a peanut allergy.

I'm 42 years old & don't remember anyone having peanut allergies when I was growing up, I wonder what changed?

Beth E. said...

What a sweetheart! Praying that he has a great birthday, and a wonderful school year!

Sounds like you have done everything you can do to make your son's environment as safe as possible. Praying that God will surround your son with His angels, protecting him from any harm. I'm also praying that God will give you comfort and peace each school day. :-)

Blessings,
Beth

Amy Jo said...

Happy Birthday David!!! And have a wonderful time at kindergarten. :)

Kimberly said...

i'm so excited to be able to help celebrate David's birthday!!!! i'll be praying that the meetings go smoothly for the rest of the week! you are an amazing mother to be SO pro-active in making sure that school is a safe environment for him and making sure that as many people as possible have the info they need to keep him safe!

Sue said...

Good luck with school. My daughter enters K too but she'll stay at her Montessori school for it. She enters public school for 1st grade next year. Should be interesting. Sounds like you have most things covered. Happy birthday to him!

Jessica said...

Happy Birthday David! I hope that this transition goes smoothly. Did you get friday covered? I emailed but I didn't hear anything back, I assumed you had it covered.

Trisha said...

happy birthday! what a great mom you are!

McCrakensx4 said...

I am so happy that everyone seems to be an board with you and your son; that is fantastic! yay for you for being so prepared and organized! I hope he has a very exciting and uneventful day! Can't wait to hear how it goes! It is the best day ever!!! And we love Red Robin on our birthday too! :)

samantha said...

Happy Birthyday. What a great picture of the two of you

leigh ann said...

I forgot that he and Bailey's birthdays are just one day apart. I love what you realized about protecting and celebrating him... very profound. Everything is going to be fine because you are a highly proactive mom and you will be praying God's protection over him daily. I can't imagine what you must go through living with this struggle... you are such an inspiration to me. Love and miss you!