"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sometimes a Picture is More Than a Picture

Tyler's Preschool Graduation
See this picture?  Cute, isn't it?  This was taken two years ago, when my oldest son graduated from preschool.  The picture (one of my favorites) has a place of honor on a shelf.  When I took the picture, I didn't think much about it.  I just whipped out my camera, focused, and *snap*.  Done.  Easy-peasy.

Tyler and Derek attended different preschools.  Tyler attended a preschool right up the street.  It was at a church twice a week for a couple of hours.  He LOVED it.  We were able to walk there and the best part about it was that almost every kid in his preschool ended up being in his kindergarten class.  

Derek attends a special education preschool in another town.  He gets taken by bus to a school called UP (Unlimited Possibilities) for Kids.  It's a great school--it's a mix of kids with special needs and typically developing kids.  Derek also loves his school.  He goes 4 days a week from 8:30 to 11:30.  

Derek's preschool doesn't have a graduation ceremony like Tyler's did.  

For some odd reason, I want a picture of Derek in a cap and gown, to proudly display on my shelf, next to the one of Tyler.  

So I talked to Tyler's old preschool teacher, and she is willing to let me borrow a cap and gown.

Here is the kicker:  getting a picture of Derek in a cap and gown is NOT going to be easy-peasy.  It is going to take weeks of work.  Just like everything else with Derek, we are going to have to make a program, and ease him into it.  His therapists and I are going to have to start with the cap, and have him wear it for just a few seconds at a time, until he can tolerate having it on his head for a good amount of time.  Then we'll have to do the same with the gown.  THEN we'll have to work on having him wear both at the SAME time.  And then I'll have to try to get just ONE decent picture.  

My son has had to do these programs for EVERYTHING.  He's had to do them to learn to wear his medical bracelet.  He's had to do them to learn to wear gloves.  We got him to try a few new foods this way.  And so on and so forth.

So, you're probably asking:  Why are you making your son do all of this, just for a picture?  Well, it is more than a picture to me.  Even though his school doesn't have a ceremony, Derek finishes preschool this spring.  He is graduating.  He starts kindergarten in the fall.  A picture of him in a cap and gown represents everything my son has learned in the past 3 years.  It represents everything he has overcome!   The hours upon hours of therapy, the struggle to communicate, learning to clap and point and wave and jump and OH!  I could go on and on!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  
My son doesn't have a thousand words yet.  But he's getting there.  

This picture is worth more than words to me. 
There is an empty place on my shelf, waiting patiently. 
Wish me luck.   

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