Jacob turns 5 in a couple of weeks! Which means it’s my 5 year Dadversary!
I hear that this 5th year in Jacob’s life is a pivotal one for him as he enters Kindergarten at a big boy school. But, I’m thinking it may be equally as pivotal and quite honestly as emotional for me; not only as a dad but also as a dad with a disability.
When Jacob enters in Kindergarten in a few weeks it will be the first time he has been in the care of people who do not have any personal connections to Rachel and me. In Jacob’s first year of life he went to a daycare center my family owned. The staff knew our family as well as Rachel and me. They understood our disabilities and understood our abilities. In Jacob’s 2nd and 3rd of years of life he attended the preschool where Rachel works. Again, we knew the staff personally and a few were/are like extended family. For Pre-K, Jacob returned to the family-owned child care center.
It will be a milestone year for Jacob in finding a new level of independence from making new friends and having new teachers without any personal family ties. I can’t speak for Rachel but I also see this upcoming year as a pivotal year for myself and Rachel as parents.
In many respects, I’m re-living the feelings I had leading up to the first day of school when I was Jacobs age. What will his teacher(s) be like? How will they mentally take-in my wheelchair? Will they put my wheelchair aside and see me as a father first and foremost? Thus far, Rachel and I have had very good positive interactions with the school’s administration.
It’s the first day of school all over again. The difference – no new clothes and no new book bag. Only grown-up dad thoughts and anxiety. Head over to my Facebook page and share your insight and experience!