After three and a half years of stifling gasps, gulping down sobs and gagging on snot, I can breathe normally again.
Justin has completed a week and a half of fourth grade, in a classroom, in a building, in a school.
This did not happen without struggle. There were many conversations, tears, battles, fear. His fear about being away from me for seven hours a day.
This was a trial all summer. The impending doom. To Justin, it was. To me, it was freedom.
So it was a combination of desperate prayer, realistic discussions, tough love, and unadulterated bribery that got him in the school doors and out of the nurse’s office trying to call me to pick him up. Okay, that happened twice but I remained firm.
And he isn’t just showing up for school, bawling in the corner all day. He is thriving!
Justin’s teacher reports great listening skills, a desire to please, excellent reading capabilities, even sharing his book with another student and saying encouraging words to another boy who was having a case of first week jitters.
Now that ain’t me. Come on people. I can’t take a sick-crippled-wild-animal-child who screamed at doctors, spit out medication, lost ability to walk, pulled tubes from his throat, kicked me in the face, refused to speak, ripped apart his brother’s bedroom, tore up school papers and couldn’t be away from me for more than five minutes without having a full-blown panic attack. Then turn him into a walking, talking, reading, writing, smiling, caring, compassionate, funny, healthy little boy who just wants to go to school, play flag football and eat cheeseburgers.
I was there for all of it, yes. But God did that. God did all of that.
We won’t be without bumps in the road of course. But I am convinced that Justin has come back to us for good. And he is a beautiful beautiful beautiful beautiful boy.