And boy is it a major change!
We've always wished Sam could more fully experience the community of Trinitas. It's an amazing place and we have been blessed immeasurably by the staff, teachers and families that have been in our lives for the past five and a half years.
Just about everybody knows Sam. He pours over the year books and memorizes the kids in his sisters' classes. There is an overlap of families from school that are members of our church. He got to be water boy at one of the soccer games last year. He made special character drawings for last year's drama cast.
But it's always been from a distance - always as something of an outsider - someone different who could see
There have been conversations back and forth over the years about how to incorporate special needs kids at the school. The desire has been there on everyone's part to somehow make this way of education - of being - accessible to all kids. How to make that happen has always been the problem with no clear easy solution. At this moment the solution still isn't crystal clear but the pieces are beginning to come together.
So Samuel will, for the first time in his life, be going to school this year.
I am by turns excited and terrified. Ever since Rob told me that it was seriously being considered for this school year I've had that feeling you get when you stand a little to close to a high ledge - like a thousand nervous butterflies have taken residence in your stomach.
We're making ourselves, our son, more vulnerable than any of us have ever been. And it's hard. Harder than I ever expected it to be, maybe because I never really expected I'd have to. And these aren't just any people...these are our people...our friends...our brothers and sisters. They are the community that has helped us, strengthened us, and encouraged us. I can't image a group of people more loving and devoted to seeing Sam grown and learn.
It's an avalanche of emotion - excitement for what this means for him, a certain amount of fear for me in the letting go - and the overwhelming sense of goodness that God is graciously doing more than I could have ever asked for or imagined.
If you'd like to read any of the early post I've written about our journey with Sam and autism just type the words Sam's World into the "search this blog" box and it will bring them up for you.