Saturday, January 29, 2011

The holidays are over :(

School holidays are drawing to a close here - Emma is back to school on Monday, and Ashlea and Audrey are back to preschool on Tuesday.

As much as I love holidays - and not having to make lunches and iron uniforms - I am looking forward to Ashlea being back at preschool.  Both her and Audrey love preschool, but it is just SO GOOD for Ashlea.  She loves it.  She thrives there.

The only difficulty is that nearly all their class mates from last year have gone on to big school this year, meaning we have to start again with new children.  New children means new parents. New children and parents mean new questions.  As much as my skin has gotten thicker over the years, it still kind of stabs at the heart to know that my child is the one that stands out.

I am wondering if I should write a little letter to the other families to introduce her?  I don't think I did last year - although many of last year's parents already knew us because Audrey was at preschool the year before.

What do you think?

Part of me really can't be bothered.  I'm not going to have relationships with any of the mums seeing as I am working and don't have time to get to know them.  Also our kids will go to different schools so we really won't have any contact after this year.

Is it any of their business knowing more about Ashlea?

Would it help break down barriers do you think?

If I did write a note, could I mention that Ashlea is waiting for a kidney transplant and therefore is vulnerable to illness and that they should keep their snotty-nosed kids at home if they're sick? Or would that perhaps be going too far??

For the most part I find people are pretty good when it comes to accepting Ashlea.  They are often better than I expect them to be.  Last week we started in a new swimming class - with all new people - something I have done a few times now and always find daunting at first.  One of the activities the kids do is run across a little platform and dive into the water.  When it was Ashlea's turn and the instructor helped her 'run' across - and I use that term very loosely - our new classmates gave a little cheer for her.  I felt a little choked up.  I don't know where the line between patronising and genuine well wishing is, but it didn't feel patronising at the time.  It felt like they were happy seeing her having such a good time at swimming.  Maybe that's the lesson right there?  Maybe Ashlea needs no introduction and will just show them herself that in spite of the equipment she is just a kid who loves to go to preschool.


Susan, Mum to Molly said...

Definitely write a note.

Have you seen Molly's? Its in my Notes on FB.

Used almost the same for preschool and daycare.

Happy to email you the file/text.

Definitely include the comment about kidneys & illness - and perhaps refer to the preschool's own policy (?) about keeping ill kids home.

Ours has always been very well received and much appreciated by other parents.

New blog layout looks great!

Susan, Mum to Molly said...

Of course you have seen ours - you commented on it. Sorry!

Let me know if you'd like me to email you the file...

Hope you all enjoy the last day "off" tomorrow.

Take care, S x

Alison said...

Susan - I was already planning on borrowing yours if I decide to write a note!!!

I hope Molly has a great first day at school this week.

Sarah said...

Sigh...I am dreading the end of these holidays!

I think writing an intro letter would be good for the very reason about Ashlea's upcoming transplant. So important they keep all their sick kids away from school and even more so in Ashlea's situation!

karina said...

As a parent without special needs children, I can tell you for myself, I would really appreciate a letter like that. It would help me answer my child's questions without being intrusive or bombarding you with those questions. It would also help me understand the need to be cautious about illness, where otherwise I might be lax about it.

debbie_petkovic said...

I did a letter last year , and had a lot of really positive comments from other mums thanking me for it...There were no awkward looks or silences, and it allowed the parents to answers any questions their children had....

Big brother, Little sister. said...

Alison,I understand that you don't want to draw more attention to Ashlea and her disability but I love the idea of a note/letter/intro.
I love it because it explains things in one letter to 25 families and stops people wondering or being misinformed. Parents can answer their kids questions in an informed manner from your letter and everyone is educated. I have always had positive responses from them and my school one is going to the whole school so 300+ families so hopefully that means the accessible car spot might be thought about some more! ;)