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Why My Son's Class Deserves a Preschool Graduation

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To whom it may concern,

Today I was informed that my son’s preschool class will not be having a graduation ceremony. I cannot tell you how heartbreaking and disappointed this makes me. I am aware his class is very small, but these children still deserve to be celebrated. I want to share with you what it’s like to be the parent of a medically complex child and why things like this are actually important.

As a parent, you have hopes and dreams for your children before they even enter this world. You imagine how life is going to be and all the fun things you are going to do together. You envision what they will be like as a toddler, graduating high school, getting married and starting a family of their own. Then 24 hours in to what is supposed to be one of the most joyous times in your life, you are told devastating news. The life you envisioned with your child is ripped away along with all hopes and dreams. You are handed your child and told to “take him home and love him.”

My son was late on every milestone and has yet to even achieve some at 5 years old. He sat up at 10 months, crawled at 15 months, walked at 25 months and is limited to speaking about three words occasionally. He battled cancer at 17 months and is still at risk for reoccurrence. He underwent several surgeries, and there is a high probability of more. His already compromised vision is not guaranteed, and blindness is a possibility.

He started with early intervention at 5 weeks old and continues to receive physical and occupational therapy, speech, vision and applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. Nothing has come easy. He has had to work extra hard at everything he does. I know we are all living on borrowed time, but time is something we may not have enough of when it comes to our son.

At the beginning, we never imagined all the things he would accomplish or that he would even be attending school, let alone moving on to kindergarten. Graduating preschool is a milestone.

My social media feeds are filled with all of my family and friends’ kids wearing paper caps or even actual caps and gowns, holding certificates surrounded by their loved ones. I am aware that not having a graduation ceremony might not even faze my son. However, as his mother, it truly breaks my heart because I am so very proud of how far he has come and believe he deserves the ceremony – and we deserve to witness it. As parents, I feel like we are being robbed of yet another joyous time and milestone.

I hope you reconsider this decision.

A mother who is trying to keep the faith while her son is racing with destiny

Follow this journey on  Wesley’s Journey 

Originally published: June 13, 2018
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