These were the words uttered by Zak before we said our goodbyes at Washington University in St. Louis last month. He had taken us to “The Loop,” a 10-minute walk from campus, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch together. While he was talking about all the things he was looking forward to trying out and getting involved with first semester, he got a big grin on his face and said, “Talking about all of this makes me think of the song from Annie, ‘I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here.’” I turned to Scott and said, “We can go now. He’s going to be fine…”
We were incredibly impressed with the campus, and the ambience that surrounds WashU. Everyone we came in contact with was upbeat, friendly and helpful. At Convocation, one of the student speakers shared that WashU is not perfect. Good. Let this be a place that challenges Zak, which stretches his mind. Another speaker gave a wish that each student will find success, and that he/she will also “fail miserably” at something. Great.
Elyse has started at the Middle School, and so far we think it is going well. We are watching her change before our eyes; both physically and emotionally. Our young lady is exhibiting a sense of responsibility and independence that wasn’t present at the beginning of summer. While she claims she does not miss her oldest brother (now she gets a bathroom to herself, one that doesn’t have the toilet seat left up!), I know they have been texting since he left and that means the world to her. She also put a lot of effort into preparing a special care package that we brought out to Zak when we helped him move in to his dorm, complete with “Frozen” band-aids!
To round out the transitions, Ethan also changed buildings and started the year attending the High School! It proved to be a challenging move for a variety of reasons and we have begun the process of changing his school location to one within our county that can provide even more therapy services throughout his day. This is in no way a negative reflection on the Loveland City School District, which has gone beyond our expectations in providing Ethan with an appropriate school setting. We are extremely grateful to the staff and administration for continuing to work with us as we find the best placement for Ethan. They have made it abundantly clear that when the time is right, the doors will be wide open for Ethan to return to his “home school!”
It seems somewhat fitting that we are going through all of these transitions as we also prepare for Rosh Hashanah. A time for change; a time for reflection; a time for growth.
Our wishes for the New Year? How about a year of growth and positive change? Or a milestone year of firsts? We’ll even take a year of staying out of the inpatient rooms at the hospital—that would encompass both of the previous wishes. Whatever the year holds for our family we will try our best to roll with the changes and keep our feet grounded, so as not to lose our foothold.
For our family, our friends, our community and beyond—whether you observe Rosh Hashanah or the upcoming change in the season—we wish for you a time of change, reflection and growth.
Shabbat Shalom and L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu—May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year,
Alexia and Scott