Preschool Graduate

Last night was Finley's preschool graduation!  He was so excited, and kept talking about it being "his night."

Curtis begrudgingly said, "Are they going to play Pomp and Circumstance?"  (I think he doesn't understand that preschool graduation is just as big of a deal as high school graduation...come on, Daddy!)

Finley says, "Yeah, we are gonna have pop!"  😄😄

When we got there, Colin had a meltdown.  We aren't exactly sure why, but assume it was a combination of things:  balloons that scared him, lots of background noise, tons of people, a really hot room, we didn't park in our regular spot - he just wanted out of there.  Colin has made so much progress, and nothing like this has happened in a very, very long time.  I feel like we have gotten his sensory processing disorder "handled" - meaning we usually know what to do to help him through things OR we know what situations we need to avoid.  So this was kind of a surprise.

He walked us out to the car and saying, "Help me, help me."  He was shaking and crying.  Just so overwhelmed.  We stuck it out, and he calmed down and watched the graduation and even enjoyed some of the kids' songs.  Then they pulled out the string popper things....but I digress.

For the most part, everyone there knew Colin and understood what was going on.  One woman I didn't know kept looking at us.  Every time I scanned the room, she was looking at us...but I'm choosing to ignore that.  This time last year, I would have immediately removed Colin from the situation to help calm him down (and to avoid any looks).  I am proud of myself for sticking it out last night...and I didn't even break a sweat!  Go me!!

I had told my sister-in-law beforehand that things like this make me nervous because I never know how it is going to go, I wonder how others will watch/judge, etc.  She said, "You just have to ignore other people, it doesn't matter what they think."  While I know that she is right, that is sometimes hard for this people-pleaser.  Surprisingly, I am getting much better at it though!

I cannot let the hard things get me down, and I cannot let them define the moment.  

This was Finley's night, after all.

Instead, I am going to focus on the positives:

Finley graduated!  It was his night!  He sang his songs, accepted his diploma, and posed for every picture this mean ol' mom asked him to pose for.  He has learned so much this year.  He has made some great little friends too.  He has had fun and matured so much!  I am so proud of him and happy for him!

At the beginning when Colin got upset, I took him into the bathroom because I knew it was quiet.  On two separate occasions, he got overwhelmed again.  Do you know what he did?  He removed himself from the situation and walked to the bathroom until he calmed down.   The fact that he knew that he needed to leave that room and seek a quiet place is awesome!  Self regulation! #win  I am so proud of him for making it through something that wasn't easy for him.  He's doing so well. 

I feel like I handled the situation much more calmly than I would have just a few months ago.  Personal growth, and all that jazz....

A friend (and another autism mom) came to check on us twice.  Thank you, Friend.

My family was there to help calm Colin and cheer on Finley.  💙

We made it through and now have a boy headed to Kindergarten!!

I know that he will fill that robe all too soon when he graduates from high school. 

Feeling overwhelmed, but still wanting to join in the fun. 


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