Monday, 22 April 2013

Maintenant, je suis un étudiant

A milestone this morning as Jack, our 4 1/2 year old son, went to school this morning for the first time.

An event for any child and parent, but for us all the more special as Jack has severe quadraplegic cerebral palsy.
He went in his first wheelchair, with his walker, his modified school chair and a specialised stool. He was pushed by his carer, Emmanuelle.

But here's the even more extraordinary part - his first day at school in at a school in a foreign country. Where only French is spoken.
In la petite ville of Pouembout, New Caledonia.
So, a big day. The significance is lost on Jack, who was excited simply for the anticipatory thrill of being in a group of children again, not having been in childcare since July last year.
To say he needed some company and some mental challenges in the intervening 9 months as we settled into our new home in New Caledonia is an understatement. Opportunities to mix with local kids has been difficult.

For me the nerves were high as we arrived early to meet his carer and get Jack's equipment organised in his new classroom. But I soon took the cue that it was time for 'maman' to leave - and leave Jack to his new independence.

Goodbye Mummy - bonjour tout le monde!

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