I used to wonder when we'd be "done." After the speech therapy? Occupational therapy? After the mock preschools, special preschools, summer camps, kindergarten or...?
I don't even know what I thought "done" meant. No more therapy? No more IEP? A final ruling out of SPD, PDD, ASD, ADHD, AFLACDIAFOMGBBQ? A child with no label? A child who is "cured" and "easy" and "totally predictable" and "not such a quirky little amped-to-11 question mark?"
Obviously, duh. Bless my precious little heart, I just wasn't that bright. Noah is who he is, he will always be who he is, and we will always — ALWAYS — do everything we can help him be the best Noah he can be. You know, like we do for all of our children. (It's not like non-SN kids simply raise themselves with a little help from a pack of neighborhood dogs, after all.) There is no "done," really.
But we are done with occupational therapy. His therapist is moving on to a new job, after all. We're not transitioning him to someone new, because really, it's time. It's a good stopping point, and he's ready. His final session was yesterday, full of hugs and high fives, Chipotle gift cards and a book Noah wrote for Ms. M__ called The OT Teacher From the Black Lagoon.
I also used to think that when we were "done," I'd spike a football and celebrate. No more driving! No more waiting rooms! No more insurance hassles and bills and appeals! Look at my kid and how far he's come and how awesome he is! Party on Thursday afternoons! BOOYAH, BITCHES. WE'RE OUT.
Instead, as we walked through the lobby and back to our car for the last time, I felt a terrible pang. This place, these people, this weekly ritual. So profoundly important to us for all these years, and now? Done.
And in the end, it was mostly...momentously unmomentous. Discharge report will go in the mail, okay, goodbye. Goodbye receptionist, goodbye other waiting room parents, therapists, evaluators, random employees who still know all of our names and remember when Ezra was only a baby and Ike didn't exist and oh right, when Noah didn't even really talk. For all these people, it was just an awkward wave and a...yeah, this is it, we're done. See ya around but probably not, I guess.
But also: Look at my kid. Just look at how far he's come and how awesome he is.
So thank you. To all of you, from all of us.