Maggie’s bus just left taking her to Mission High School. I am heading over there in a little bit to help her settle in. Maggie was excited and nervous. Change is not easy for Maggie. She gets familiar with her surroundings, and the people around her and once she establishes a routine she’s very pleased. Everything is new. New bus driver, new kids on the bus, new building, more (and bigger!) kids, new teacher, new classroom, new schedule etc. Thankfully, she has the same nurse, which is a huge help. Nurse Janice knows Maggie very well and will be a huge comfort to her. It will take a week or so for Maggie to feel at all comfortable with anything else and then several more weeks for it to become her new routine.
I am overwhelmed with emotion. I’m excited for her to start this new adventure and worried about the changes, and the bigger kids and all the other things mom’s worry about when their kid starts high school. I’m proud of her too. Mostly, though, I feel relieved and thankful. I can’t believe it. To be honest, I never thought we would see this day.
We have learned to live in the moment. We don’t look ahead because we know we can’t plan anything with Maggie. Her health is so tenuous and the logistics so difficult that making plans is difficult. As I sit here right now, I realize that I never really considered her as a teenager or as a high school girl. That was self protection. To be honest, I never thought she would survive this long. She has not only survived, she is thriving. And I’m overwhelmed.
Here is the tough chick waiting for her bus on the first day of high school. You will note the bright orange scarf around her trach. That is a survival scarf; it contains all sorts of tips for surviving in the wilderness. It was a gift from my brother Pat and family. Pat, who also starts his first day of high school today as a teacher (!) says ANYONE going to a public high school in San Francisco needs to know how to survive.
Maggie could write the book.