A chapter has now closed for Marshall and a new one begins. After three years (and three schools) Marshall has finished his preschool years and will begin kindergarten in the fall.
Due to Marshall’s apraxia, he started school fairly early. See, speech services are provided in the home until age 3 and then as soon as that third birthday hits the child is put in their local public school. Literally the day after his third birthday Marshall started school in Kansas City.
It was a very emotional time for me. I remember Brad and I dropping him off and then stopping at the local grocery store to pick up supplies for our upcoming Halloween party. I thought I was okay until I broke down in tears in the frozen food section. I can only imagine what my fellow shoppers thought when they saw me quietly crying and Brad holding me whispering it would be okay. My only baby was in school now and I no longer had a little hand to hold. I was afraid that he was confused and scared. Would they care for him like I do? Would the other kids welcome him into the fold? I also had a very real fear that this would be my first and last “1st day of school”; I truly believed I would never have another.
Alas, the very next round of fertility treatments found me pregnant with Vi and Marshall absolutely flourished in school. Worries all for nothing, thankfully.
He only went to school in Kansas City for a semester before having to transfer to my hometown while Brad was training at the military base. He finished out the school year there before transferring to our new location and has been there for the past two years.
- He is the accident prone child. I can’t tell you how many times an incident report has been sent home with him. One teacher told me “If one of the children are going to get hurt, it’s going to be Marshall. He’s one of the most accident prone children I’ve ever had!”
- Marshall always finds innocent ways to just embarrass us to pieces. A few examples of which would be when I picked him up from school one day. The hallway leading to his classroom door was lined with parents waiting for their littles. I asked my little buddy how his day was and, exasperated, he replies “I need a beer!” ….oy….vey… cue some giggles from a portion of parents and wide eyes from others. Or at our last parent/ teacher conferences when he drew this family masterpiece that his teacher was kind enough to save for me (and with written commentary; so great! …ugh)
- One thing all of his teachers and school agree on is that Mads is quite bright. He is constantly at the top of his class. Last year, his teacher told me that he is intelligent beyond his years and that he is one of the smartest students she has ever had. I cannot tell you how proud Brad & I are of him. Living proof never to judge intellect by verbal ability.
- This past year was hard on Marshall. He was bullied by one child in particular and he became more self-conscious of having to leave his mainstream class for Speech as a result. He knows that both Brad & I had to be in Speech when we were children and begged to know when we “graduated” Speech as a way to gauge when he will be done. He has worked so hard and is ready to be like the rest of his class. He will get there, but will also have to continue Speech for the foreseeable future.
- Marshall loves to be the class clown. Willing to do anything for a laugh, he once dumped wood glue over his head. That was fun to wash out later.
- Math and numbers are Marshall’s favorite subject in school. Rest time is his least favorite.
- Brad has escorted him on every single field trip except for one. Due to living and working on base, he missed the father/child tball game at the end of Mads’ first year. It was a heartbreaker for both at the time but he’s more than made up for it since.
- Best friends at school is Brayden and Ava Dawn.
- His favorite memory from school was playing basketball with Brayden and Thomas.
- When he grows up he wants to be a Trooper in the Twin Cities (yes, he specified), a youtuber, and a daddy.
- His favorite book is ESPN’s My First Book of Hockey. His favorite movie is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Favorite color is blue. Favorite toys are police cars and Legos.
It is so hard for me to believe that in a few short months we will be dropping him off at Kindergarten to start the next chapter of his school years. There is no doubt in my mind that he will do great things and just soar.
For now though, we are celebrating his last day. We sent his teachers and Speech Pathologist end of the year parting gifts.
Marshall Alexander, we love you and are incredibly proud. Not just for your academic prowess or Speech progress, but also for being empathetic and kind. For walking to the beat of your own drum and looking out for others. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!