Breathing Just Fine

She started out the day all confidence with a great big smile that drew Riley and I toward the school bus. As she struggled to lower the wheelchair lift, Riley’s bus attendant introduced herself to Riley ignoring the fact that he was not yet noticing her. I knew he would eventually warm to her as he figured out that he would be going to ESY (Extended School Year). The bus driver appeared in the open doorway to greet Riley and secure him safely on bus 27125.

This year was different for me. I had no plans to drive directly to Pinewoods Elementary to view the room and discover the teacher and attendants. I always have before. Somewhere along the way I had to simply find faith that Riley would be alright without me overseeing all in his world. I had to let go just a little bit to build myself back up as the parent he needs me to be going forward… perhaps you understand. I evaluate how he returned this one short ESY session before intervening.
The summer school day ended quickly. Opening the door the moment I heard the rumbling of the bus; Riley’s attendant had lost her smile and beckoned me to hurry over. Something had not gone smoothly. Yet, my faith never wavered on this day. I saw stress, but it came from concern over caring for Riley properly. I learned quickly that she had listened very carefully to the training by the school nurse before she even met Riley. Some of the detailed instructions may have sounded obvious as they gathered together at Lee Schools Transportation before meeting their riders. The driver and attendant fearlessly took on their delicate little charge with seizures. Never did the attendant imagine the one instruction to keep Riley’s head upright on the headrest would be quite so confounding.
A giggle escaped me, of all the issues Riley has… the one that sounds the easiest simply impossible. His attendant was told that he must have his head properly in the headrest during travel or he would struggle for breath. She certainly did not want Riley harmed while in her charge. Yet he lifted his head out each time or maneuvered underneath the neck support. The poor woman must have jumped up to reposition Riley every few moments. Not to defy the school nurse, but she had assigned an unreasonable task. Did I want his head under the neck support? No. Should the attendant hover over my child while the bus was in motion? No.   I assured her, she could simply do her best, but panicking over his position would not be necessary. He would continue to breathe just fine.
And I would breathe just fine too.

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