First Day of School


When Wesley was almost a year old, he was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies to milk, soy and egg.  We found out the hard way when he ate some pizza and had an anaphylactic reaction.  These food allergies, like nephrotic syndrome, are the result of a confused immune system.  The allergy doctor told me that 90% of children with food allergies outgrow them by the time they are four or five years old.  It has become obvious to us that this is not the case with our child and his stubborn immune system.

It has always been hard nearly impossible for me to trust others with caring for Wesley.  First, he was born at 29 weeks gestation which caused me to have some serious anxiety about how my child was taken care of and who was taking care of him.  Wesley was in the NICU for 8 weeks.  It was so hard to leave the hospital every day and let strangers that I barely knew take care of my new baby.  In the pregnancy books, I always skipped over the “premature baby” parts because I never thought it would happen to me.  Welp, I should have read those chapters because I was completely in the dark about what was going on.  In the NICU, I could only hold him at certain scheduled times of the day.  Some of the nurses would let me hold him when I wanted to, then others acted like he belonged to them and wouldn’t even let me touch him.  We brawled!  I was always unsure if my instinct was right or if the nurses were right.  They all had their own standards on what they thought was the right thing to do… By the time I left the hospital, I learned to trust my own instinct, and to this day I am positive that even if you are a first time mommy, you know what is best for your baby.  No one else does.  Ask questions when you are unsure, but you know what is best.

So, when we came home from the hospital, I was a mean mamma lion.  I was very protective of my little man.  He still had a very low immune system since he was born so early.  The doctors emphasized that he shouldn’t be out in public for several months, that he shouldn’t be around anyone who was sick including myself or my husband.  It could kill him if he caught a cold because his lungs were still developing.  RSV was a huge concern.  I wouldn’t even let his grandparents come see him for weeks after he came home.  I was so scared that my baby could get sick and die.

Just when I started getting comfortable that he was old enough to get sick was when we discovered his food allergies.  That was when I decided that he probably wouldn’t go to public school.  Just about every week I read an experience where someone at school gave a food allergic kid something that seemed fine and the child ate it and died.  I decided that I would either home school him or be a full time volunteer at his school.  How could I yet again trust a person that I don’t know to care for my child along with 20 other children and make sure he didn’t get something with milk, soy or egg in it?  Even I have made mistakes.  One of my mistakes caused me to have to pull out the Epi Pen and use it.  Brad has made mistakes.  Other family members have made mistakes.  And we all well know what can happen if we make a mistake.  What about someone who doesn’t love Wesley the way we do?

Then, along came nephrotic syndrome.  As I said in an earlier post, my child is just not allowed to get sick.  No little colds that are no big deal to the common kid.  No mosquito bites.  No allergens.  Nothing that will stimulate his immune system.  Public school is just out of the question for Wesley.

I know that the home school/public school debate is a hot subject for not only parents with healthy children, but also with parents whose children are sick like mine.  Some NS parents choose to send their children to public school and to them, the benefits outweigh the risks.  My husband and I have talked about this for a few years now, and our decision is to home school Wesley.  Atleast for now.

So, here we are, at the end of the first day of school… at home.  How did it go?  It was fun!  We stayed busy all day doing fun stuff that taught Wesley new things. Our curriculum is very specific and easy to use.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of the school year will bring.

For the opening of the school day, I read a bible story to Wesley.  Next, we did math, then music.  We did some reading and writing.  For writing, tears were shed.  It had been a long day and the boy has been writing the letter “A” for months.  He just really didn’t want to write it multiple times.  But ya know, practice makes perfect!  Wesley learned to sort things in different ways.  He sorted by colors, by shapes, by sizes and everything else you can think of!  He is an excellent little sorter!


I even cooked supper!  What a day!

How was your child’s first day of school?  What was the most challenging?  Hope everyone had a great day!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Aunt Erissa on August 9, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Penny, I’m so sorry you and your family (my family) have such high stress in dealing with these effects of imperfection. I knew it was stressful but it’s good for me to see how you deal with it on an every day basis. You and Bradley have done a wonderful job taking care of Wesley so far and we have no doubt you will continue to make good decisions for him. Prayer is the most important tool you have right now. And I have recently learned, from a friend going thru a life altering change, just how important it is to trust that Jehovah is listening and answering your prayers. Lean on him. Draw close to him and he WILL draw close to you. All my love, Aunt Erissa


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