Alessandra is now four years old and happily ensconced at Beverley School, near the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. Which takes on a few different manifestations, but tends to signal universal delay and problems with eating. Alessandra has an Audrey Hepburn-esque look, with lovely long limbs and huge inquisitive eyes surrounded by sweeping eyelashes. She is a doll. At Centennial from 2013 to 2016, she loved, and was greatly loved in return by all the staff. As a family, we were loath to move on from the cozy community. As with most transitions, we (read: me, her mother) seemed to move through a version of the 4 stages of grief! 1. Denial that she was old enough to move on from Centennial. 2. Anger that I couldn’t make time stand still 3. Bargaining for more time at Centennial 4. Depression, and finally 5. Acceptance of her exciting new adventure at Beverley School. We smoothed over the rough moments with retail therapy in the form of a new pretty pink wheel chair, new clothes and a swimsuit for her thrice weekly school swimming classes. I also began to love the humour and care shown by her new teachers and principal at the Beverley School community. When all the school buses were having problems in the first weeks of this school year, her principal at Beverley sent an email to stressed-out parents with the subject line “the answer to our bus woes”. We opened it to find a photograph of a horse and cart. We are very grateful for both Alessandra’s years at Centennial and the years about to unfold at Beverley. Loving hands all around.
Pamela & Howard Levitt