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It’s only been a little over a month, but already, Sophie’s pre-school experience is fading away.

I saw it yesterday in our breakfast with the still-fabulous, still-celebrated Ms. Janice — without her classroom as an accessory, she’s now become simply a very good friend, rather than teacher. I had the role of the enforcer (not one I carried out too well, I might add) at the breakfast table.

The fact that pre-school’s quickly moving into the past became a sharper reality this morning, when I pulled the Morning Monkey quilt out of the dryer. (Ms. Janice has Morning Monkeys and Afternoon Alligators — what a workload.) When Sophie had her heart surgery last fall, the folks at her pre-school were phenomenal. Ms. Janice and others came to visit at the hospital and at home, and everyone sent presents. One night Sophie’s bus driver, Sam, showed up on our doorstep with a stuffed Winnie the Pooh.

But aside from the visits, the best present she got was the Morning Monkey quilt.

A mom I’d never met (she had a son in Ms. Janice’s classroom) made it for Sophie — it must have taken her days (would have taken me years) to sew this beautiful quilt made of several fabrics, each square printed with a photograph of a member of the class, including the teachers, aides and therapists.

Every night, Sophie insists we cover her with the Morning Monkeys (her own photo looks just like a mugshot, I swear, if you can imagine a 4-year-old getting arrested) and every morning she wants me to pretend to be Alex (her boyfriend) or Tatiana (her friend) or Ms. Sydney (her beloved speech therapist). Today she named each kid and adult, kissing her finger and placing it on a face, one by one.

But this morning, I noticed that the pictures on the quilt are starting to fade. Just like pre-school.

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My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
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