WYLIE –– On Friday, Xander Wade got ready for his first day of school.
It was the first time in his five years of life that he ventured into the classroom to meet the students who, until now, he had only seen on a computer screen.
Xander rarely leaves his house. He has Allgrove Syndrome, a rare disease where his body temperature can dangerously fluctuate based on his environment. That's why he can't go to school.
But on Friday, he finally got the chance. Xander's mom brought him to Hartman Elementary to meet his teachers and classmates, the same ones he's been Skyping with since the start of the school year. The five year boy walked in with no signs of intimidation or bashfulness. He knew exactly where to go, right toward his seat that has been waiting for him all year.
"He just became a part of the class," said Vickie Skipwith, his Kindergarten teacher. "Everybody started talking to him. He started doing what I asked him to. It was just amazing. It was incredible to watch him."
"I was crying. Mrs. Skipwith was crying. We were looking at each other because he just walked in and we didn't know what to expect. You know for him, that classroom has been a screen," said Marsha Wade, Xander’s mother.
She compared the experience to a perfect dream.
"He has cried," she said. "He has wanted this for so long."
Xander hit it off with his classmates, almost as if he has known them all year. He seemed intrigued by all the labels around the room. One has his name on it.
"I know that he understands he can't do this every day," said Mrs. Wade. "I know he understands this is too hard. I know he's quickly getting tired. But he had a moment when he sat at his desk. He had his friends around him. That moment alone is precious."
Skyping made Xander Wade a part of the class. But on Friday, he now knows what it feels like to actually be there.