Briley Goes to School

For the dozens of new Kindergarteners in Seymour, Monday was the typical first day of school, filled with playtime and plenty of yelling.

For Briley Hostas, however, the day represented so much more.

"She gets to be a normal kid now and not be away from everybody," said Alicia Hostas, Briley's mother, "She's just enjoying it, she loves school."

Two years ago, Briley was diagnosed with leukemia and began chemotherapy.

The treatment affected Briley's bones, making them brittle.

Then in May, a devastating car wreck left her with two broken legs and a broken pelvis.

Now, aside from the scars where doctors put rods in her legs, you'd never know just how close this happy little girl came to never playing again.

"We got to go to the gym, we got to play color tag," said Briley, talking about her first PE class.

"It's not just about her going to Kindergarten," said Alicia, "it's about her surviving and going through all these things. It just represents a lot. So [I'm] very excited, very emotional."

As most adults remember, Kindergarten is all about new things, making new friends and having new experiences.

But for Briley, one thing is noticeably the same.

Briley's mom, Alicia, is also her teacher.

The district decided Briley would just do better under her mom's watchful eye, but that doesn't mean Briley has a free ride to the front of the class.

"I don't think she'll have any extra slack," Alicia explained, "i think I'm going to be a little bit harder on her. I'm always harder on my kids."

For a mother and daughter who've already been through so much, it's the perfect way to begin a new chapter in life together, and learn a little more about each other.

"It's not just her going to Kindergarten," Alicia reiterated, "it's her surviving, and showing us all how to live, and I'm just excited."

Reporter's Notes by Ryan Robertson:

Due to the fact her bones are still healing, Briley's doctors still don't want her running, jumping, or climbing on the playground equipment, but Alicia said stopping her strong-willed daughter from doing those things is easier said than done.

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