Certainly I am not the only one. Please tell me that you have been there too, biting your lip, anxiously looking, afraid of being seen, hoping and praying that your child will have a good day. I doubt there are few mothers or fathers that can't identify with the butterflies I didn't know existed past roller coasters and falling in love. At least I didn't. What about the mamas, like me, for which this is not the standard fare, a typical rite of passage? What about the parents that have no choice? No choice other than to pack a lunch and diapers for their three year old on his or her birthday. Have I scared you away yet? I'm frightened myself.
Amos. My precious three year old son has begun his first full week of school. It's a far different cry than my prior nail biting memories of sending people to kindergarten though. I bought a car seat for my husband's car so he could take him with the other children. I had purchased one of the cute preschool backpacks and realized after the first day, it's not big enough for big boy school. I've smiled and forced myself to be positive and be thankful and to have hope, but I'm wilting inside.
So many kind friends and strangers have asked how he is liking school. Many have made sure to also ask how I am doing. Their kindness floors me and makes me feel selfish all at the same time. I hate it, I long to say. I am so lonely and want my son at home with me. I wish I could shout that I don't know if he likes school though the questions from a place of kindness. He can't tell me and I'm not there to read his expressions or subtle glances of joy or interpret the worry or longing for some activity or type of food. I am his mind reader and yet, I am to stay home.
I wish there was another option. I wish that Amos could develop and learn somehow without being so far from me, but I just know he can't. I'm not enough. I watch him at church and at the playground and I want him to know how to make friends and I can't do that all alone. I can peer through the glass though and I can force myself to walk the plank. I never really understood the feelings and emotions that travel with such a blinding trust. For him, I'll buy a backpack and put his name on it. For him, I'll watch the clock until it's time again. For him, I'll await a call from his teacher and try to believe her when she tells me he is having a good day.
I truly do love the idea of school for my precious fourth child with his extra special needs. I think it will be amazing and that he will blossom. I adore his teachers and the children in his class are precious. I am so happy with the hope of it all, even though I haven't ached like this since I saw my big brother in that medicinal hospital bed so very long ago. I peered though the glass then too and my wish didn't come true. Sometimes life is like that, but we must carry on with our seeking and embrace the unexpected in life with courage and hope. Remember to leap to grasp the joy that is like the dust in a sunbeam's path, all around us if only we can remember to follow the light.