I was going to write a post about all the worry and things on my mind at the moment (which is giving me big headaches because I’m a teeth grinder from way back) and then I realised just how amazing today was and that I never knew what today would look like. When you have a baby you wonder how they will grow up. You take care of this little person, send them to preschool which is letting go of them for a while and you know that one day you’re going to send them to big school. And that is scary. When I was preparing to send my big girl off to school I said to a mum how do they not all escape during lunchtime? How do I know she won’t try to leave and come home? I got a reassuring don’t worry she won’t run away. They don’t.
When you have a little one with special needs or serious health issues, the idea of sending them off to school is something you either can’t imagine, can’t get comfortable with or maybe you can’t wait for. And it’s scary. Maybe you’ve got a child who can’t walk or has big meltdowns everywhere you go or doesn’t say a word or is in and out of hospital. You’re doing therapy and medical appointments and just hoping that it gets easier. You wonder what their future will be like. You wonder will they need a special school. You wonder what happens after school. The worry is never ending when you have a child with additional needs and you have good and bad days. And the bad days are so hard and you feel like the only person going through it. And the good days are so wonderful because the littlest things mean so much when you’re working so hard on learning new skills.
This year we are really making an effort to get out and do things that in the last 2 years were just too hard. We were at a fete and someone wanted to go to on the big swing ride. We thought oh no that looks too big for her, what if she slips out, what if she hates it and starts screaming as soon as the ride starts. But no she wanted on that ride. We asked the attendant if she was big enough and it was ok. They said yes. She got on, smiled and waved and LOVED every minute of it. I went to rush in and get her off the ride but in the time I got myself organised the attendant had let her off and she ran to her big sisters and walked out with them. As if she’d been doing this ride thing her whole life. She didn’t need me fussing over her.
Yesterday was her first interview for big school. I was so nervous because I didn’t know how it’d go. New surroundings, new faces, would we be having a good day, had I picked the right time of day for her and so on. I really could go on. I picked out a new little outfit and she wore it all morning (ok she wore it the night before and I had to wash the top and leave it to dry overnight hoping it would dry by the next morning) and was in the best mood. When we got there her daddy was trying to get her to hold his hand but she was just so confident and strolling in on her own (leading us in!). She had no idea we had an interview beforehand but she was happy and played and didn’t want to leave. As in lie on the floor and say no and not move until a little box of lollies came out and the offer of lunch and she was up and out of there. We shared a happy meal and I just thought of how far we’ve come.
Next year I will let go and enter a new stage of our lives. We don’t know where she’ll go to school (it’s a nervous waiting game) but it will be a special school and we hope and pray that she’ll be happy, safe and learning. I’ll always worry just that little bit more for my special little girl but today made me realise that everything will be ok. That she will continue to surprise us and grow and is a true blessing in our lives. I have a very special place in my heart for all people with special needs and never could have imagined the love and compassion that I feel for them and their families.
It was a big day……………………………