letting go (just a little bit)

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……………………………


  1. Julie Grill says:

    What a beautiful post Corrie. Dear, sweet, little Elodie will be fine with the love & support of such devoted parents & her siblings, as she grows. It must be very difficult letting go but as time passes it will hopefully become easier.

  2. Khrissy says:

    Corrie I could have written your exact post 3.5 years ago . We had chosen to hold our girl back from big school until she was 6 (November baby ) so was technically illegal . She was classed an “absconder” by Royal Far West school where we went for therapy so that label is stuck on her record . My girl has autism and moderate intellectual disability and all my worry about schools and getting placements was tough but I must say now at the beginning of year three things are great . Sure she has her bad days but overall the future looks bright .

  3. hi Corrie,
    My special boy is just about to turn 19 and I still don’t know how tomorrow will look. Or next year. But we just keep going xxx

  4. dianne nunn says:

    Beautiful post Corrie. Your little girl is moving along her own path and is doing so well.
    It is great to see her dressed up and confident.

    It has always bothered me that parents of those children who are a bit different don’t seem to be concerned with the way these kids are dressed or groomed. I know it is a huge challenge (and often expensive) to dress little ones well but it makes such a difference to the way others see them and I imagine how they see themselves.

    Enjoy sharing every confident step Elodie makes. She is an important part of our community has already made many people smile. xxx

  5. Great post Corrie. Our little girl with special needs is now in year 2, and loves, no, adores school!! She will not stay home even if she feels unwell! I think she loves the structure and routine best. Best wishes in getting into the school of your choice.

  6. Such a big day! and such a beautifully written post! Thank you xx

  7. What a big day for everyone! Thanks for sharing this special milestone with us, will pray the right school doors open and these next steps for Elodie and the family are positive experiences.

  8. anne seery says:

    Such a lovely post Corrie. Amazing mummy skills, and your devotion to Elodie is an inspiration xxx Hope she loves big school next year ♥

  9. Natalie Heymans says:

    I worry all the time about my boy who was born with clubfoot. Will he walk, run, jump like other kids. Will he be teased at school? And he’s not even 1 yet! I don’t know why I work myself up so much over something that’s so far in the future and out of my control. It’s what Mum’s do I guess.
    Well done big girl Elodie xx

  10. Chrissy says:

    Oh bless…no one but another special Mum could understand the worry and fears of parenting a special child. Such a very big step for you as parents and her….love her confidence that is speaking volumes. Ever so gradually we let go just a tiny bit but it’s more like flying a kite rather than letting a balloon go xx

  11. susan leach says:

    Hi Corrie
    What a beautiful positive post. My daughter works part time with adults in a group home with special needs, and loves her job. Your post is a great reminder to focus on the positive in all situations

  12. Justine says:

    Elodie is such a little star and well done Corrie on achieving so much in her life through love, hardwork and patience. Elodie has a beautiful future ahead of her filled with God’s purposes he has stored just for her! We celebrate with you each milestone she achieves :-)

  13. It’s so lovely to see Elodies growth and progress over time. I can so relate to difficulties letting go of my children. Being a school mum is hard! Xo

  14. Heidi D says:

    When we lived in the same street as the school we had a little boy in our care that was a bit of a runner. Deputy principal turned up on my doorstep one day to say children had reported him going over the fence, was he at home ? He wasn’t !!!…….. big panic ! I had a sleeping toddler so the deputy did a lap around the block then went back to school. She checked his classroom & he was there, where he had been the whole time. The boy going over the fence was someone else going into their grandparents garden but everyone assumed it was our little one as he was known as “the naughty boy”. Deputy was so embarrassed when she rang me, I was so relieved he was ok I didn’t say much. Was pretty cross when I thought about it after.

  15. Jen Riley says:

    Thanks so much for sharing such personal thoughts. I work with special needs children and its always so important for me and the staff I work with to hear the perspective of parents. I always enjoy your posts!

  16. Beautiful – both the sentiments and your little girl. I especially love the bit about leaving the ride with her big sisters. No matter what their days are like they always have a home filled with love to come home to. That’s an amazing gift!

  17. This is such a lovely post Corrie. You are such a good mum! Elodie is blessed to belong to a loving, wonderful family. This is why she has come so far – what marvellous possibilites lie ahead!

  18. She is so beautiful xx

  19. Heidi t says:

    Corrie, I am blessed to work with children with special needs (years 7-12). Every day they make me smile and bring me so much happiness. Your little girl will be in very good hands at school – rest assured that the people who work with her put their heart and souls into these beautiful kids.

  20. Such a lovely, honest post. Corrie – each child teaches us new things. Little Elodie is so lucky to have your wonderful patient approach. You have worked so hard and she has made so much progress – the road map is simply different.

  21. What a dear sweet little girl with a truly wonderful family, an inspiration to all.

  22. Oh Corrie, this post has stirred my mama emotions. It’s as if you were writing this for me. I am going through all of those feelings & questions in my head at the moment also. My special little guy starts big school next year & his interview is in a couple of weeks. Of course, this is with the school we hope he goes to, but as with most situations of special need children, many factors go into the final decision of where they will go. Far from the straight forward experience with my first boy starting school. I understand everything you have written about, the good & bad days, the little things being such a wonderful achievement and of course the feelings of loneliness & desperation, just trying to cope with the day in day out. We are also working hard this year with OT & speech, preschool & social skills. My heart just bursts when I see him walk into class & little friends actually come up to him & look so happy to see him there. Then, he received a little birthday party invite…and not one from one of his big brothers friends, just for him this time. They WILL be ok Corrie, our little shining lights, whether we worry ourselves sick or not. They will find their way :) xo
    Btw – love the beautiful new outfit, she looks just gorgeous :)

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