Parenting is challenging. Not exactly a newsflash. But parenting a child with special needs is challenging in ways I never expected. The love I feel for both my children is equal, but the fear and uncertainty around my daughter is more gut wrenching and harder to shake.
I’m fairly certain friends and family had a betting pool about the state I’d be in today. Well, sorry to disappoint those who put their money on Train Wreck. Turns out, this morning I was merely a titch tender. What these gamblers didn’t know, was I got most of my tears out yesterday.
What set me off was making lunches for the kids last night. As I quartered Avery’s grapes, it hit me that I wouldn’t be there to help her. I boo-hooed as I cut off her sandwich crusts and then sobbed when I noticed tears had fallen on her bread. I’m not exactly sure why I found that so sad. Anyway, during this melt down, my poor husband was doing the nervous eye dart, back and forth as if to say, “Holy shit. My wife has lost it. What do I do now? Anyone. Anyone??”
Fortunately, an intervention wasn’t necessary. By the time I’d moved on to filling the water bottles, I had pulled it together.
But then later, I read this message on Twitter:
Cue more water works. But, you’re right Jen. I’ve long been imagining/hoping for/anticipating this day and now it’s finally here. *happy tears*
In the car this morning my son, a elementary school veteran in grade two, leaned over to his sister and whispered. “Avery, I am so proud of you.” Oh god. We hadn’t even pulled out of the driveway at that point. There’s a reason I own dark sunglasses.
The actual send off was ok. We met Avery’s E.A. in the office and she escorted my big girl to her classroom. The lobby was filled with other Kindergarten parents attending “Coffee and Kleenex” time. I got my fair share of sympathetic head tilts as Avery called out, “Bye mummy”, with a wave about 17 times on her way down the hall. I cried a little. But not the ugly cry (like the mom behind me who was racked with sorrow. Jeez lady, get it together. It’s not like you sent your child to school with a soggy, tear soaked sandwich or something….lump-in-throat…).
Thanks everyone for understanding how monumental this milestone is for Avery and for our family. Thank you for being there to listen, to offer advice and to distract. Your Twitter, email and phone messages have helped so much. And thanks to the little fairy who left a gift on my doorstep this morning. Since wine and chips are contraband in our house these days, the apples and dark chocolate were the perfect pick-me-up. By the way, I may or may not be writing this post while sporting a chocolate mustache.