I took the kids back-to-school shopping yesterday. I had my lists and headed to the local oversized, has everything but that one specific item that you desperately need, store.
I usually don’t mind when it comes to back-to-school stuff. It’s usually closer to the end of summer and both the kids and I are tiring of seeing each other 24/7.
But this year it’s different…
It’s earlier because, for some reason, I feel rushed. I am already in that familiar panic mode that sets in about Thanksgiving week. You haven’t yet even eaten the turkey and your stomach is in knots because you don’t have your holiday cards addressed.
I never send holiday cards that early and, as for the tree, whatever ornaments are there come Christmas Eve, then so be it.
My friends will disagree, but I am really not that anal….
I think I’m nervous. For the first time in 5 years we will be without the comfort of the special needs world.
Sean will be mainstreamed at the junior high for the full day and it scares me to death.
I worry about how he’ll manage. I worry about him having enough organizational skills to master going to your locker and thinking ahead about what you might need for the next several classes.
I worry about lunch and the cafeteria.
I worry about gym.
I worry about him being bullied… of him making friends. I worry about the little things that can pick and gnaw away at his healthy self-esteem.
In other words, I worry about everything.
I know that people say he’s ready.
I know that they don’t mainstream unless the world agrees that he can handle it.
I know… I know… I know….
But I’m his mom.
Isn’t it my job to worry?
It’s going to be a huge year… 8th grade! My little five and a half pound baby boy is going to be graduating.
He’s bigger now. Taller. His voice is deep except for the moments that it squeaks.
He has hair and pimples and an interest in girls.
Sean talks about driving…
He’s growing up and I am not ready for it.
Maybe this is typical of a mom of an 8th grader. Maybe our worries are some of the same.
I always parallel my world with the world of others who have both feet planted firmly in the so-called “normal” world.
While they run around from practice field to dance lessons and eat out of their cars, I rush from therapy to therapy and order take-out.
Sometimes I even feel like my life is less hectic than theirs.
I have to slow down. I have to have those days where Sean can decompress. I can’t spend hours running errands or being spontaneous when it comes to having friends over.
No… my life is all calculated and planned.
Even though Sean has spent some time at the junior high, much still remains unknown. He’s never eaten there. He’s never taken gym there. He’s never had to go to his locker and change out his books.
…So many unknowns…
I can walk his schedule with him. I can time his routes in the hallway so he doesn’t get anxious and run. I can help him organize his books and folders according to his classes.
But I can’t be there for him.
That first day he’s going to walk out the door and I am not going to get an email from school or a phone call to let me know how he’s doing.
I won’t get a point sheet detailing his day.
I won’t get much more than, “How was your day, Sean?”
And I’ll have to hope it was….