I have a love-hate relationship with back to school. We’re actually on week 3 of school. I meant to write this last week but I didn’t get around to it.
Sidenote: This pic was taken on Tue. Sept 6th because I thought Tue was the first day of school. It took us about 30 minutes of waiting for the bus and a phone call to realize that school started on Wed Sept 7th. I wish I could say this is the first time I’ve made this mistake. Taking another 1st day of school picture seemed pointless.
Summers are tough. The last few weeks of August our schedule is all over the place. I work, my husband works. We take days off here and there but we can’t get a solid plan down. The older Norrin gets, the more difficulty he has with our lack of routine. By the time September rolls around, we are all ready for school to begin.
As excited as I am to get back to a typical routine, back to school is also a reminder of our atypical life.
As I waited with Norrin for the school bus, I noticed the neighborhood kids on their way to school. Some of them looked around Norrin’s age and were walking alone.
If Norrin were a “typical” kid, he’d be starting 5th grade. I was in 5th grade when I was allowed to walk to school (or the library) by myself or with friends. Norrin is nowhere close to walking anywhere alone. He will most likely always need an adult by his side.
I know I can’t compare his childhood to mine.
I know that I should focus on his strengths and all the progress he’s made over the last eight years since his autism diagnosis.
And while I shared some #FirstDayAdvice for special needs parents – sometimes offering advice is easier than taking it.
But on days like the first day of school, I wish my kid was like the other typical kids. I wish I was sending him to off to the local public school. I wish I could just wave goodbye and watch him walk off with his friends. And that’s a crappy way to start off the school year.
So how did I beat the back to school blues?
Norrin – my 10-year-old kid with autism – reminded me of all the progress he’s made.
He knows my birthday is in September and he’s been excited about it. Probably more excited than me.
That night of his first day of school, I went into his room to help him get ready for bed. He was sitting at his desk and said he was writing a story. He was really proud to show me what he had written and it just made my heart melt as he read it aloud.
My kid – the kid who couldn’t even hold a pencil a few years ago – wrote a story. He knew to add quotes and page numbers. He used his imagination and sense of humor to convey a message.
Norrin has been drawing and tracing for a while. But writing his own little story – this was a first!
I remembered that I was in the 5th grade when I started writing my own stories. And I was more than happy to make that comparison.
I’m not an autism mom with all the answers. I’m still learning as I go. Luckily Norrin continues to teach me and lead the way.