It’s July. Summers seem to be shorter and shorter every year, don’t they?
My son is starting kindergarten this year. My son is also Autistic. My autistic son is starting kindergarten this year. Also, here’s my heart … just go ahead and smash it while I wallow in my puddle of tears. I feel like I just brought him home from the hospital. I literally just breathed in the glorious new baby smell and breathed out a 50lb little boy.
Kindergarten is this world filled with exciting newness and sweetness linked with anxiety and 13,000 what-ifs. What if we chose the wrong school? What if my child gets paired with the wrong teacher? What if he/she has trouble making friends? Gets made fun of? Is bullied? Is a bully? What if my child is behind socially/emotionally?
I mean, I could go on, as I am the queen of what-ifs. It’s a title you earn at a rapid rate when you have a child with special needs.
But instead of all the what-ifs from a negative standpoint filled with anxiety and fear, WHAT IF we came at it from a different perspective?
What if my child loves school?
What if my child gets paired with the most perfect teacher?
What if he makes tons of friends?
What if I find out that my child is a leader?
What if my child shines so bright?
What if my child stands up for what’s right?
What if my child gets some additional help in areas they’re struggling in?
What if my child gains confidence?
What-ifs, linked with anxiety and fear, will stop us in our tracks. They will literally paralyze us. We have to hope and pray for the absolute best, and not let our minds go to the worst. Even if those hard things do come true, I can still promise that God loves your child more than you ever could, and has a plan for your child. It may just look different than you envisioned. And that’s okay.
Many of my fears have come true. Autism puts things into play that I never dreamed of. The worries are magnified by about 1,000. And if I let them, the weight of those worries will crush me. But here’s what I know:
We have prepared, and are continuing to prepare, for this day. Thirty-plus hours of therapy a week for the last year. We do our social stories. We drive by the school. We talk about it all the time. When I find out his teacher, you can bet I’m taping her picture to our visual boards. Creepy? I don’t care.
We prepare as best as we can. We pray. And we pray some more. Your child may not have special needs, but the preparation for them may still look similar. You do the very best you can and you leave the rest to God. That is truly all you can do.
Mama, I see you. These stinking school supplies bring up a lot of emotions. But guess what? It’s only July. You have time. So instead of feeling the pressure of getting school supplies, go check out the Hearth and Hand section in Target by Joanna Gaines and see what she wants you to have instead.
Don’t let anything steal your joy. Use this precious time soaking up every moment with that beautiful child you’ve been blessed with. You’re doing a fabulous job. You are loved. Your child is loved. Your child is going to be okay. And so are you.