Tomorrow is Child 1's first day of middle school, you see. I've, perhaps, mentioned at some point that this event makes me slightly apprehensive slightly. Just slightly. Only a little. See, I was bullied in middle school and it's always been this representation in my mind of a part of childhood where absolute fucking torture happens. So, I would naturally be ever so slightly concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of my unbelievably sweet and meek autistic child, who possesses absolutely no social ability whatsoever, who will bust out with the most random recitation of whichever particular Go Animate video happens to be on his mind at the moment in response to a question, and who, by nature of his diagnosis, has a 63% chance of being bullied while he's there.
So, I'm just a tad bit uneasy about the whole thing. Just slightly skittish. A bit peckish. That might mean I'm hungry. Okay, that too, then.
Yeah. So, today we go there and we take our tour, we met with our new case manager, we walked around the classrooms, we met the teachers, it was a lovely visit. While there, I was chatting with one of his new teachers, and I mentioned my oh so casual not a big deal nervousness about the whole thing, and her response? "All parents are nervous about tomorrow."
Yeah. All parents are nervous about tomorrow. All parents are probably feeling that slight bit of apprehension as their child embarks on this new journey. All parents are feeling a little uneasy about a new school, about their child making new friends, about their child doing well academically. All parents are nervous.
Are all parents hyperventilating? Do all parents have to pull over while driving their car because of the panic attack they're having about middle school? Have all parents been just on the verge of bursting into hysterical tears this past week?
Are all parents sure they're sending their child off to a cesspool of evil? Do all parents envision their kid getting laughed at, and pushed, and called names, because he is so, so, SO obviously different? Have all parents been unable to sleep for weeks because they lie awake imagining the kind of heartbreak and pain and hurt and fear their sweet boy might experience at the hands of other kids?
Are all parents doing that? I'm willing to bet good money that not all parents are doing that. I'm willing to bet that the nervousness they feel is absolutely fucking nothing in comparison to what I'm feeling. I know, you're going to tell me it's going to be okay. You're going to tell me how freaked out you were on the night before you lead your child off to the slaughter, and look! No problem. You're overreacting. You worry too much. He'll be fine.
He'll be fine.
Actually he probably will be fine, but telling me all of that is perhaps the least helpful thing you could say to a person at a time like this. I'm sure he'll be fine. But I'M not fine. And don't tell me that I should be, or that I'm like everybody else who is also slightly apprehensive, because I'm nothing like them. This is nothing like that.
It's cool, though, because he'll be fine. And all parents are nervous.
I also want to take a moment to link to the most amazing blog post I've ever read, written by my friend Bec at Snagglebox, about the worry we parents have about our special needs children. It's not about middle school, it's about adulthood, but her kid is only a few years older than mine is, and MAN does she nail it with this post.
But all moms worry.