A new school year filled with promise and excitement, and of course trepidation and anxiety… but we won’t go there. Nope we were as ready as we could be. After two weeks of visiting the new middle school, changing schedules and locker assignments and even locks. Walking him from class to class, meeting teachers, sending emails and bribing them with cute notepads and chocolates… We were ready!
In an effort to make the first day of school a celebration, I included a candle so he could make one last wish for the new school year. And as he blew the candle out I silently made a wish myself. And it was going well. No delays. He was up and dressed and ready to go, even excited. (They both were!) We walked Grace to her school and then got into the car to take Jay to his. The ride over to the school was one filled with lively chatter. Then as we pulled into the school he could hide it no longer. “MOM wait, stop the car! I don’t remember where I am supposed to go. We did not walk the path from the drop off lane to my locker.” I calmly informed him that we did walk the path and once he was inside he would see that. I gently reminded him that even if he did get confused or forgot, he could simply ask a teacher who would be standing in the hallway and they would gladly point him in the right direction. He pulled himself together gave me a MIDDLE SCHOOL FIST BUMP because no way would he kiss me in front of the other kids, and off he went into the school. AND THEN I CRIED!
I mean I cried! My husband laughed at me, he tried to reassure me, and yet I still cried. I cried because I did everything I could to prepare him. Social stories and dry runs and key locks instead of combination ones. I gave him the tools and then Inset him loose. I no longer had control of what would happen to him in that big bad ugly middle school. And that scared the hell out of me.
For the rest of day I honestly do not think I breathed. How I got through the day is beyond me.
And then I got his text. It was at 3:28 and all it said was , “PICK ME UP”. OMG what did that mean. Trying to read into it was useless… besides I needed to rush and pick him up. It seems the arrangements we made for him to go to the library after school until the chaos in the halls past was not going to work. So instead of me picking him up at 4 the way we planned he needed to be picked up now. I was sure I was going to find a blubbering mess of a boy when I got there… but guess what… I didn’t!
What I found was a boy filled with smiles and stories of his day. He talked on and on about who was in his class and how he switched classes and how he did it just like we practiced. His excitement was contagious. And finally for the first time all day… I took a breath! And then I wrote this on my Facebook page:
You know you are an autism mom when you are afraid to post on your Facebook status that your son had a good day because you are almost positive if you do that the Autism Gods will play a horrible trick on you and all hell will break loose!- Mama’s Turn Now Facebook Status on Tuesday
Day Two… I don’t want to jinx us but guess what? Come closer cause I don’t want the Autism Gods to hear… HE HAD ANOTHER GREAT DAY! SHHHH… don’t cheer too loud cause you know the whole jinx thing and all! Feel free to cross your fingers and toes and throw salt over your shoulder, rub a rabbit’s foot or whatever else we can do to keep lady luck on our side cause seeing my boy happy… feeling confident and independent. Well that is a sight I have been waiting my whole life to see! And let me tell you folks… it was well worth the wait! Now if you excuse me… I need to go search for a 4leaf clover!