Here I sit in bed. It’s 12:30 a.m. Hunter starts school tomorrow. Not just any school, high school…the final 4 years before real life begins. He is still awake too. I have gone into his room off and on for the past 2 hours since he went to bed to check on him. He is tossing and turning. I know he is nervous, and I feel helpless because I can’t take away those first day of school jitters.
The entire summer, I have been in a state of denial that this whole high school thing was actually happening. Then, a few weeks ago, I started having this familiar, uneasy feeling. It was a gut wrenching, sick at my stomach feeling. Yesterday, I realized that the last time I had this same feeling was when Hunter started Kindergarten. It really woke me up to what was about to happen.
Just like the beginning of Kindergarten, I know we are starting a new journey full of beginnings and unexpected turns. I know Hunter doesn’t always navigate those new experiences well. Many things are similar to the beginning of Kindergarten, but unlike 10 years ago, I know this is it. I’m getting closer and closer to the end of my journey as his helper. Sure, I’ll always be there for him, but in 3 years, he will be 18. In 4 years, he could potentially be going to college. What then?
I’m at the stage of this mothering journey where things are getting very real. Our path to get here has been very tough at times. It has been filled with therapies and IEP meetings; calls, notes, and emails to and from teachers; and hours upon hours of strenuous homework battles. The stress at times has seemed like more than I could bear. Now, I look into the future with more and more concern. These 4 years will determine his future. Will he go to a 4-year college, 2-year college or trade school? Will he ever be able to live on his own? The uncertainty is very scary.
Four years will come in the blink of an eye. I have a feeling it’s going to be a bumpy ride, but we will ride it out together. In the end, I hope that whatever the next 4 years bring, they will end with my son being well rounded, happy, and excited for his amazing future. I have to keep reminding myself that at the beginning of Kindergarten, I was completely uncertain about what the future would bring, but look at him now!! There is a lot more work to be done to get him where he needs to be, but look how far he’s come. After all, life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Co-published with permission. Original blog post can be found here.
About Rachelle Wade
Rachelle Wade a wife and mom raising two boys (one who has Asperger’s Syndrome). Sassy Aspie Mom is a Facebook Page and Blog that hopes to create an outreach to other moms going through trying times. Raising children on the spectrum can be exhausting and challenging! We have to take back our lives, so we can be warriors for our kids!