A week. I’ve been a school boy’s mum for a week. Or in fact over a week. And I can’t quite believe it.
Maybe I should write a ’10 things I have learnt about school age children/having an SEN child in a mainstream school/the school gate’ post. They seem to be popular. But to be honest I’m not sure I’ve learnt very much about any of those things.
I know I’ve learnt that sending my child off to school in tears breaks my heart in ways I was absolutely not expecting.
I’ve learnt I can hold my tears back when he really needs me to. And that they will engulf me when I let them go.
I’ve learnt that having a child beg to stay home while hiding under the duvet, a thing he has NEVER done before, and yet staying calm and collected and kind but firm is ridiculously hard.
I’ve learnt I don’t care about what he’s actually doing in the day, as long as I hear he’s OK.
I’ve learnt how proud a silly little sticker can make me.
I’ve learnt my capacity to stay on message is immense and, for Oscar, the very kindest thing I could possibly do.
I’ve learnt that when he’s ready to ‘tell’ me things he will.
I’ve learnt how amazing my son’s capacity for communication actually is, even if that includes play acting with his very favourite soft toys.
I’ve learnt that when Oscar asks to take a bear to school with him, I will secretly squeeze and whisper to that bear to please look after him.
I’ve learnt about my son’s capacity to find coping mechanisms quickly and appropriately.
I’ve learnt how quickly I can turn around a load of dirty uniform.
I’ve learnt that I was ready to let him go. And to have him come back.
I’ve learnt the joys of time.
I’ve learnt that my mind will still automatically jump to how to manage a situation for Oscar, even if he’s not there.
I’ve learnt how much people are rooting for Oscar.
I’ve learnt how supportive my community is. And how much I truly appreciate that.
OK, so maybe I have learnt a few things. Unexpected things, learnt through painful lessons. But learnt none the less. I cried every day last week. But only one day so far this week. I didn’t cry yesterday. I didn’t cry today.
I’ve learnt that he will cope.
I’ve learnt that I will cope.