Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm Selfish

So this morning I started thinking about Autumn and how did my just-turned three year old get so big? How on earth is it possible that she's starting school in just two short weeks? When did my life start to slowly slip away from underneath my fingertips as we all know that going to school is one of the first steps towards our child's independence. And then I thought: No. I don't want her to go. I'm not ready to let go. 

I'm selfish. Yes I'm a selfish mom because I don't want my three year old to go to school just yet, even though everyone else keeps telling me it's "for the best", like I'm not enough for her. That's how I interpret it EVERY SINGLE TIME I hear the above and then the guilt and pity sets in, because I take it personally, yes I know I shouldn't, but it's hard not to as if this is a reflection on my parenting. I suppose if I didn't have a degree or training working with children, it wouldn't affect me so much, but it does, and I can't just make this go away, even though I'm trying really hard to make this go away. 

Having a child with Autism means going down different paths than expected. For us here it's having Autumn begin school sooner than either of us wanted (yes my husband isn't ready too). It means sending our child on the same day, starting the same time, and attending the same amount of days as kindergarteners whom are five and their parents and caregivers probably got two extra years to prepare for this day. The thought of sending their "babies" at three was never an option, only maybe for a day or two just for social interaction, which would've been my plan if Autumn was "neurotypical". 

Sure, it may sound like bliss: having three precious hours to myself to do whatever I please, but maybe I enjoy being with my daughter? Maybe I don't want that break five days a week? Maybe I just love being her mom, even during the shitty times. I don't understand why some find this shocking to believe. I've said this time and time over again, our kids are so small for only a fraction of our lives then they belong to the world and us parents are left here waving at them as they step onto their ship called life. It happens way too soon and fast so yes, call me selfish for wanting to hold onto her as long as possible before that ship sails and then shows her the harsh realities of life like it did for the rest of us.

So while I reflect and wish I could hold onto her longer, I will send her despite how I feel. It's the right thing to do right? That's what I keep hearing so it has to be, but it's painful nonetheless. 

Lastly, I'm entitled to how I feel. I get that people just want to help me by saying all will work out and things will be great, but please don't. My feelings are not to be pacified. I don't need to justify my words. Being a mom is tough enough, add the autism to the ingredients and it makes for a lot of tears too soon. Yes tears bc again, if she wasn't autistic, this wouldn't have been the path we would've taken. 

I know I'm not the first mom to send their kid off to school. I know that every single parent has felt what I'm currently feeling, but this isn't about them or you, this is about me right now and again, I don't need to justify my thoughts. 

I hope those of you understand how I'm feeling and "get it". Please send your virtual hugs today as I need them. I'm glad I got this post out of the way now rather than in two weeks when she starts. Also, I KNOW Autumn will love school, I sure did when I was five. Heck I remember my first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday running up to my kindergarten teacher and giving her a big hug. Autumn may be fine, heck I'm sure she will be, but I won't. I will cry and pout and miss her like crazy. It's going to take me some time and again, I hope that everyone reading this can respect my feelings. 

Thanks again for reading. 



Up at paradise mountain in Sussex yesterday