This week bought the first day of school for my eldest. Its a day that most mama’s dread, even if just a little bit. It symbolises the growing up of your child, them transcending from baby at home with you to child at school. Out in the big world on their own, to make their own decisions and meet new people, without the gentle guidance of your hand.
I had always imagined my daughters first day of school, she has always been a confident little girl, so I imagined her excitement to attend. I thought about dropping her off and meeting other mama’s in the playground. About her running out of school with her friends, chatting about how her day went. Although my apron strings were tugging, I was exited about her new independence. After all that’s what we want for our daughters isn’t it, strength and independence.
And for most of this I wasn’t wrong. My daughter is more than ready for school, she is so so so excited. She has literally bounded to school both days so far, jumping, running around, shouting, flapping her arms about. She is overjoyed. Not a single tear when I dropped her off, but I knew there wouldn’t be. For those who’ve read my blog before will know my little girl does not attach to us in the same way others do.
“I’m going now sweetheart, do you understand” I say touching her hand
“Yes mummy” She says staring intently at the dolls house she’s playing with.
“ok then, I’ll pick you up before lunch”
“Yes” -Lifting her hand in a half-wave
I walk away, her eyes never leave the dolls house. She’s in, I’m gone, I’ll be back before lunch, It’s as simple as that.
All around me children are hugging their parents, wiping tears from their eyes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased my daughter doesn’t have to experience that sense of abandonment when I leave her somewhere, but a part of me is a little Jealous of those other families, let me explain….
As some of you may have noticed from other posts my daughter is a little different from your average 4 1/2 year old. I try not to write about her differences too much as a lot of the time they are not relevant. She is my little girl, I see the way she is as just her being herself, and really that is all it is.
My daughter, although not diagnosed officially yet, is undergoing assessment for a social communication disorder or Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Due to this her behaviour is sometimes seen as extreme/inappropriate/naughty. This is simply due to the fact my daughter see’s the world differently to others. She struggles to understand the unwritten social rules that we take for granted. Waiting in a queue, not shouting, personal space, how to structure conversation. She also struggles with sensory issues, sometimes she needs to touch or stroke things to understand, however sometimes its the other way and touch/sound/light can make her extremely anxious and upset.
As you can imagine, this all had to be explained to the school. Now don’t get me wrong they have been great. They have welcomed her in with open arms and seem to want to work with me to make her experience really enjoyable.
So what do I feel jealous about. Well this may sound really selfish and I’m sorry if it does. But I always imagined just going under the radar. I didn’t want to be the mama all the staff new. The one who always had to wait at the end to discuss their child. The mama taking in doctors letters to go on file and giving the teacher forms to fill in.
I just wanted to drop her there and then hear about her wonderful day from her, do her homework with her, read to her and the normal things…
There I said it, that word… NORMAL. I feel like a crappy mama just for saying it, but if I’m really honest it’s how I feel sometimes. I wish my daughter could have playdates, knew her classmates names, worried if I wasn’t there, kissed me goodbye…
But she doesn’t that’s not NORMAL for my daughter. What I have to remind myself is she will have these things, just with time and understanding. She does miss me when I’m not there, she just shows it in a different way. I always know I’ve been missed if I get a big lick right down the side of my face! 🙂
Some of you out there may think I am terrible for posting this, I just hope you understand I am new to all this. I am working with my little princess to understand because as much as I have those moments of jealousy I wouldn’t trade her for the world.
She is perfect just the way she is, it’s me that’s gotta suck it up and be there for her. So I will, I’ll send in letters, I’ll fill in forms, I’ll calm meltdowns, I’ll explain to others and I’ll be on call whenever she needs me, because I am her mother, that’s what I’m for!