I Do It For Me

14249202_1443892728954516_912775185_nWell, he’s off to his first day of school. The bus driver and aide were amazing. They pulled up, opened the door, and shouted out….’is there a Cooper here that needs a ride to school?‘ Cooper of course turned and ran the other way laughing and giggling. So, in true Swenson fashion, I brought him flailing and kicking to the bus. He was in good spirits though.

I gave the aide a handful of starburst for the ride. Also, true Swenson fashion. We believe in bribery here.

I’m super worried about his first day. He doesn’t do well with new situations or new people. He also did not have a bond with his teacher. Not in any way. That scares me. Lots of firsts for him as well. All day school, multiple classrooms, school lunch, trying to eat ‘typical’ food and drink from a straw, a bus ride home. So much change. Fingers crossed.

I can’t imagine being nonverbal in a new setting. Not being able to speak or ask for help. His only form of true communication is screaming and sometimes hitting his head or kicking. How, as a mom, do I know that the teachers are going to love him and be patient with him. I don’t. I have to trust that an autism, special ed teacher is doing this profession because they love children. And love helping them succeed. I have to pray. Because that kid can’t tell me how his day went. He can’t tell me if he was ignored. Or bullied. Or yelled at. I am at the mercy of the school.

And that my friends is damn scary.

I hugged Cooper goodbye this morning and whispered in his ear….’Be brave sweet boy. You got this.’ And he laughed and laughed and gave me a good squeeze.

I know he will be fine. In 2 weeks this will be good. He will make it.We will make it. But until then we are on a roller coaster ride. I know his sleeping will suffer. He will regress in potty training. He will lash out. His aggression will soar.

It should level out though.

2 weeks. Fingers crossed.

I took pictures this morning of his first day. I wasn’t going too. This is his third year of school.

I laid in bed last night and scrolled through Facebook and looked at all of the adorable kids starting school. Huge smiles or tears or whatever. New clothes. Proud parents. So much excitement. Cooper doesn’t care. I’m not entirely sure he even understands.

So, last night,  I told myself I wasn’t going to make a sign. I wasn’t going to put it on Facebook. I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. Because, I was just doing it for myself. And I knew it would be a fight.Getting the pictures would be impossible. I’d get stressed. He’d get stressed.

I kept thinking, ‘why do normal things for my autistic kid?’ No one cares. He doesn’t care.

I woke up this morning and I felt terrible.

I felt like a terrible mother.

And I made the sign. And I took the dang pictures. And they turned out perfect. 66 tries and a package of Starburst can get you anything in this home. 🙂

He’s adorable. God he’s cute.

So why? Why do it?

I do it for me. I take these pictures for me. I throw the birthday parties for me. I pretend for me. I selfishly pretend that he is going to be ok….even just for a few pictures.

My baby started kindergarten today. We did it. No need to pretend about that.

I am the mom of a kindergartner. And that is why I made the damn sign.

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