“You got this Trenton. Mommy’s heart is always with you. God is watching over you. I know you can do this. I am so proud of you. I love you, always and forever.” I whispered as I clicked his seatbelt on the school bus for the very first time.
His eyes met mine for a final time; I kissed him and walked off the bus. My legs felt like dead weight walking back up my driveway as I watched the bus take my son to his first day of school.
The tears rolled down my face. I felt my breathing get heavy. I just put my heart on a special bus that will place him in the hands of special people who will work with my special son.
But, he is my heart, my everything. My heart doesn’t beat without him.
I am his voice in this world. The loud, booming, powerful voice that he needs; that’s me, his mom. The two of us make up one amazing, determined team.
With that said, it wasn’t easy to watch my heart leave me for his new, big adventure.
We have prepared for months for this big day. Even with all the preparation, nothing can prepare a mother for that moment. Autism and change doesn’t always mix well. Most of the time it makes for a bad combination, especially when no one familiar is around.
The thoughts. The questions. They kept navigating through my mind.
They don’t know my son? They don’t know his noises and what they mean yet?
Will they know his signs and gestures that he does when he needs to potty?
Will they reassure him that it is going to be okay when his anxiety flares up?
They don’t know that when he gets anxious he scratches the back of his head, claps his hands, and squeals.
I hope they understand that he REALLY needs to pace and move.
Oh, I hope they don’t let him escape because he has that capability.
What if he is trying to communicate to them and they can’t understand what he is trying to say? I know all those gestures. His therapist knows them but they don’t and if they don’t he will get upset.
Andrew! I don’t even have time to worry about Andrew on his first day!
It doesn’t matter what I did, my mind was on my heart and it wasn’t in the same place as I was. My heart was with a whole new team. A team that I am sure we will grow to love and work great with. However, with autism, it is always stressful until we reach that level.
I wanted to be looking in through the window making sure he was okay. I wanted to be a fly on the wall just so I knew he was being taken care of. He can't tell me things. When he is separated from me, he can't tell me the details of his life.
I paced the entire day. I cried. I was a mess until I was reunited with my heart. There is something powerful when the heart and voice are together. We know each other so well. My heart beats in order to be his voice in this world. My heart gives me life through being his advocate, his helper, his cheerleader in this world.
That night as he lay in bed trying to fall asleep, he kept reaching out and touching my hand. He would turn his head to look at me, touch my hand and pat it, and close his eyes while trying to fall asleep. After he finally fell asleep, I cried my final tears for the day. I felt so extra blessed to be his mom. We made it through our first day of school.