Since his birth, I have been around my son nearly 24/7. With the exception of a handful of trips away (lasting no more than four days), it has been me and him. So, it should be no surprise that his starting school is thrusting me onto an emotional roller coaster ride.
Because my son has some special needs, he needed to qualify for a particular school. At the beginning of the summer, we went through the evaluation process. When I learned he had qualified, it seemed like I had so much time until the actual start of school. Well, as things seem to go, the start of school snuck up on me, and suddenly it was only a week away.
The Emotion Roller Coaster
For the last three years, my world has primarily revolved around my son, taking him to therapy appointments, doctor appointments, and the occasional play date with friends. I have been his primary caretaker, and I am the only one who understands his particular language. It was not until my breakdown on his third birthday, halfway through the summer, that I really realized how I felt about him starting school. Through the tears I expressed to my husband my fear of someone now taking over care for him. What if they can’t do it? How can I trust them? What if he misses me? This was followed by me trying to remind myself of all the good that will come out of this. He is so motivated by other children and is so social. With his only social interactions being for a short time at therapy, I know school could be a huge benefit for him.
The Last Minute Memory Maker
Not wanting to look back and feel like we didn’t get to accomplish everything we wanted to this summer, we made it a point to fill his last couple weeks of being a “school-free child” with lots of fun and time to make memories.
- Our trip to Chuck E. Cheese: We met up with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece. With my niece starting full-time school soon, this was one of the last big summer get-togethers. This was the first time my son was able to play some of the games and really get into the fun.
- Getting in one last splash: I also had family friends in town and we were able to meet up with them at Splash Country. My son loves water and is able to do so many things there. It ended up being an an amazing day, even though I may have gotten a little too much sun.
- Shopping: School supply shopping was something I always loved doing with my mom. It was something I got to look forward to that made back to school time not as bad. Shopping with my son was just another one of those moments I got to enjoy as being the parent.
- Road trip to the Chattanooga Aquarium: It just so happened that my father-in-law planned a visit the week before the start of school. We took this opportunity to take a road trip with my husband’s side of the family and visit the Aquarium. This has been something on our “Tennessee Bucket List” and it certainly did not disappoint and comes highly recommended.