Happy sad

January 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm 8 comments

    C started at his new school late last week. Between three days off for a snowstorm, a half day for teacher workday tomorrow, and a holiday on Monday, it feels like he’s hardly begun. There are many differences in his new school: the kids all seem genuinely kind, they pray in class (“I prayed that God could take a day off work and come down and visit us in school,” he told me), and lunch is a calm, relatively quiet experience. Still, he’s asked me to come every day and sit with him at lunch. Eating in a new place is like eating each food as a completely new food, so he always struggles when starting a new school.

   I went to lunch again today knowing it will likely be a few more weeks before he’s ready to cut the cord. C anxiously sat down to eat his rice and beans out of a thermos (also new). He didn’t want to eat, and I had to push him a little bit to get him started. After a few minutes, I got up and went to speak with his teacher in order to give him some independence. I came back and sat down, at which point C reached across the table, patted me on the shoulder, and said quietly, “Mom, you can go now.”

     I so often cry when C does things, and I often cry in both happiness and sadness at the same time. It’s a strange thing, really; it perplexes me a great deal to feel such opposite emotions simultaneously. I walked out of the school, my eyes filling with tears at the great leap in his comfort level as well as at the fact that he needs less from me every day. This, I suppose, is what all parents feel as their kids grow up – I doubt many other parents feel both joy and sadness when their kid finally pushes them out the door of school in 4th grade, but it’s all relative. It’s happy-sad, but ultimately more happy than sad.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Believe The well is running dry

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. abbyschrad  |  January 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Definitely a great milestone. It’s weird to watch our kids grow up but wonderful when they start to exhibit independence. We just have to work on letting them go when that happens and that’s so not easy!

  • 2. akbutler  |  January 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    it’s so hard to let go when they’ve needed so much up to this point. But it is really awesome that he was able to tell you he was ready to be on his own.
    I get the happy/sad. Totally. I have it every IEP and parent meeting.

  • 3. Liz Coyne  |  January 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Lovely post. Good to hear from you again.

  • 4. robinaltman  |  January 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Such a sweet post. I’m going to feel a mixture of happy/sad when Kevin goes to college. Happy he’s independent enough to go to college. Sad that he might come back and visit. (Thought I was going to say “sad that I have to pay the bill”, didn’t you?)

  • 5. fiona2107  |  January 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Celebrating those small baby steps is wonderful. Go C and go Mom!

  • 6. Kim  |  January 14, 2011 at 6:13 am

    I’ve been thinking of you guys and wondering how it has been going down there! Glad to hear he’s settling in well and the kids at his new school seem nice.

  • 7. Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg  |  January 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

    To me, happy/sad is a beautiful place to be. Being able to hold those two things together at once is an incredible balance and always opens my heart to hear about.

    And how wonderful that C is at a safe, sane place for school! I’m sure that will lead to greater and greater independence for him.

  • 8. Caitlin  |  January 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    So poetically said. Feeling hapiness and sadness at the same time. I agree all parents feel this unique combination of emotions… but somehow I think special needs parents experience it more viscerally, more with a secret eye to a vulnerable future. Our potion is a mix of hopes and dreams and fears as all parents, but ours I suspect has a greater dose of fears. A different flavour to the “sad”.



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