The Years Go By Fast
As another school year begins, I find myself at this stage of parenting experiencing the old adage, the years go fast. Jack will be starting 4th grade and the amount of growth that happens each year has not just been in him, but mostly in me.
When sending your child to daycare, preschool, school, college, or career, the thought and preparation to launch our children well into the world can be overwhelming but feels especially more for those of us on a journey with a child with Down syndrome.
When thinking about the year ahead and my personal desires for Jack’s growth, I have to be intentional to be open to the growth that will happen in me. With any new transition, whether school, activity, or fill in the blank, I go in and out of what I should be doing as a mom of a child with special needs. I naturally over inform, prepare, and strive high to set everyone up for success.
For 8 years of Jack’s life he communicated in hugs, smiles, positive and negative behaviors, and words that few could articulate. I felt this weight that I needed to explain everything for him. This led to a sense of overwhelm when any new thing would be on the horizon. Usually that comes to a head in the form of a sob session, a truthful friend speaking truth, or my husband gently reminding me to stop trying to do it all.
Was some of this self-inflicted by the expectations I place on myself? What was causing me not to trust in new beginnings? Was my desire to control not allowing others to give of their gifts to help Jack in getting his needs met?
Throughout this journey I have come to understand that for everyone to flourish, it’s vital that I allow others to help, release my control, and trust. If that’s to get my child to school, assist with functional skills, model and teach academics, challenge my child to be their best, hold accountable, and help him reach his milestones. The more I grow on this journey the more I realize I am less and less in control and that can be a beautiful thing and create relationships.
When I gave myself permission to loosen my grip of what I thought a daily sheet, paperwork, schedule, etc was suppose to look like and embraced a team of individuals that have committed to help my child reach his milestones, it allowed me to be mom…and take a breath that it’s not all on my shoulders to help him grow.
This picture is of Jack with his teachers from Kindergarten to 3rd grade at the ‘You Make Me Better’ Gala. They adore and love him. They have been made better because of him. They are an extended family on an unexpected journey of learning, listening, and loving.
So I encourage you to launch well – knowing there are people that your child is going to impact for the better. We all get an opportunity to grow alongside them.
Have a wonderful school year and hugs to you all!