Today is the the first day back to school for most kids. And for a lot of anxious five year olds (and their parents) it’s the first day of school ever.
When my son was born five years, three weeks and six days ago, this day seemed so far away. You can never imagine the 7 pounds, 5 ounces of squirming, squinting humanity in your arms being big enough to do anything more for themselves than scream for their next meal or diaper change.
But the older he got, the more my thoughts turned to this day – his first day of kindergarten. As a parent, you can’t help it. You dream about what kind of person your tiny little baby will grow into. You can’t even wait to meet them.
I wondered if he would be scared to leave his mommy, or would he be too excited about riding the bus for the first time that he’d forget to even kiss me goodbye.
I wondered what kind of student he’d be: would he be good in math, like his dad, or would he have a love for all things grammatically correct, like his mom?
Would he make friends right away or would he have to prove himself in a playground fight?
I thought about how hard it would be to watch him get on that bus and ride away from me. I thought about how much I would miss him and wondered whether he would miss me, too. I even thought about getting a job as an aide in his class so that I could be there for him if he needed me. But I never thought that day wouldn’t come.
For so many reasons, but the main one being autism, we’ve decided to homeschool Micah. It’s not because we’re huge homeschooling fans, although I understand and respect why a lot of parents choose it for their children. But I’m the one who always joked that “I would never put Micah through the misery of being home schooled by ME.”
God must have smiled knowingly every time I said that.
We’ve been admonished and reproved for our decision to homeschool a child with autism. We’ve also been reassured and encouraged. It’s the only decision that gives us peace.
And when I read stories like this one in the Huffington Post, about a little girl with autism, repeatedly abused but unable to tell anyone, it reaffirms one thing to me: God chose us to be Micah’s voice until he is able to be his own.
Naturally, I’m praying that will be before first grade, but I’m willing to wait.