I don’t want you to go to school

I do not want you to go to school feature image

I don’t want you to go to school.

Every time I think of September, I lose my mind a little.

I imagine leaving you at that gate and my chest tightens, bile rises at the back of my throat. I must dismiss the thought, focus on the three months I have to cherish four-year-old you, between now and then.

It seems so unfair that you must go, that you must return for five whole days in a row, that people who do not understand your quirks will be responsible for your safety, your happiness. You are so vulnerable, so filled with confusion and pain. I want to protect you from it all.

Every day is a carefully rehearsed feat of organisation. I know exactly which replies you need. I know not to say that someone is a princess when they are just dressed as a princess. I know not to exaggerate, or use sarcasm, or to jokingly say that something will take all day. I have dedicated the last four years to learning who you are, to making you as happy as I can. I control what I can to make your life easier.

Giving up some of that control is unfathomable to me. How can I let someone who does not love you, someone who has not spent the last four years learning to understand you – how do I let them take responsibility for something so precious and fragile?

You are mine. Both of you are mine. I know that such possessiveness is foolish, that from the moment you left my womb, you were always separate entities. Each second that passes moves you further away from me, further towards no longer needing me.

When each of you was born, I longed to see you grow. I longed to know that you would look like at five, at ten, as a man grown, as a young woman.  When you would not feed, when you screamed for hours on end and seemed in agony, I longed for the time when you would eat solid food, when you would be able to tell me what was wrong.

I ached for that time to pass quickly because it was so hard and you needed me so much. Then, I blinked and now there are just a few breaths until you are five. I will exhale and your sister will join you at school. So much packed into the flutter of a human heartbeat – first steps, and tears, and dancing and laughter and tiny fingers grasping mine, getting bigger every day.

Biggest is smiling

It is only school. Soon, it will be normal. By October, it will not feel so awful; the stab of dread will be become a mere prickle. Life will go on and we will all be fine. Even if you cannot cope, if we must find another school, we will get through.

But right now, it does not feel that way. It feels like I am losing something that I can never get back. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. And in a way, I am.

I blink. I take a breath. The clock ticks.

The grains of your childhood slip through the glass – and no force can slow them.


For more thoughts about parenting, you may enjoy:

Before You Were Mine


Loving Two

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5 thoughts on “I don’t want you to go to school

  1. I can relate to this so much right now. Knowing that we won’t have our afternoons (he does three hours at nursery) and they may not knohow we use the afternoon to recover. Will they know he’s talking about something he’s seen on YouTube or that he needs to roll around or swing to get his body back to normal. ANd don’t even get me started on what the other kids will be thinking … the anxiety is real and harder for us for sure.

  2. I think every parent feels like that, to some degree. We didn’t know how extra special our three were when they started in Reception. We knew with our middle one, that she was struggling with her toilet training. They worked with us; the class TA taking her and frequently taking her. She was given an Intimate Care Plan so that they had my permission to assist her in cleaning so I didn’t need to be called every time. She’s still on it. I think she’ll remain until secondary school in case the transition doesn’t go well.

    Her Yr1 teacher was also a SENCo at the time. She was wonderful for her. She handled her violent outburst and destruction with quiet firmness, but was also caring and gave her lots of praise and encouragement. She supported us through the ADOS and made the initial application for a Statement (this was reject, but she did finally get her EHCP last year). She’s a lot calmer now. She can calm herself better as well. She can manage routine changes better too. School now explain these a little better as well, and use social stories.

    As we learnt more about ASD, we started looking at her older sister and younger brother. They’d hit their milestones, but were a little later than their peers; not by much, a month maybe. We were also seeing traits within other members of the extended family. We got them referred for assessment. We hadn’t been seeing things. Both of them have Asperger’s Syndrome.

    I’m sure everything will OK when he starts.

  3. It is such an emotional time. Both of my children are in primary school and absolutely love it so now I enjoy watching them form new friendships, hear all about their day, see what work they have done and how well they are progressing. The joy that school can bring was definitely worth the initial heartache xx

  4. oh please don’t think that your children are moving away from needing you, that need just changes. I’m mum to 5 kids aged 29, 27, 25, 22 & 18 and although I live 3000 miles away trust me they still need me, if going by the number of messages i receive every week from them, they involve me in decisions about everything in their lives from work, friendships, cars, insurance advice, girlfriends, holidays etc. There was a period of time with all of them where they left home and went their own ways, but thankfully all at different times.

  5. I have been reading your blogs for a couple months now and feel as if you are speaking all the thoughts that I have felt. My grandson is on the spectrum. My daughter and I sat in his first IEP meeting and cried when we were told he would need to spend his kindergarten year exclusively in the functional skills classroom. We knew in our hearts that it was probably for the best but it was scary to face the reality of letting others make decisions about his future. Here we are now, a year later, and he has made such huge leaps in his social skills that he will get to spend most of his day in a standard 1st grade classroom. He has learned to handle his meltdowns and shown such awesome progress in his speech with the help of the incredible team of teachers who truly have his best interests at heart. You have been such an awesome advocate for your children and you will wipe your tears away and see that they get whatever is best for them no matter what the future brings. Thank you for putting my feelings into words and keep up the good work.

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