The butterflies in my stomach are about to explode all over the place. The kiss still remains on my cheek. I can hear her squealing and happy as can be. I wish her EA well for the day. I remind myself to put one foot in front of the other. I tell myself to not look back. She will be okay.
It’s been a couple months now since she started kindergarten. We have slowly transitioned her to stay until the kindergarten lunch hour. Then, I take her home for her therapy sessions. But today is different. It’s her first full day of school.
They’ve all been working very hard for the Christmas concert that happens tomorrow. It’s also her very first school concert. The inclusion that the whole school has embraced her has helped me some. But she is still my baby. I keep walking and I feel the wind chill adding to the butterflies in my stomach.
I open up our front door and close it. With a deep breath I lock it, then sit on the stairs by the front entry. The house is dead calm. I actually don’t know what to do yet. I start toiling around the house, forgetting what I was doing in each room.
For seven years I’ve been wondering what I would do on my first full day off from kids. Yes there’s housework to do and articles to write, it’s so quiet. Somehow the hours pass pretty fast once I kept busy with everything. Okay, I admit I’m getting a lot more done today. Things are going so fast I realize I forgot to eat. It is the first time I am home alone for lunch. Standing in the kitchen I look through all the cupboards and can’t decide what to eat. It seems silly to dirty up dishes just for me. I spy a bag of chips. Why not? That’s what I’ll have for lunch. Don’t tell the kids.
I can’t help but continually watch the clock. I putter around the house doing aimlessly. I pass by her newborn picture. The theater in my mind replays the past 5 years: the joys, the waitlists, the tears, the no-sleep nights and the diagnosis. It makes me feel sad and happy at the same time.
I just went through my first free day in over 7 years. I finally tell myself to let go and that I am okay. I know she is too. She is my gift that I now share with others. She continues to show how #autism is different with everyone. Never say never.