Less than an hour ago, I stood on the sidewalk waving good-bye to my little guy as his bus pulled away from our curb. He’s on his way to his new out-of-district special education school. He started yesterday, settling in so easily as to almost hurt my feelings, but today was the first day of sending him off on the bus.
It’s been a busy and difficult couple of days watching him say good-bye to his beloved friends and teachers and getting him settled into this new place and a new routine. Coming back into the empty house, I rushed to my desk to catch up on the paperwork and emails that have collected as my mind and body have been elsewhere, buying flowers, filling out forms, meeting new therapists and new parents, worrying about how these changes were affect my child.
It’s been a busy year actually. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve spent the last year exploring this whole topic of my son’s educational progress more closely, working together with an education consultant, a neuropsychologist and a lawyer, as well as our school district’s special education staff and my child’s school team. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and countless hours reading reports, meeting with the team, and learning what it really means to advocate – to see clearly what the situation is, to find out if more is needed, to educate the gatekeepers about what those needs are, and to wait gracefully while they catch up and while trusting the Universe that they will. To wait and trust, to wait and trust, and to wait and trust some more, while months go by with little progress, while being assured that “we must follow the process,” while the grooves of the neural pathways that are traveling to unproductive places in my son’s brain dig deeper and deeper.
This morning, after attacking the backlog for a few minutes, a wave came over me of what I can only assume is a feeling of relief. I say I assume that this is relief, because as feelings go, this one is has been a stranger. It’s presence in my body – the release of my clenched jaw, the easing of the tightness in my neck and shoulders, the deepening of my breath – is actually the first indication that it’s been lacking for so long. Like the drone of a cicada that goes unnoticed until it stops, I could hear this glorious silence in the house, in my entire body and most gratefully, in my mind. I sat absolutely still for several minutes.
So. Hello, Relief. It’s nice to see you again. How’ve you been?
I’m not foolish enough to think that with this single change everything has been fixed. “We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there,” Jerry Reed delightfully sang in my childhood. But mercifully, those thoughts are staying away for now while I enjoy the silence. For today – or at least for these few moments – peace abides.
P.S. In case you’ve never experienced the thrill, the chill and the shrill of the cicada, or if you just want to experience what my relief feels like, here’s a video.