Monday, January 5, 2015

He Was All Mine Again for a Little While

When this holiday break started, I was scared and frustrated. It was going to be the kiddo's first lengthy holiday break from school, which meant that I was going to have to take a break from work and head back into SAHM mode for two weeks.

Did I need that break from work? Absolutely. After tackling a particularly difficult manuscript, I didn't want to read anything that wasn't publisher perfect for a while. However, the fact that I HAD to take a break made me grumbly.

And as for going back into SAHM mode, well, that always scares me.  The kid has done so great, SO great at school. He loves it there. His little three and a half year old brain is soaking up everything academic they throw at him and doing its best to work on communication and social skills. At school they keep him busy, they keep him challenged, they keep him on the path of progress. How in the hell am I supposed to even compare to that? I may not be the furthest thing from a lovely, patient, special ed teacher, but I'm still pretty damn far away.

My feelings at the beginning of the break weren't unfounded or unreasonable, and there were definitely periods of frustration and irritation during this holiday break, but things were nowhere near as bad as I feared they would be, and now I'm actually kind of sad.

Sending our son to school full time this year was the absolute best thing we could have done for him, and it was also very beneficial for us, his parents--especially after a summer full of failed plans and deteriorating behavior. But even now, something about that decision still pulls at my heart.

Normally, I'm too busy with work and striving to meet yet another deadline I've procrastinated my way up to--or I'm too "busy" wasting time on the internet--to allow such silly feelings to catch my attention. In fact, the only time I ever even sense that heart tug during the normal routine is when dropping him off at school. Even after a whole semester, I still feel a twinge every time that little boy takes a staff member's hand and walks away from the car. But then it's time to go home and get down to work (or procrastinating); the twinge has had its moment in the sun, and now it's been banished to the shade until the next school morning.

But during the holiday break, there's not only been no work to distract me from those feelings, but the underlying cause of them--my love and attachment to my son--has been given free reign to run rampant in my system. That child has once again integrated himself into almost all the hours of my day, even those spent away from him. And while he often goes crazy, desperately seeking sensory and intellectual stimuli, he just as often smiles and laughs and hugs and takes my hand so that we can go do something together.

And while it is still best for all of us (and I really do mean that) that he go to school, I'm going to miss him. Yes, he was frustrating and wild and stubborn and even irritating at times, but I could also hug him whenever I wanted. I could walk by him and pat his head or tickle him into a shrieking, grinning pile of giggles. I could take him on a walk (when the fickle weather allowed) and watch him look around in awe and fascination. I could hear him humming or singing or imitating things he'd seen and heard. The house was rarely still and even more rarely peaceful, but it is a chaos I will long for in the next few days, then just for a moment each school morning as my heart and my head settle back into the routine, secretly looking forward to Spring Break.


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