I am in a bit of a walk down memory lane mood today so if you’re not in the mood for some sentimental bullshit then perhaps don’t read this post! It’s the day when all the preps for next year come to the primary school and all the grade sixes go to their high schools.

When I dropped Beth off at school this morning there were a group of nervous looking parents and kids. It’s twice as hard when you’re going to a school like Emerson, especially if you’ve come from a mainstream school. Chances are you know nobody else where as your so called ‘normal’ kids often go where their friends go. Often it’s the first time parents have dealt with a special school setting and don’t know what to expect. I remember being so relieved to get in to what I thought (and still do think) was the answer to my prayers, such a wonderful school. Luckily Beth had enjoyed her transition days and was happy to go along to the ‘big’ day when all the newbies got together.

I’ve also been lucky to fall in with a great group of mums from the school. We have our coffee afternoons fortnightly and are having an end of year lunch next week. It’s hard for the parents whose kids go on the bus as they don’t have that connection with the school. But I guess that’s high school isn’t it? You’re not meant to have too much of a connection. And I would love Beth to go on the bus, so there’s pros and cons for each. Hopefully some of the new mums will feel brave enough to have coffee with us next year. I must admit I am glad that a year (has it been that long) is over and I feel comfortable with the school, the staff, even some of the kids. Amazingly I’ve gotten used to the huge amount of hours driving too. I remember turning up at the kids primary school in the first week in tears. Bec and Bree were there and I just sobbed “how the hell am I going to do this for the next six years?” I hate driving at the best of times but now it’s the routine and it’s just what I do. And what do you know, it’s now only five years.

I have also been reflecting a lot on the friends I have made at the primary school. One gorgeous boy James was a great friend to Beth right from the beginning. His mum Lisa and I hit it off right from the start and we’ve been lucky enough to have them both for an extra year as James repeated one year. He’ll be going off to high school next year. He’s the boy who always tells Beth how much he misses her when he sees her, even when with friends. And Beth actually says it back! Lisa has been such an incredible support to us both, she just ‘gets it’ if you know what I mean? We don’t see each other as much as we’d like but when we do it’s great. I know we’ll keep in contact and thank goodness for Facebook!

As the kids get older I know less and less parents at the primary school. Once upon a time I knew them all, having my oldest in grade 5 and my youngest in grade prep with Bill in between. Now Bridie is going in to grade 3 and, except for the siblings of older kids, I don’t get to know the families much. And that’s ok. Two of our favourite teachers are leaving this year, both retiring. Both had Beth, our prep teacher had all three. Said prep teacher was the first ‘outsider’ to hear Beth speak. Mind you it was in a growly voice for the first week. She’d had selective mutism for years until medication helped, just as we started school.  It’ll be sad to say goodbye. Next year will be my ninth year at our Primary School, by the time Bridie finishes it will be 12 years! Wow! Bridie was only three months old when we started. Gone are the days when Bec, Bree, Prue and I would sit in the playground with giant sombreros! Prue is working, Bree is now home schooling her youngest and Bec is chasing around after her two year old most of the time. And again, that’s ok, time moves on. We still see each other all the time, will always be great friends. We’re an odd lot and with Eloise and Liz joining our motley crew have found each other and know how blessed we are. What a support your friends are aren’t they, especially when we’ve got kids like ours.

It’s also time for me to get a job. So if anybody knows anywhere hiring please let me know! I’d like somebody to discover my blogs and offer me an obscene amount of money to turn them into books so if you have any contacts please feel free to suggest me!

Anyway, enough of memory lane. It’s suffice to say that it’s been a great year. Beth has settled in beautifully to her new school, we are finally in the new house (though not sure when it wont be called the new house anymore) and I’m blessed to have such supportive family and friends around me. Life is good!

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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