Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day

I’m trying to tell you about my life,

My tongue is twisted, more dead than alive,

My feeling have always been betrayed

I was born a little damaged man

Look what they’ve made.

Don’t you find,

That it’s lonely.

The corridor - you walk there alone

Life is a game you tried.

If life is a game, you’re tired.

Velvet Morning by The Verve.

Josh left today for high school. My tears came in waves last night. I’ve spent the better part of the last year focusing on making Josh’s transition to high school smooth. Working with the school so that resources and support would be put in place for him. So much planning and preparing. The tears came last night when I realized that none of it would help him on the first day. I realized that he will have to walk alone. I could do nothing more to help him.

His tears came this morning. I gave him a hug, and told him it was okay, that crying now was good because it meant that he was getting it out here at home in a safe spot. He calmed down and went back to his morning routine.

Just before it was time for Josh to leave he and I went out back to take a picture for his scrapbook. After our mini photo shoot, he turned to me, sad and scared and said, “I have no one to walk with.” I don’t know where I found the strength, but I didn’t cry. Instead I told him he would be fine, that I believed in him and that he wouldn’t be alone. Everyone was nervous today.

Josh and I went back inside to say good bye to the rest of the family. Kenzie gave him her words of wisdom - you have to talk to someone, don’t wait for people to talk to you. John gave his fatherly pep talk - just remember, everyone feels a little anxious, everyone will be thinking the same thing as you.

What is Josh thinking about? Gravy. One of his favourite things. That is what will get him through today. Gravy. There is a good possibility he will blurt out gravy.
I don’t spend a lot of time playing the blame game. Josh is in the autism spectrum. There is nothing I can do about it, and I don’t even know if I would try. It is part of who he is.   Part of what makes him sweet, kind, trusting and truthful.

But today, I blame myself.   I can’t fix autism. I cant fix the way the world sees him. I can’t fix the education system. I can’t give him friends. I can’t make this better for him. Today, as his mother I feel like I’ve let him down. That I passed on a combination of DNA that makes his life, this day harder for him.

The best I can do today is wait.   And while I am waiting, I will make a roast beef dinner, complete with gravy.


  1. I have been where you are. Grappling with feelings of doubt and self recrimination. The fact that you worry about doing enough says that you already are :) Hard lesson to remember I'm afraid.

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