This bittersweet day

Three years ago today we welcomed our final child, our first son. We were captivated from the moment they laid him on my chest and he has not ceased to amaze us since. Every day I am thankful that he is mine. He is a beautiful, precious blessing, and he has taught me so much already.

I don’t know if its the fact that he’s my only son, or the fact that he has special needs, maybe both; but words simply cannot explain the overwhelming, fierce, protective love I have for him. He is mama’s boy forever 🙂

Today Austin is at school. His very first day.

I started crying the moment my alarm went off this morning. I’ve been dreading this day…and quite honestly, sometimes looking forward to it…for close to a year now. It was tougher than I’d thought.

While were waiting in the lobby for one of the aides to walk us back to the classroom, a dad waiting with his daughter asked if it was Austin’s first day.  He then told me how tough it was when he dropped his daughter off for her first day a few months ago.

I couldn’t even respond to the man as I was overcome with tears that just couldn’t be controlled.

When they came to get us Austin started crying as soon as they opened the door to the hallway. He was still crying when we got to the classroom.

I stood with him briefly, hugging and kissing him, but I couldn’t hold back my tears anymore. Grief was building until I thought I would fall apart right there in the middle of his preschool classroom.

I gave him one last quick hug and made for the door. Someone from the school walked me out and was super encouraging and sweet while I desperately tried not to fall apart. Thankfully I made it to the car before I gave in to the overwhelming sorrow.

When I got home I pulled into the garage and walked toward the house. I hadn’t thought about it before but every single time we’ve come and gone for the last several months Austin has pushed the button to raise and lower the garage door. He loves to watch it go up and down.

So today when I got to the door of the house and realized I had to close the garage door myself, I missed him that much more.

This was never our plan for Austin. I remember being happy when I realized he was due in November because he would miss the school cut off and be home with me until he was almost 6 and ready for kindergarten. Never did I imagine for a second that I would be dropping him off at a school for autism at 3 years of age.

We want what’s best for Austin though, so here we are. Today just may be the day that we look back on as the start of something new and wonderful for Austin and our family.

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