Hope, Fear and a Mother’s Love

“The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears.” – Ellen Goodman

Yesterday I sent both my boys off to Kindergarten.

Like all mothers, I have hopes and dreams for my children.  And like most mothers, I often find myself drowning in fear and worry about every aspect of their lives.  Sometimes it is easy to push these worries aside and focus on the now.  But yesterday, the fear and worry about my son with special needs was nearly too much to bear.  And as my motherly instinct had forewarned, my worst fears did turn into reality.  Days like yesterday tip the balance of my motherly hopes and fears and I find myself grasping for anything to hold onto, anything to help me regain my footing.

My Little Man was so excited to start Kindergarten and I’m happy to report that he did great.  He was all smiles and couldn’t wait to tell me all about his day. His joy and enthusiasm made my heart soar.

All I wanted for Big Brother was for him to make it through one entire day in his new Life Skills class, but it was not to be.  He made it for a few hours before I received a frantic phone call.  I rushed to pick up Big Brother, my heart nearly leaping out of my chest on the short drive to the school.  The anxiety, the over-stimulation, all the questions, the new people, the new schedule….it was all too much for him. He had an epic and violent meltdown that left us all in quite an emotional place.

All the therapy, all the love, all the medication and we still find ourselves back at square one.  It’s hard when you feel so helpless–when you see your child suffering and cannot do anything to stop it.

I know Big Brother did the best he could.  I know he was scared and did not understand why I was not with him at school.  I know he felt pressure to answer questions he did not know the answers to. I know we prepared him the best we could with visits and meetings. But I can’t help but feel that I failed him somehow….that I am asking too much of him.  I feel that I should advocate harder for him, to make the world see past his trauma.

There are just some days that leave you breathless, grasping for anything you can to find your footing.  There are days when your heart aches more than words can say.

But we will try again and I will work to find the balance between hope and fear.

Until then, we’ll take Little Man’s advice and “just keep swimming, just keep swimming….”






2 thoughts on “Hope, Fear and a Mother’s Love

  1. Love Many Trust Few

    As much as we want to keep them close and safe from anything that might make them feel sad or anxious or worse still – re-traumatise them, we want them to live their best lives. That involves learning all these things that going to kindergarten will help him to know – how to separate from mum, knowing that she will be there at the end of the day, learning to enlarge that circle of trust from the immediate family to include some amazing special needs teachers and carers, learning to make friends and be a friend. Big Brother is lucky to have an incredible role model in Little Man – that will make such a massive difference in the long run. Day one is done. wipe the slate clean and start on day two. It will take time. My little 5yo special needs foster son is finally, finally settling into his school – his year started in January! But has has learned things this year I seriously did not know he could be capable of at this stage. I have his OT go into the school to work with him there, helping the teacher to plan how to best manage his sensory needs. We have set up activities we know helps him to calm and organise his thoughts/feelings (a set of pouring out/putting in canisters with a range of sensory items inside). Big Brother will get there and so will you. Meantime, lots of love and support is going your way!!

  2. Rhoda

    Praying for y’all. Big Brother will get through this–and so will you. You have been stretched and have grown in so many incredible ways these past few years, and with time, so will he. And remember, the Lord’s mercies are NEW every morning; great is HIS faithfulness.


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