*AJ is at this moment sitting his last exam at college. At midday today my boy will walk out of that room and will have finished what I see as his schooling. He will start university studying Maths in September. My boy has ALWAYS loved his numbers. I packed him off early this morning with his usual lunch box of sweet and sour chicken with mixed vegetables and brown rice, also his 2 litre bottle of orange squash and bus fare. I sat down with my coffee and thought how quickly time flies. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was pushing him in his buggy down to my Mom’s house. Wiping his nose for him and helping him to find his words. It doesn’t seem 5 minutes ago that I was sat helping him to do his homework and school projects.
Now the Maths he does looks like an alien language and he talks about history, political views and business studies, things he has an interest in that I know very little about. They are his special interests and I don’t really understand them but I have tears in my eyes writing this because I am so very proud of who he is.
I wrote a poem the day *AJ started college.
I dropped him off at the college gate. Put on the brave face like all us Mom’s do, waved him off smiling, but I could see the apprehension in all his expressions. He was such a skinny kid then, I have that visual playing as a video in my mind. It was before he started his healthy eating and body building plan. I drove away and managed to drive all of 3 minutes before bursting into tears. I pulled over on the side of the road and started to write a poem from my emotions.
This is the poem I wrote.
(Photo, AJ’s 2nd Birthday)
The College Drive.
As I drop you off on the college drive
An image I have of you, when you were only two
You were all I had in this world
I would bring you everyday
To play at the nursery
In this place of education
You had nightmares about Baked Beans
I had dreams, that I could better myself
And give you more
I watch you walk through those gates
In your checked shirt and baggy jeans
With your dreams
And a whole lot of living to do
I feel my whole stomach turn
I yearn to hold your hand
I swallow back the tears and my fears
As you walk alone
Into the unknown
“He’s only going to college!”
I tell myself….. over and over and over
I drive home, the tears roll down my face
I look over to the place
Where your baby car seat used to sit
I smile a bit as your smile plays from memory
“Beep Beep, Mommy, Beep Beep!” you say
My little boy with his toy steering wheel
I feel…. pride, joy, sick and overwhelmed
All at the same time
I pull over
“I can cry, I know I can, I have raised a fine young man”
It’s like your first day in reception all over again
I went home and cried beside your toys on the living room floor
You will understand, when you take the hand
Of your newborn
I have to let you go……..all by your Jack Jones
You don’t see my reluctance
I hide it with a smile
And for a while I watch you hesitate
Then you go, through the gate
And down the college drive
Head held high
I ask why? Time goes so fast
My boy is so hard working
He is such a good lad, he has been looking for part time work this week. He also starts his driving lessons soon, that’s exciting for him and for me too. He has also said that he will help me with a bit of decorating in the next few weeks. I bumped into his girlfriends Mom at the post office the other day and she was singing his praises, it made my heart smile. He went round and did all the gardening for *A’s Mom. My heart swells with joy at the man he has become. He really does have a heart of gold.
As I read through the posts of my friends
All the wonderful parents out there of kids on the spectrum I can remember those hard days when I was at my wits end. The times he wouldn’t sleep. The times his food was thrown on the floor and up the walls because it wasn’t pizza or spag bol. The times I couldn’t get him to get into the bath and had to physically get in and hold him down to the screams, “Don’t drown me Mommy!” All the times he ran off, once into traffic and I thought I was going to lose him. The time he disappeared in a hospital and we found him in the kitchens of the canteen chatting away to the staff like a little professor. The times I had to throw him over my shoulder to get him through a crowded room. The kicking, slapping and biting because I couldn’t understand his needs. So many times where I felt so out of my depth, lost in being a parent. A single parent for quite a few years and homeless for twelve months. I didn’t know what to do other than pray and my boy always had a smile for his Mommy, even when he had tears.
I believe God helped me
Because as I sat in the quiet held my head in my hands and pulled at my hair, a voice inside gave me hope and it also gave me new ideas, new things to try. I’m so grateful to God that He trusts me enough to raise my beautiful kids. That He gave me the heart to trust in His call and to see my children as the wonderful and precious gifts that they are.
To finish off my post today
A little bit of funny and a heart smile from my *CAL
I shared this on my Alienhippy facebook page yesterday.
The photo is an old one but I wanted you to have a visual of just how original, unique, amazing and precious my children are.
*CAL…”On Monday it is “Readathon Book Day” I’m going to school dressed as a carrot.”
*ME…”You have a wonderful Pirates costume, you could go as a pirate. How can a carrot be a book character?”
*CAL…”Easy, I’m going to be a book on healthy eating!”