Piper Starts School
I can’t believe we completed the first term of Kindy.
The lead up to Piper starting school was really tough for me.
I remember every time I thought about the possibility of Piper going to school, the fear took over my body and I felt physically sick. The thought of leaving her alone without me. The thought of not knowing if the teachers will watch her like I will. What if they take her eyes off her? What if they don’t care for her like I do? What if they don’t like her? What if children are mean to her?
I would constantly have images of the first day of school – after I would leave her I would be sitting in my car outside crying all day. Every time I thought of her going to school, I cried. I often tried to not think about it, I was so scared.
We didn’t get confirmation of Piper’s funding approval until right at the end of the year, so we were always living with unknowns of what school would be like for Piper and what support she would receive.
The sickness I felt at the thought of leaving her alone at school terrified me. I went to see my counsellor because I didn’t want to keep feeling this way, and I wanted help to learn how to deal with this huge change in my life. She said to me “What’s the worst that can happen? – she chokes and dies!” – but she followed it immediately with another question, “Do you know – that God would get you through that?” You would think that the thought in that moment of Piper choking at school would have made me lose it, but with the question that followed, I was overcome with peace. It’s really indescribable, but I knew in that moment that God would get me through this next season, because whatever I would face I knew I wouldn’t face it alone.
I had to start choosing to change the image of how I was seeing leaving Piper at school. I started reminding myself that this is actually going to help Piper. Before I was looking at it as if I was losing something, like my left arm, but I had to change and choose to look at it as if I was helping my arm, helping it grow.
It’s amazing our thoughts, and how they affect the way we feel. The lead up to school took me on a journey and I knew it was going to be hard.
When I was packing her supply box, with tubes and nappies, packing her lunch box with pretend food, Grief kept finding me in those moments, and it was really sad. But like this whole journey with Piper, it has never been how I expected it.
Do you know the first day I left Piper, I never cried (and it would have been totally okay if I did), but I was so surprised, I was so peaceful. As the days went on, some were harder than others, I just really miss her when she’s at school.
The school have been amazing through this whole process. It couldn’t have gone any better. She was approved funding to have a full time EA, who does all the tubie time. The teachers love her, they care for her and have been so inclusive. The other children love her, and are so gentle. They are so intrigued and accepting of her. I am so proud of her.
In those first few weeks, any time I felt anxious I would just message the EA and she would send me pictures and videos of Piper happy and having fun.
She sits at recess and lunch, with her lunchbox and play food, pretending to eat and joining in with all the children. She gets therapy at school, she’s included in every activity and she attempts everything. Her language has exploded, she’s talking so much, she’s even learnt to sing. She always tells me she loves me with her words. She is learning all the children’s names and attempting to speak them. The teacher includes teaching the children sign language. She loves going to school and is always so happy. I am so proud of her.
If this process has taught me one thing it’s that he power of our thoughts impact us so much. I was living in fear of the future, and I know with things that I face now, I am learning to live in the present, with what’s right in front of me and it’s such a beautiful thing. I changed the way I think, I changed those negative thoughts with something positive and over time it became a lot easier.
So just a reminder for you, God’s right with you.
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
– Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)