Obviously, I am not the one who is starting school around here, but I have two who did last week and a third who would LOVE to be joining them. I don’t think that Josiah and Tullie were anxious about school. They were more excited then anything really. Josiah couldn’t wait to see who was in his class from last year. He was excited and ready to learn. Tullie walked right in like she owned the place. Put her back pack where it belonged, and her raincoat. (Don’t ask. I don’t want to talk about the weather. I have bitterness towards it that I’m currently dealing with.) She found her seat and was ready for the day. I don’t even think that she waved good-bye to me.
School is good. School is great. The kids love it. Right now I love their teachers. They have no anxieties towards it. It’s me. It’s all me. It’s the fact that my kids are growing up. They’re getting bigger. They’re spending more time away from home and with each day they learn and grow and experience new things. For these things I’m really grateful. Not that they’re away from home, but that they’re experiencing new and fun things.
I get nervous when I think about Tullie. Tullie in the BIG school. Today, I was watching her at the end of her line walking into her class. She was the shortest kid at the end of the line. Walking exactly where she had to be. She was going to class. One of the crew. I almost choked up watching her. She may be the shortest kid, but in my mind, she’s so big. She has grown so much this year and this past summer. To me she’s tall. To me she’s talking A LOT. To me she’s a super duper smart kid. The thing that kills me a little is wondering what the other kids think. Wondering if they know that she’s different. Josiah was certainly asking questions about her last year. Are they? Do they go home to their parents wondering why this girl doesn’t talk much to them? Or maybe they ask why she’s at the end of the line? Or why she’s so short? Or walks like she’s a little tipsy? (which I chuckle at on a regular basis). What do the parents say? What’s their response? Are they concerned that she’ll hold the class back? Are they loving towards others who are different? Are they patient? Would they like her over for a playdate with their kid?
The people who know us and know our family LOVE Tullie. She is in all seriousness one of their favorite people. I have no doubt that my child is loved by her friends that we are close to. But I wonder what other folks think that we don’t know. Because, in all honesty, I know what I thought before I was thrown into the world of Down Syndrome, and well, a lot of times it wasn’t the kindest thing that ran through my head. I always thought, “Wow! They have their plate full. I don’t want that!” Now I just laugh at myself, because I have a full plate and it’s been overflowing sometimes and how Jesus teaches me about how I’m so quick to judge and how so many times it’s thrown back in my face.
My thoughts are probably silly and will probably be unfounded, because by the end of the year Tullie’s classmates will love her. My thoughts are my own and probably true that they are simply my fears and anxieties that I need to turn over to Jesus. However, I also think that every mother just wants their kids to enjoy school and make friends. We want our kids to meet friends who will be geniune and like your kid for who they are. How much time, do we as moms think about how our kid is doing in the friend department and feel anxiety over it? In all honesty, Tullie could probably care less. I know that she doesn’t think about that. Her best friend is Ellison and she comes home to that everyday. What more does the kid need?
In all seriousness, my thoughts are anxiety filled for my daughter and that’s sin. I need to turn it over to Jesus and trust Him with her. She is safe in His big hands and the kids in her class will learn that she has a heart of gold, and is the most caring, most loving, most giving kid in that class. I need to let Tullie be Tullie and she will win their hearts. Jesus will protect her, and Josiah will look for her on the playground to check in. ‘Cause that’s the kind of big brother she has.