Andrea T Edwards

Lex at a New School, Mum and Dad Cry

Lex started at his new school this week and by all accounts, it’s been a smooth start. Called the International Integrated School, it is both a mainstream school with an excellent support programme. IIS wasn’t our first choice. We desperately wanted Lex to go to the same school as his brother, but until his speech is 100 per cent there – and we’re dealing with an enunciation issue now – the “normal” schools won’t take him.

Lex was super-excited to be wearing a uniform
On the journey to yesterday, we struggled with many more rejections – something we’ve never mastered and know we never will – but he’s in the right place now and that is all that matters. The only important thing is for Lex to be in a school that nurtures, loves and supports him, based on who he is and where he is right now. Not being able to speak like all of the other kids would’ve made him a potential target for ridicule, and that is something we’re glad to avoid. He’s a sensitive soul and struggles if he thinks he’s being laughed at – who doesn’t? So all in all, it’s a very good thing.

Because of the speech challenge, Lex is behind academically. The reason? If you can’t understand what someone is saying to you, you can’t learn to read, write, etc.. So we’ve had to accept that he’s about a year behind and catching up fast. His academic achievements have vastly improved this year, because he has made the conscious decision that HE is ready to embrace academic life. Little bugger.

As such, he might catch up to his year group, or he will be in the same year as his brother. I struggled with that idea, because I really wanted them to have their own space, but then I thought – who bloody cares in the long run, as long as he’s OK? I mean they’re only 15 months apart after all.

So yesterday, Steve and I took him for his first day of school. Lex was cool as a cucumber until we got to the front door, then he wrapped himself around my legs but still moved forward. With no stress at all, he put on a brave face and went in to the class room. We were very proud of him, as we are of both our courageous boys. A quality we admire in both of their spirits.

Thankfully, Lex was greeted with love and smiles, they took him around the classroom, he found his cubby hole, put his bag away, started working the room out, sat down and that was it.

Mum and Dad, on the other hand, stood outside the class room, where Mum burst into tears while trying to hide it from everyone (didn’t work) and Dad quickly followed suit. Awesome! We were a bloody mess.

Since that brief outburst I’ve been thinking why? Are we unhappy with where he is going? No. It’s not where we wanted, but it’s right for him, so that’s not it. Do we feel that Lex is moving to a new stage in his life and mourning earlier days? While many parents may feel like that, we DEFINITELY do not! Progress is good. Going back not so good. So what is it? What made us emotional?

It has to be the fact that Lex is FINALLY on the road to a very normal mischievous boys’ life. He’s getting an awesome education, his speech is almost 100 per cent, everything we’ve ever said about him has been right – love and patience were the only requirements (as well as a lot of speech therapy) – and we can see an end to a very grueling five years of worry, other’s judgments, misunderstandings, rejections, angst, and well, a whole lot more. It’s been really shit.

That’s why we cried. It’s done. Our little lad is going to be A-OK!

Fucken bloody KIDS!!!

Yours, without the bollocks

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