People have started mentioning the s word to me more and more recently. Despite not even being two years old yet, hospital therapists and other parents of children at special schools have started telling me that I should start looking into it and where Samuel will go as the process can take a while. Friends have also been asking if we will send Samuel to school or keep him home.
I can’t get my head around it. I just feel really strange talking about school and Samuel. This is not because I can’t bear the thought of him not being at home so much or worried about whether the staff at the school can appropriately care for him, it’s because there was a time that we didn’t think Samuel would be here long enough for school.
I remember bumping into someone when I was out and about with Samuel. Samuel had only been out of NICU a few months and I’d not seen this person since I was heavily pregnant and they didn’t know about our situation. She asked if/when I was going back to work and I said I’d given up work to be at home with him and she said, ‘oh well you can go back to work when he’s at school’. I remember staring at her for a few minutes and in my head my mind was shouting ‘he’s not expected to still be here to be able to go to school!!’. But I didn’t say anything of course. I’ve got an excellent poker face.
Samuel outlived his prognosis a while ago, but I’m still slow in catching up with the fact that we might actually have him for quite some time. I still live one day at a time. When you don’t think that your child will make school age you kind of think differently about things and although trying to re-programme my brain about it, well I’m not quite there yet.
But then it hits me. What if Samuel does got to school? It means he’s well and truly rewritten the rules. It means we will have had him here for cuddles far longer than the doctors predicted. He will just be like other children his age going to school.
The day Samuel starts school will be a wish that we never dared make. A dream we never dared have.
Samuel might just be going to school. We cannot wait.