I still remember the day Poss started primary school. In hindsight, she was tiny, innocent and we were all so unaware of what awaited us in the years ahead.
There are photos of us on the front deck together, with me bending over to make sure that both our heads were in the same frame. She was that small, that I could still carry her if I chose to. Not quite five, she was a young preppy, but so ready to start her next chapter.
How were we to know that within a year, the world we knew would change so dramatically? That a diagnosis of Autism would be given, and with it a new direction for us all? That it would lead to years of pain and confusion, therapy and hard work, joy and excitement at every milestone met?
We weren’t. Of course we weren’t.
Today she started high school. A whole new chapter.
I sent her off today with not a small tinge of nostalgia. Watching her walk away from beside the car, as she insisted that she go in by herself, I was struck by the tall, confident young lady that strode away from me and towards this new adventure.
She hit the pedestrian crossing and looked back over her shoulder, but only briefly. More to make sure I wasn’t following her. I tried to hide the tears that had leaked out of my eyes, but I’m not certain I was successful.
She’s come so far since she was that tiny little preppy. Further than I ever could have anticipated. Leaps and bounds, as she’s surpassed every challenge that’s been put in her way.
However, despite all the work she’s put in, all the work we’ve put in, standing on the edge looking forward and trying to pry into the future, I’ve got no real way of knowing if her high school years will be more stable, calmer, happier than her primary ones.
Yet, I’ve now got a matching photo to go with her first day of prep one. However, now, she’s taller than me. She crouches slightly to make sure both our heads are in the photo. Her tall frame towers over me, and I need to reach up to kiss her cheek.
Yet, her smile is the same. The look of hope on both our faces is the same.
So, I’ll hold onto that. That hope.