The first week of September that falls before your child turns five, a significant moment in their young life and a week when Facebook and other social media is filled with the ubiquitous child by door in ill-fitting school uniform photos.
Packing them off on their first day, awaiting them coming home full of excitement, bright eyed with enthusiasm and eager to tell you about what they have done, the friends they have made, the busy day they have had and how they are a big kid now.
The knowledge that the enthusiasm will probably be short lived, after a few days of term, asking what they did at school today will be greeted with a shrug and a response of “nothing much” or “boring work”.
This September will be a little different!
As we drop Matthew off for his first day at school, no doubt he will be smartly presented in his fresh new uniform (it is far too big), tears and apprehension from us as we watch him head off to join his new class.
It will be a bitter sweet day, pride as we see Matthew potter down the corridor to begin his journey of education, yet tinged with sadness that he isn’t attending the same school and route as his sisters, another one of those little dreams taken away.
Sadness, that when he comes home from school he will not be able to tell us about his first day, what he got up to, nor, if he followed in his older sisters footsteps recall how he forgot to eat his lunch because he was too busy talking to friends at the dinner table.
Fear, that if he didn’t enjoy his day we will be unaware, that we need to rely on the communication from the school to hear of his progress, his achievements and the things that have upset him.
Reality that he will not come bounding out of the gates showing us the first of many hundred masterpieces of artwork he has created for the freezer door.
The biggest fear of all! That the dreaded seizures should return during a school day and one of us not be there to hold his hand, to cradle and comfort him.
In part, similar fears for welfare that we had with the girls, but magnified many times over, yet relief and gratitude that we are fortunate enough to have such excellent special education facilities almost within walking distance of home, tinged with sadness that he is there at all.
A school which offers on site medical staff and expertise, meaning no stressful trips to hospital for routine appointments, a hydrotherapy pool for his physical development, specialist equipment to aid him, sensory rooms and play areas for stimulation, all specifically adapted and relevant to his needs giving him the very best possible start, routine and continuity right through until he turns eighteen.
That his path has led him in a different direction and one that was not planned and not one we would have chosen does hurt, yet one where we know he will be given the best chance to flourish with incredibly passionate, skilled and caring teaching staff helps make it that little bit easier and hopefully make the school daze pass quickly.