Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I see the picture you're not posting

Hey, you guys?

I just want you to know, I get it. I get how hard it is at this time of year when your Facebook feed is full of the shining, happy faces of your friends' kids on the first day of school. I know how much it stings.  I know the pain, and then the guilt you feel that someone else's joy should cause you pain, and then the loneliness you feel because, it seems, nobody else really seems to get that this is a really hard time of year for you. Because it should be happy, right? Look! Shiny, happy faces everywhere! This is a Very Happy Time.

But it's okay to feel the way you do. It's normal to look at pictures of shiny faces and feel sad for your child, whose anxiety about a new transition kept him up for most of the night. It's okay to look at pictures of crisp new outfits and feel the pang of hurt for your child who was so bothered by the texture of the treasured new outfit she'd chosen that she cried and cried all morning until you convinced her that it really was okay to wear her old, soft t-shirt on the first day. I understand how hard it is to see the photo of the happy kindergarten student as he boards the bus for the very first time, as you prepare to drive your high schooler across town to school, because he just isn't ready to ride the bus on his own yet.

I get it. It's really, really hard.

But you know what? I posted a happy picture of Bud on Facebook this morning, too. It was a real, genuine, happy moment and he had a good first day of school. But I haven't exhaled yet. I won't exhale for weeks - if I exhale at all.

I keep thinking about something Jess from Diary of a Mom posted last December, as the holidays approached.  I think it's a good thing to remember now, too.

So, really. It's okay. I get it. I see the picture you're not posting.

And I'm not posting one just like it.


Liz Stroppel said...

I just want you to know that I love you!

proos said...

Thank you for the reminder post because you nailed it. I especially feel this way when seeing pics of kids on play dates or birthday parties, very much "normal" activities for kids but are so difficult for many of our kiddos if they even happen at all. I'm printing out this saying - think I'll need to refer to it periodically when I find myself in a funk.

Diana said...

Thank you for posting this! Right there with you - feeling the exact same way - with both my children....

drama mama said...

Feeling it with and for everybody too -

Jennifer said...

So feeling that this year. The transition is so frustrating and every year I think we are going to end up having to pull him to homeschool between his behavior and academic performance, especially the first few weeks when everything is so rough.

Amanda Feldmiller said...

My son was excited to start first grade and I was excited too. There are worries that I have-- he needs some kind of system in place to help him pack his bag at the end of the day, to remind him that he either packed a lunch or needs to order the hot tray. Also, I am a little confused about what is going on. Last year his teacher said the resource room was the right place for him to learn many things and she convinced me this was so. This year he has been going for two and 1/2 weeks and has yet to go the resource room, his teacher saying she thought he spent entirely too much time in there last year. I don't know what is in his best interests right now and that is frustrating. Now his teacher is out for two weeks for surgery and he has had two different subs--I imagine chaos. But to make a long story short, school starting up is pretty exciting and his face looks happy and shiny some days, but not all--pretty normal.

ecodrew said...

Thank you for this post, thank you, thank you! I have steered clear of FB recently for this reason. I like to think (truer some days than others)
I usually do OK with not comparing - but it's hard when it's in your face all of a sudden.

DB Congress said...

Hi, just thinking about Bud with his 15th birthday coming up this month, right? How is he doing? has he gotten to see Dierks lately?

Heather said...

Hi there! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1 AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate it!

D Marcotte said...

I just discovered your blog and thought this was a great article. I am lucky to live in a school district with a really great autism program so even though there have been some tough days my daughter does well overall and usually looks forward to school. I know we are the exception to the rule. Thanks for giving a voice to the many parents who are struggling.

Tricia Edmonson said...

Comparison is the thief of joy - Theodore Roosevelt

Thanks momnos for always inspiring me!

Jessica Ann O. said...

Thank you

Akshay said...

Pretty nice information. it has a better understanding. thanks for spending time on it.

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Akshay said...

Very good post. I'm facing some of these issues as well..
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