The Mama Chronicles: she’s overwhelmed.

A few weeks ago Ingrid started back to school. We knew this year was going to be full of challenges, ones she’s never faced before. And to be quite honest, I was petrified at how things would work.

Luckily, she was in a school she’s familiar with, with staff she’s comfortable spending time with, and many friends she recognized. That was the least of our worries. Yet, she was about to face a handful of new dynamics that were foreign to her and time was about to tell us the tale we prayed would be a pleasant one.

As I’d like to report that returning to school after summer break was a welcomed venture, it wasn’t. For the first time she was attending school without her big brother. For the first time she was attending school ALL day. To make things more unique, our home situation had temporarily changed.

As her mom, I knew this was going to be scary.. for her and me. But I had faith that everything would work out and I would do my best to reassure her that it’s okay. Each day we face a new attitude.. some days she’s happy and loves school while others she’s miserable and making herself ill.

If you know our story, you know that my kids are my world and any time we’re faced with anything new, I know she’s not going to handle it well. It’s safe to say she is not fond of change. Yet, here we are.. embarking on a life-changing experience and there’s no turning back.

For some time, I’ve played the scenario in my mind.. and, frankly, we have been blessed with amazing staff and teachers that help ease her tension each day. We’ve been bouncing ideas and suggestions about in an attempt to make her more comfortable and happy, yet each day comes with new surprises. Today she’s sad, tomorrow she’ll be glad. Who knows!

But it’s numbing. It’s boggling. It’s exhausting. This child has had me in a state of guessing for years. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out, she throws a curve ball and I’m so far from right it’s crazy. Some days it’s a laughing matter and some it’s a cry-in-the-corner kind of day. I just never know. Sadly, I think her teachers are experiencing a similar feeling.

Becoming of school age, it’s a requirement to obtain some sort of education. I applaud anyone who has the patience to do so because I do not. Although I’ve seriously considered homeschooling, at this moment it’s not an option for us.

Point being, she’s struggling. Hard. I want her to enjoy the experience of school, both socially and academically. I hope she realizes that it doesn’t need to be scary, yet can be joyous and memorable.

Then there’s the aspect that all parents fear. Are our children being treated fairly while they’re away. I have no doubt that those who have or currently do work with Ingrid go above and beyond to help her, but as any parent, I hope it never comes our way. (Or anyone else’s for that matter!). No matter the situation, deep in the back of my mind sits a saddened thought of someone not being able to handle her. She’s feisty. She can push all of your buttons with little effort, yet she can also be the funniest and sweetest little being ever to look into your eyes. I hold onto that. I hold onto the fact that God has placed her where she needs to be, with the people whom she needs to be with.

I sit here tonight typing this post while Ingrid sleeps beside me. Snoring away, she has no idea that I worry about her every second of the day. Or that the big brother she looks up to, watches out for her more than she knows. Or that her friends, who sometimes can’t understand her speech still adore her sweet demeanor. She doesn’t know how amazing she is. (Okay, that’s not entirely true.. she’ll always say she’s cute if she’s asked! Ha!)

We hold our kiddos tight for good reason. Because their existence is more precious to us than anything else on this Earth.