Fear will not steal my joy.

My oldest, Shae, started 4th grade this year and although I was misty-eyed dropping her off, I was alright. I missed her because she’s been my sidekick all summer, but I was excited for her. I couldn’t wait to hear all about her first day using a locker and changing classes. Well, next week my youngest, Dawson, starts PreK and it feels totally different….

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited. SOOO excited!! Dawson is now going to the same school as his big sister and this school is so special. So, Dawson, going here is a big blessing!! You see, Dawson is awesome with autism, and I’m just a little nervous-Nelly about this new chapter of our journey. The kind of nervous that makes me want to stay close to the school after dropping him off. Not because his teachers aren’t capable, because his teachers are totally capable and ready to lovingly teach him and his classmates. Not because the school isn’t amazing, because it really, REALLY is an amazing school. Not because he’s not ready, because we have worked VERY hard at home, in therapies, and at his last school to ensure he would be ready. Not because I’m not ready to let him go, because I’m really excited to see my sweet little guy grow & learn even more with his classmates & teachers.

I’m really just nervous because this is uncharted territory for us. The unknown… And, when we are headed into uncharted territory my first instinct is to scan the area for potential safety hazards and triggers for meltdowns. It’s what I do when we enter into something new-ish for Dawson, like a birthday party, going to the zoo, or a water-park, for example. I want to ensure we are in an environment where Dawson can be successful, and try to limit highly stressful situations. If you could hear the dialogue in my head, it would sound something like this… Ok, I need to check to see if we can bring food, because Dawson is super picky. Are there going to be wrapped presents? Will they be out of his reach? How big is this event? Will it be noisy? How hot will it be? How big is the room? How many people will be there? Will they be playing loud music? Is there some place Dawson can go to walk around if he starts feeling overwhelmed? How many exits are there? Are those door knobs that he knows how to use? Does he have on his medical bracelet with his name and our contact info? Does he remember our address song?…

So, OF COURSE the amount of scanning I’m doing over the start of school for Dawson is insane. I begin to really stress and second guess myself, wondering if he really is ready…… That’s when I had to stop. Just stop. I had to stop and realize that I can only do what we have already done. From here I need to PRAY!!! I need to pray for Dawson, for Dawson’s teachers, for Dawson’s specialized teacher, for Dawson’s classmates, for ME!!!

Phillipians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

So, tonight, with a heart of thanksgiving I pray. I refuse to let my worried-Momma-thoughts spoil the joy that comes with the start of a wonderful new adventure, like school!! I refuse to let the fears of uncertainty take another moment away from the excitement of tomorrow. Tomorrow, Dawson will meet his teachers in person, and I’m pretty certain they will fall in love with him because he’s really REALLY awesome. As nervous as I am, Dawson is not.

So, next week when Dawson has his first day of school I will be reading this verse and praying over it as I drive away, misty-eyed. Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine…

Side note: If I were to make a sign for Dawson’s first day of school comparing our thoughts it would look something like this…

Comparing Mom and Son's thoughts on the first day of school

Comparing Mom and Son’s thoughts on the first day of school

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