It’s Therapy day or Thursday as it is known to many. Thursday used to be one of those uneventful days, it’s just past the hump day and not quite a giver of that Friday feeling. This particular day, which was never really very noteworthy in my impression of the week, now holds a weight that causes me to catch my breath. On Monday, I feel like a lighthouse, warning the Thursday ship to stay in the distance with my impenetrable beam, but as it creeps closer, I know I will have to allow it to eventually dock.
When your child needs a little extra help, a multitude of feelings consume you. Sometimes they are easily hidden beneath an invisible veil, concealed so deeply that it would take an eternity to find the bottom of the well. Other times they emerge, peeking through the surface and betraying you over and over. With Thursday, on goes the veil and the perfected smile that reassures my little boy that Mummy is happy and everything will be ok. That smile and that look, the one he needs so completely, is the one I have worked so hard on. Like an actor learning her part, it is the most important role I will play for him all week.
The week speeds with velocity towards this day, my mind begins to prepare; the bulkheads come down, creating a watertight compartment from which I draw strength. I’m trying desperately to ignore the echoes of my heart behind the steel doors. My little one faces his own path of preparation, age is not on his side for this, allowing him a mere five minutes to really process that he will soon be leaving his safe place. We try to give him as much time as he needs, but I sometimes see the panic dash across his face, the little helpless look at the collection of trains and planes he’s been happily immersed in. He’s trying desperately to pick which ones to take with him, but the fear and anxiety of having to leave is making it tough on him.
I search his beautiful eyes with mine and utter softly, “OK, pick two toys baby”, his panic escalates and he murmurs “Mummy help”. In those two words I know exactly what he needs me to do; I hold out my hands and he gently bends down selecting toys to place in them, he knows he can’t carry all of them himself. I watch intently as he collects his favorites, I know which ones they are even if he can’t yet tell me. Within minutes we manage more than I initially planned, yet somewhere in our exchange was a silent compromise. His small face relaxes with a smile and I know he is content and for that I will gladly carry; the AirForce and the whole of Tidmouth sheds.
Approaching the familiar therapy building teeming with a little apprehension, we step through together and you burst through with the exuberance of a sunflower seeking the sun’s warm rays. My happy, confident boy ready to greet the world.
‘’Hi!’’ you say, as Nicole your lovely therapist heads towards us, she assists another as you strut past independently down the hall, she smiles and says “It’s fine, he can go straight in”. I return her smile warmly as I watch her leave and it is in that moment that I feel it, a small hand hold mine. I turn and look down to see that perfect face, the one I once tried to imagine before he was placed in my arms, my beautiful boy.
The very moment I thought you didn’t need me, you came to find me. I believed that you had marched off to the beat of your own drum, to the room you knew, where you could explore new found treasures awaiting you. And yet, half way there you paused, the beat stopped and you thought, “I need my Mummy too.” You came back for me. You took my hand and gently guided me, telling me to come with you, that you didn’t want to be alone. Our bond transcended every other instinct you felt and my darling, it made my heart soar. Being a Mummy, you accept that however your child expresses their love, they need you, but today my sweet boy, you came back for me and I really knew.
By Jade-Marie Sinclair-Harris