First Day Feelings


So, while August 2020 – May 2021 lasted 5.6 years, it seems that June and July, 2021 lasted all of six days. Not sure how that happened, but somehow I blinked, and Hobby Lobby has fall decor out, my local coffee shop has Pumpkin Spice Lattes, it’s starting not to feel like Hell’s Furnace outside, and tomorrow we meet my daughter’s teacher.

This always brings about so many emotions for me. Especially this year, as my daughter starts her last year in Elementary school.
Will I ever have another child in elementary school? My heart aches for it, but as a 44 year old widow, the answer is probably not.

That truly crushes me to my soul. But carry on I will, and I must. It isn’t because I’m strong, but because I have no other choice.

I’ll be honest though…as a single mother of a child with PANDAS…it’s hard. Dang hard. And, to be honest, I’m not even sure I can even nail down which part is the hardest for me.

Sone things I’ve grown so used doing, it’s second nature for me. Get PANDAS material. Bring it to Meet The Teacher. Do your best Elevator Speech of “What is PANDAS” and be sure to tack on “By the way, my daughter doesn’t have a Dad” on the end. Try not to laugh inappropriately, when the teacher looks at you like a deer in headlights.

I promise, I don’t think it’s funny, but it’s usually at that moment when I have a strong desire to crawl underneath one of the tiny desks…I mean, after all, when I was a kid they were said to protect us from tornadoes, so maybe it isn’t such a terrible idea after all? But, regardless, its at that point when I realize that Im probably “that parent” who has “that kid” which means that “this teacher” is probably thinking this will be a long year.

Thankfully, my daughter has had amazing teachers so far, but even then, it’s still been a battle getting everyone onboard the PANDAS Train. Maybe now with thousands out there who are COVID Long Haulers – aka post infection symptoms, things will be easier.

Maybe.

But like most PANDAS Parents out there….I have no idea.

We walk a fine balance of being happy for our friend’s kids, and their dazzling IG worthy First Day of School Pictures, and smiles, all while just trying to hold it together ourselves.

It isn’t even a matter of jealousy. It just reminds us of what we’ve lost. Or even what we’ve never had. I know as a widow, I’ve never been to a Meet The Teacher meetting with a husband. You would think after 13 years, I’d be used to it, but I still get misty eyed, filling out paperwork, seeing the Moms and Dads filing in, with their kids.

On the flipside, I have friends who have lost their children, and every year, they have to think about what grade or stage their child would be in. I can’t even wrap my brain around that.

I’m not saying any of this for sympathy. Just keep in mind that even really happy days, can still bring a mixed bag of emotions for so many out there.

If you too, find yourself with a bag of mixed nuts, know that I am in your corner, cheering you on, and praying for strength and peace for ypur journey. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out. I promise, you aren’t alone.

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