Corner Pieces

Where love and hope meet to find a cure.

August 29, 2019

New School Year, New Reasons to Feel Overwhelmed

By Jennifer Bonsky

As the summer winds down and we start to get bogged down by all the hustle and bustle associated with the start of a new school year, I can’t help but feel even more overwhelmed than usual.

Overwhelmed at the thought of sending my sweet, innocent little baby out into the world without her mama right by her side. What if something happens or she needs help and I’m not there? What if she’s unable to articulate her words and she feels lost? Or scared? Or hurt? Her speech isn’t the best, and—with so many new faces around her this year—what if they just can’t understand her or her needs?

Overwhelmed with the fear of the unknown as to what the start of a new school year might bring. Every mom knows (and dreads) that, once the school year hits, the illnesses begin to circulate. Immediately. But a cold just isn’t a cold for Elise. It means so much more—a lower seizure threshold, dehydration, instability on her feet, being WAY more tired than usual. What if she has another seizure because she is coming down with something as simple as a cold, and no one is right there to make sure she doesn’t get hurt? What if it happens in the lunch room … on the playground … on the bus? They happen so quickly, and a hit on her head (in addition to the seizure itself) could be beyond devastating.

Overwhelmed with anxiety about Elise continuing to be accepted. We’re entering second grade now and kids are starting to notice a difference in Elise compared to their other peers. Will kids start to treat her differently? Will they make fun of her? Will Elise even notice? Will anyone be there next to her, protecting her and standing up for her?

I’m overwhelmed. I’m anxious. I’m scared.

These feelings are so real and I honor them fully and completely when they creep into my mind (usually non-stop throughout the day, but ESPECIALLY at 2 a.m. Because who really needs sleep anyway?!).

But do you know what else I do?

I try to take as much advice from my sweet little Elise as possible.

My girl, who carries such a heavy diagnosis, doesn’t let anything bother her. Everything around her is happy and bright … and filled with giggles and smiles and just complete and total LOVE. She LOVES her friends. She LOVES her school. She LOVES her teachers. She LOVES riding the bus (especially now that she has her little sister tagging along too!). She LOVES her life. Period. Hands down, she’s the happiest kid you’ll ever meet.

When you’re with her, you see magic and wonder and happiness all around. I feel like Elise sees life in a way that we can only wish we can see. She’s not jaded. She’s not overwhelmed. She’s not nervous. She knows that she’s got an army of people around her who have her back and will do anything and everything to ensure her safety. Always and forever.

So, when I think of how overwhelmed I’m feeling … I try to look at it from Elise’s perspective. I’m trying to take it day by day … focusing on all the reasons to feel love over fear.

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