The air is changing. Hot, hazy afternoons are cooling quickly into breezy, chilly evenings. My vegetable garden is becoming weary and nature is telling me that fall will soon arrive. School buses slowing my morning commute to work remind me that this fall has felt different than the past. My youngest has started community college, mostly taking classes in the evening. It’s the first time I haven’t had to make a mad dash to the office supply store to stock up on notebooks, mechanical pencils, and highlighters. My eighteen-year-old son assured me he had a pencil and some paper for this first week and I haven’t given a second thought to what he will need. It’s refreshing!
My mind wanders to the mothers out there coping with a chronically ill child this school year. Perhaps they are not sure if their child will even be able to attend school. Perhaps they are worried how their child will be able to keep up with the work load. How are doctor appointments going to fit in? Are they thinking about when the next flare might come? Are they wondering who will be-friend their child or what the latest rumor will be about endless missed days of school?
I know it feels like all the weight is on your shoulders, EDS Mama, but school is such a small thing in the big scheme of life. Some days I thought it would have been easier for my child to drop out and get her GED at a later time. Please do not pressure yourself that your child must fit into the norm, graduate at eighteen, and go off to college. Learning is a lifelong process. I’m reminded of that when my son came home tonight and shared how a twenty-eight-year-old veteran was in his class, just now starting college.
Our journey with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome has been ever changing. After an initial start years ago to community college which caused a flare and landed our daughter in the hospital, forcing her to drop out, she was able to eventually take one college class at a time, which in a degree timeline, is a snail’s pace. Still, it gave her a goal to work toward along with a sense of accomplishment and some time outside of our house. This fall, she decided to take a break from this plan and work part time for her dad’s construction company. We are so grateful that God has allowed us to have a family business which gives her the flexibility to work as she is able. It has been really neat to see her gifts in action which has been an asset to the company.
Are you feeling stressed about school right now? Be easy on yourself, dear one. The plan can be changed at any time. Nothing is forever except eternity. When we focus on that, everything else becomes secondary and not so important. John 10:28-30 says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”