I have been worried about this day for a long time. I have watched the bagger at our local grocery store and complained to the store manager when the cashier barked at him to move faster. I’ve talked to the ticket-taker at our movie theater about her nail polish and waited as she told me about her little sister who polished them. As I left them I hoped everyone after me would do the same.
Today Ashlyn begins her first job experience. There is a good chance she will talk more than she works and forget instructions a second or so after they are given and I don’t even want to think about what will happen if the grapes in her lunch are smushed. She will have a job coach to help her along but nothing to guard her from impatience or critical eyes or long stares, no principal’s office to send the general public.
Last night she packed her lunch for far longer than it will take to eat it and wondered over her “job shirt.” I stayed up late over-thinking and woke up early to continue more of the same. I have to hand her over to the world today and hope she finds kindness in return. I can’t create an 18 year-old sized bubble to put her in or follow behind her, giving “the look” to anyone who even thinks of rolling their eyes. I can only stay here and hope that she gets back what she gives.
Your worst offense would be taking her favorite seat on the bus or asking her to wear matching socks. You can take too long and lose your checkbook and forget to brush your teeth and she will still ask you about your day and tell you about this week’s soccer practice. If you see her, please smile back when she smiles at you and give her an extra second to help with what you need and just be nice. Be nice.
We talked through the door as she waited for the bus this morning, because she wanted to wait alone, but not really. She smiled and jumped a little as her ride arrived and ran to the doors with plans for the best. day. ever.
I can only hope the universe gives her just that.
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I am a teacher of high school kids. While it is not quite the same as the feelings of a parent (I am also a parent), we do feel a camaraderie with you and share in your joys and sorrows. My autistic students are not always the ones I worry about the most because they have a support system. If they have a bad day there are usually people at home (at least) that will help them make some sense of it and guide them. The students I worry about are the ones with no support system, no guidance, no loving mother and father and siblings who are excited when they get home. Even if your daughter has a bad day, she still has all of you and that is so much more important. I hope it went well!
Social Butterfly Mom says
Getting a little teary-eyed myself. I hope she had a great first day/week!
Thank you, so far so good!
Oh, I so hope that the universe did give her the best. day. ever. And, you too. I hope that everyone was/is nice. xo
This choked me up! The thought of you not being there to give the “look” to anyone giving her a look really spoke to me. I hope the world treats her with kindness, too. Loved this.
Lady Jennie says
I will PRAY. I say that sincerely.
Crying and smiling reading this Jessica. I really hope she has the best day ever. She deserves it…and so do you. 🙂 Stopping by from Honest Voices.-Ashley
Lumpy throat and watery eyes today as I catch up on this. I hope the world is kind to her and is open to receive the gifts she has to offer simply by being herself.
You know that wonderful quote about giving our kids roots and wings? Yeah, now comes the hard part–letting her spread hers and hoping they are strong and true. Big hugs.
i LOVE her shirt and I hope it was the first of many amazing days at work for her.
hoping her first day was NICE and uneventful or just plain ole fun and ordinary. I want the world to be NICE too, to all our children, I want our children to be NICE to each other and the world around them.
So I’m sitting here, sending you all the good juju I can and knowing that Ashlyn is going to be just great.
Jodi @ Heal Now says
Love it, I hope she had a good day, sniff, sniff!
Hi Jessica, I found you through the Honest Mom Link-up, and I’m so glad I did. This is a beautiful post, I think any mother could relate to your anxiety sending Ashlyn out into the world. I hope she had a great first day of work! Wishing you all the best <3
julie gardner says
I wish I could go wherever she is on her first day working and smile at her.
I also wish I could go wherever YOU are on her first day working and smile at you.
Oh, and hugs. Yes, a hug would be good, too.
I’m thinking about her. this is such a huge day!
Steph at I'm Still Learning says
What a great mother you are. It must be so difficult to send her off to what must seem to you like a wolves’ den. But she will be great. People will treat her with respect and kindness. Please let us know how it goes.
Norine of Science of Parenthood says
Such a poignant post. I hope the Universe gave her the day she wanted!
Hope it was a day of kindness and learning!
She did really well although didn’t get to work much yet so I still have another day to be nervous about :).
Wow! Best of luck to her and hope she has memorable first day on the job.
I really, REALLY hope she had the best day ever. And that people were just really nice. And kind.
Sending her (and you!) good first day vibes. xoxox
I’m thinking of Ashlyn and her mom! I hope the world shines the kindness it has inside on her.
Jessica Smock says
Sending best wishes that her first day went spectacularly! I’m so happy for you for making your way this far in your journey….
Darcy Perdu says
please keep us posted — eager to hear how her first day was!!
She only had to work with her teacher on filling out the paperwork today so I have another day of nerves ahead!
Alexa (katbiggie) says
Oh gosh I hope it goes well for her! Praying for kind people to interact with her today! I’m scared with you mama!!!
Oh, I hope she has the best first day imaginable. I hope everyone she encounters slows down a minute to appreciate her smile. I wish there was a trick to turn off the worrying but there isn’t. Just know you’ve given her as much as you can as far as preparation and know in your heart she’s a good person because she is and you helped her become who she is and ultimately all we can do is hope that that goodness wins.
My (or her) saving grace is that she always sees the good in people so she notices far less of the “looks” than I do. She definitely knows how to kill them with kindness which has always worked in her favor.
Oh my! What a huge milestone! I hope she has a great day and comes home quickly so you don’t have to worry for too long! Hopefully before long, it will be no big deal!
Kathy Radigan says
I felt my heart beat faster and faster as read this! I also am sobbing. I’m sending the best thoughts to you and your daughter. I can’t wait to read the post that tells of all her successes and pray that I never have to read about an off day. Congratulations to you both for getting to this point. You give me so much hope that one day my daughter and I will have our own moment like this!! Love and hugs to you both!! xo
She will Kathy, it may seem so far away now but one of these days you will be sending your daughter off with just as many nervous feelings as I have… not sure if that makes you feel better or worse :).
What a milestone day. Thinking of you both and I hope it’s a great experience for her!
I hope that she has a great first day!
She did great although didn’t really get to work yet, just did paperwork so I’ll be nervous again very soon.
Mom On A Line says
I hope the day meets all of Ashlyn’s expectations and more. I hope most of all that people are nice.
Naked Girl in a Dress says
I hope she comes home with wonderful stories of her day–and that you survive the wait until she is home!
Kathy at kissing the frog says
Ugh! I’m nervous for both of you! People need to stop and look these young people in the eyes and realize that they are people, they are someone’s kids – not just an annoyance in their day. I hope she meets smiles and kindness and friendly conversation. I hope she has a great day, and I can’t wait to hear about it!
She only filled out paperwork today so no work yet! Now I’ll have to continue my nerves for another day!
Not a Perfect Mom says
oooh, I’m so antsy for you…I can’t even imagine the anxiety right now….Hope your next post is about how her day rocked!
Well now I have to wait another day, only paperwork today so I have to be nervous for another day. Ugh!