The days are long but the years are short

The days are long but the years are short.

I heard this saying a while ago and it really struck a chord with me. Especially with Will napping on the bus home from school, the days can go on until 9 or 10pm before he’s asleep and I can start to wind down. I am desperate to get through days and weeks that contain hospital appointments and travel and other difficulties.

But here we are in July. My boy has almost completed an entire school year. How? When? Where did all those months go?

It’s flown by like no time at all. But then I look at him and I barely recognise him from the boy I put on the bus sobbing last September. We both cried so hard on that first day.

He’s so confident now, so happy.

His speech has come on astoundingly. He is so close to his non deaf peers now and can communicate easily with them.

His signing has improved and is so flowing and casual now. He’s a beautiful BSL user.

He is reaching and exceeding targets in numeracy and literacy.

But I want to go back to the first thing. He is so confident and so happy.

The guilt of building a deaf baby crushed me for the first few years. And now, when I think about what school has given him, it’s hard for me not to crumble completely.

At home with me, he was frustrated, let down, angry and difficult. You could see it in him and you could see it in me.

Just the first term at school was enough to change his behaviour. All of a sudden he was calmer. He could communicate, he was around peers and people who knew how to help him properly. People who knew better than his mother.

A whole year and you can see more of this. He’s a delight. That’s all his teacher said at his review, as she struggled to hold back tears. He’s kind and thoughtful and clever and helpful. He’s a delight.

I will never, ever be able to express how grateful I am to her and all the other staff at his school.

They’ve given me the boy I always knew he could be, I just didn’t have the skills to help him be.

I could feel guilty about this, and believe me I do. But, he is deaf and I am hearing. And that is forever going to leave me in deficit of how to be his mother. The difference between us is huge.

So instead of wallowing in guilt, I am celebrating how lucky we are. How lucky to live in London. How lucky we are to have a deaf school so close. How lucky we are to have gotten a place without a fight. How lucky we are that the school is phenomenal at what is does. So lucky that they rate kindness and wellbeing above all else, like we do.

So lucky that they’ve helped us be a happier family.

So lucky that they’ve made me see that in the end, he is going to be OK. That’s all I ever wanted. OK.

I don’t need a scientist, or a surgeon, or a superstar. I just want my son to be able to communicate so that he can have friends.

After one year at school he has the BEST friends. And he’s a delight.

And we are all very lucky.

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