There are a number of reasons why but I’m really struggling with everything at the moment. Eleanor starts school in a few weeks. The whole idea absolutely terrifies me. At the moment she only goes to nursery two mornings a week, in her protective little bubble where the teachers care a lot for her. They know her and treat her the same as they always have, before she was sick, before she lost her eyesight. Sending her off to ‘big school’ feels like I am removing her from this protective second family. I know she will be absolutely fine, she is extremely excited and wants to wear her new school uniform every day. I’ll remind her of that when she is 16 and wants to burn it! I also know that her class teacher, teaching assistants and everyone else at the school will be amazing and she is going to get so much out of being there, so it is hard to explain why I have this rising feeling of anxiety inside me.
This should be a really exciting time, but I am not excited. I am petrified. I am already worrying myself about how life will be for her at school. Will she be left out because she can’t do the same things as all the other children? How will I cope if she comes home and tells me no one wants to play with her because she can’t see? I’d love to think that this wouldn’t happen but we all know how honestly cruel kids can sometimes be. I am already worrying myself about birthday party invitations, especially at a soft play centre or park. Do I politely decline and say we have other plans that day or do I take her and highlight the fact that she can’t run around and play like the other children. I can’t take my eyes off of her, so while all the other parents are sat bonding, talking and making friends, I would be climbing over foam castles and stopping other children from bowling my unsuspecting daughter over. Coupled with that, Eleanor, being on chemotherapy has next to no immune system, so soft play centres are like sending her into a biological germ warfare zone!
All of these worries and stresses are, in the grand scheme of things, pretty insignificant. Our main focus should purely be on Eleanor’s health but her mental well-being is so important to me. I desperately want her to be a normal 4 year old and do all the things normal 4 year old children do.
I hope this anxiety fades once the school terms starts, things always seem worse in your head and perhaps I’m focusing on ‘worst case scenario’ to protect myself.
I know the world is not a wish granting factory, but if I had just one at the moment (aside from the obvious), it would be for her to enjoy school. I want her to be able to look back in years to come with fond memories and have loyal caring friends around her, just as I am fortunate enough to have.
Kelly I have been following Eleanor on Twitter and Face Book and must confess I am not very good at either, but have just found this site through one of your postings. Although we all realise how traumatic this treatment is for Eleanor and yourselves, this has really opened my eyes as to what is actually involved and how much her little body is going through and the anguish and distress you and your husband are suffering by having to watch her. Thank you for sharing this with us. We can now really appreciate what a brave little girl you have, and should imagine she will cope very well at school, what’s not to love about her.