I could hardly sleep last night, my fears and anxiety keeping me wide awake. My son Sasha has gone on a residential trip with his school today, and I won't see him for three days.
I have never spent a night apart from him, except for three long nights when I was in the hospital, giving birth to Eddie. But then Sasha stayed at home, and my Mum looked after him, when my husband visited me.
Sasha has been very excited all day yesterday and kept showing me the photo of the place where they were planning to stay. He was all smiles, and I tried to smile back to him. He has never slept outside his home without us. When we go to Italy or Cornwall, we are always there, just next door, to reassure him at night, if he feels worried. I know there will be an adult supervision at the residential, but it won't be us. Who will tuck him in bed for the night? Who will give him a hug if he has a nightmare? Who will read him a story before bedtime? How will I survive these three days and nights, worrying for my boy? And more importantly, how will he survive? He is twelve now, and is almost as tall as me, but he is so vulnerable. Being non verbal, it is hard for him to make the other people understand what worries him, or upsets. His autism could be too big for him at times, when he feels overwhelmed with the sounds and experiences. He doesn't understand the time, it is an abstract notion for him. What if he thinks that we sent him away for good?
How will he cope?
I'm very tense. I do try to tell myself that he enjoyed the residential so much last year, but then he only went for the day trips and came back home for the night. For weeks afterwards he kept showing me the photos of the social story of his trip, he loved going to the Bristol science museum and the planetarium, he had lots of fun at the skating rink. Yes, I know all that, and I have no doubt he will enjoy the day trips. It is the long nights that put a great fear in my soul. These nasty fears creep into my thoughts and invade my mind, making me almost paralyzed.
I will gladly pray to any God or deity to keep my boy safe and me sane. Grant me patience and calm down my fears! But how am I going to sleep without my boy at home?