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It’s 6:00 AM, and I can already hear the “thump,thump,thump” of Justin’s glider and his accompanying vocal stims as the morning unfolds. We have just spent sixteen days together during the first of two breaks from summer school, and this morning he will ascend his golden chariot and return to a new teacher and a new building.

Am I a bit nervous? You bet.

I am comforted however that except for a few blips here and there our time together was lovely. We got somewhere fun every day except two, and he did beautifully at a new day camp I’m hoping he will be able to attend for decades to come. I’m hoping his “streak” continues with his new educator and location, am comforted that he once had his teacher as an aide in a classroom several years ago, and hopefully feels comfortable with her.

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We shall see.

But today I want to focus on the fact that after the horrors of last summer, my boy and I had fun together. We braved Hurricane Harbor, Great Adventure, and even made it an hour-and-a-half at the beach (that’s a good day). I still haven’t seen as much joy from him as we did before the tic disorder descended upon him, but I’ve learned to look for the absence of angst, which I think is our “new normal” for figuring out if Justin is happy.

Because at the end of the day, what I’m really striving for for him is not elaborated or complicated, although reaching both can be. I just want him to be safe, and happy.

It is ridiculous sometimes how difficult those two things are to achieve.

But as he starts this new chapter in his life at school I have hope, and supreme confidence in the staff at his wonderful school. My boy may not like change, but change is a staple in life, and he will have to continue to learn to weather it, and hopefully embrace it too.

As will his mother.

So fingers will be crossed as I wait to hear how he did. Gratitude extended to the universe for how well the last two weeks went.

And hope that all will be well.

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