So with the whole Christmas/ New Years/school holidays gig I've been managing to successfully avoid thinking too much about the boat that we're about to rock like Titanic.
Here's a thing about my Little Mate. When we are home a lot, it can be really easy to forget he is autistic. We have our rhythms, he is happy and confident, and aside from the language thing you'd really not pick him as very different to any other four year old.
And then we leave the house.
Sometimes we have very successful excursions to all sorts of places. Other times I leave trolleys full of groceries in the middle of the supermarket and walk out in tears. There is often no rhyme or reason, or at least none that is evident to me.
I sometimes think about how if I homeschooled he would just be a happy little chapster and I could wrap him in cotton wool a little longer, because this big strapping lad is still my baby as they all are.
But then I look at the gains he has made since we were both forced out of our comfort zones and he started childcare. For a month or more I dreaded dropping him off so much, it was the worst part of my week and I wept buckets as I left him screaming behind me. But things shifted, he adjusted and new routines became the norm. We still have very hard drop offs sometimes, but more often than not he is happy to go and play.
In a few short weeks my son will start kindergarten. He will be attending a lovely small group attached to the specialist school here and I am so happy that the oportunity is there for him to do so.
But it will be hard. Having been home with me for so long, he will be going there three days a week as well as continuing one day at childcare. Unlike other kinder programs there is no staggered transition, he attends full hours as of the first day which makes sense when a number of the children there are as routine driven as my boy is.
I know my son will thrive in this new environment. I also know that it will take time for him (and me) to adjust and there will likely be many tears shed in the process.
And so I'm stringing out these last golden days of my Little Mate being my almost constant companion. He is growing up and I have no idea what the world holds for him.
I do know that I will miss my funny, cuddly, sweet little boy. But if I don't rock the boat he will never learn to swim.