I had an epilogue moment in the produce section of Bill's Family Foods after school today. I'd just left Stross at home. He was working with his respite worker on a homework assignment that he and I had begun together. It was the first day of school--the first day of homework as a junior--but very little had changed about the way homework happens. He needs me or someone making sure appropriate modifications happen and that he stays on task. Because Megan took over helping him--my respite--I was free to head to the grocery store to pick up items for supper.
Compared to the rigor of his homework assistance, shopping alone did feel like a respite. But in the produce section, my moment of mindful rest ended.
As I headed toward the bananas, I saw Heidi and Holden, twins who are classmates of Stross, shopping with their mom. I remembered how excited Stross had been to go to their birthday party in elementary school and how much he likes just being part of their class.
Just then another young man, also my son's age, called out to Heidi and they smiled and waved to each other--the kind of excited, attention demanding, shout out that says, "Hey, look at me. We know each other and life is fun." And they were having fun--first day of school, we are juniors, aren't we cool fun.
Then a seeping sadness crept in.
Everything I did next, I did mechanically. I chose some bananas, placed them in my cart, pushed my way through the rest of my shopping list and headed to the checkout counter where another of my son's classmates checked my groceries and yet another one bagged them for me.
I needed to get back home.
I needed to see how homework was going...and reassure myself that my junior had enjoyed an exciting, attention demanding, event filled day as well.