So, we’re off to High School this evening. This is our first official induction visit. Mums and Dads and Kids. First the children will be split into their tutor groups and taken off to classrooms whilst us parents
are given a talking to remain in the hall to be given a talk by the Head Teacher. The plan is, that halfway through the evening we will all swap, so us parents go off to meet the teachers whilst the children listen to talks from the Head and senior teachers.
I am incredibly nervous about this. We have no idea who B will be in a class with. We don’t know if he will be with any of the children he knows. We do know he won’t be with his best friend, because his best friend is going to a different school. D and I hate these sorts of events, we always feel on the outside. We can’t see what’s going on, we can’t recognise the other parents of children from our current school. The chances of us being able to recognise children and parents who are in the same group as B tonight are pretty much non-existent. It makes it very difficult for us to build up relationships.
This is even more worrying when I know that B will need a huge amount of support to help him to build up relationships. This is support that D and I feel very inadequate to be able to provide. If B doesn’t see us interacting with people then it makes those first steps even harder for him, but when you are using all your efforts and energies trying to follow directions and take in information it is very difficult to remember other’s names and think of ways of striking up conversations with new parents.
It is at these kinds of situations that you realise how much most people rely on their sight to be able to communicate. People catch an eye, they comment on something that might be happening across the room or outside the window, may be they strike up a conversation about what someone is wearing, or they’ve seen each other before in the street, at the shops, the local sports centre or the park. These types of conversations are generally outside of mine and D’s experience. We cannot or have not seen the evidence and are therefore unable to make valid contributions.
Other types of conversations may be about people’s own memories of starting High School. Again I feel inadequate to contribute. Myself and D did not have the same experience of school that our children have. We are not able to share our experience either to help B or to join in with parent banter. Our experience was totally different, being packed off to ‘special school’. We were in small schools with other visually impaired children and we didn’t go home at the end of the day. We didn’t have to deal with explaining to people what we could and couldn’t see. We had the chance to be in sports teams because the sports were all for visually impaired people.
So this is not only B’s induction to High School, but our’s as well, and for different reasons we are just as nervous and it feels awful, because I’m so conscious that my nerves and anxiety might rub off on to B when all I want to do is encourage him to focus on the positives.
I think some of this anxiety may be contributing to the muddle I’ve got myself into about the balance of life, which I wrote about in the post I shared earlier.
Thanks for reading and wish us luck. :-)