I know how you feel

Alice and Jude sitting in the car


There’s a new child in Jude’s class who is also staying at his school house.

I met them on their first day and it really brought back so many memories for me. Dropping Jude back to school on Sunday evening has now become fairly routine however, it still makes me feel quite emotional. I wonder if that will ever change? The guilt is an element I struggle with a great deal. Partly brought on by my own self doubt, partly from historic emotional damage and partly from your everyday standard parent guilt. It’s a tough one to deal with.

I always wonder if Jude thinks about his sisters and contemplates why perhaps they don’t stay over at school, like he does. Or does he recognise how lucky he is to have a second home, full of care and acceptance? I hope so because this is most definitely the case. Jude is one super lucky boy.


First day feelings

Seeing this new child made me think back to Jude’s first day – that constant whirl of feelings endlessly bleeding one into the next. The anxious drive up to school with all his stuff in the back; I was so desperate for Jude to just go. Go so I could breath for a few minutes without having that sick feeling that I’d lived with for the previous couple of nightmarish years. I stayed with Jude for a while, not really knowing what to do. Feeling awful, like an absolute failure of a mother but happy that Jude seemed ok with the whole situation. Walking back to the car – my emotion was largely relief and I genuinely felt a physical weigh lifting off my shoulders. I’d found somewhere that could help me and take a bit of the burden out of my life. Happy and optimistic that I’d finally be able to do some of the ‘normal’ things I’d wanted the girls to no longer miss out on.

But then I’d feel bad again.

And I particularly remember how quiet the house seemed when I got back.



BUT, Jude was happy, the girls were happy so therefore I was happy. I was so proud of getting Jude into that school – the huge battle had been worth it and now, after a year and a half, the rewards are incredible. Jude has changed immeasurably; his school and the house staff have helped him more than I ever could on my own. It’s difficult to admit that home isn’t enough but I don’t feel bad anymore for choosing this path for Jude. Even when I do still get the occasional, “oh I could never send my child to boarding school” from random people. I’m not saying I don’t have the negative thoughts any more but what I do have is an overriding sense of positivity. Love, acceptance and admiration for the awesome people we now have as part of our extended family.


I have been thinking about this new child’s parents all week and how they would possibly be feeling. Back at home, without the stress of any previous experiences. It may be a completely different situation, in fact it probably is, however, I’m pretty sure we will be having concurring emotions. Hopefully they won’t struggle as much as I have.


Overall though, I wonder how long it will take them to realise how lucky their child is to have fallen on their feet so spectacularly. I hope it isn’t too long. And I hope that peace of mind, serenity and a positive move forward overrides any guilt they may bear.

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