Apart from a small wobble this morning M bounced into school fairly happily. She was anxious though as her usual PSA (pupil support assistant) is away for 3 days and there was to be a new lady for this time, M had wanted to see a picture of her (she is a very visual child) but there wasn’t one, hence I had to accompany her inside to meet the lady. I left her racing around the gym hall at the speed of light, doing her daily 10 minutes of PE which helps to regulate her system and calm her before lessons. She looked happy and calm.
But was she?
I found out recently that a few people I know think I am quite glamorous, and frankly I find this hysterical. I live in jeans, long in Winter, cropped in Summer, and whatever top I can find that is clean and the least creased. BUT I always like to match, so earrings will match my outfit, my shoes will co-ordinate, and my hair is always brushed (not that you can always tell due to the breezy nature of Highland living). I am fond of shrugs in bright colours that cover up any hint of the dreaded bingo wings. I’m not so much a couple of pies over cuddly as all-round chunky but again I carry it off fairly well as I am tall and I dress right to disguise my mummy tummy. I frequently have fewer than 6 hours sleep, and I run on caffeine. My only concession to make up is a daily face cream. I am more often than not in a tizz about something, the kids, an appointment, a phone call I don’t want to make, any number of seemingly small matters can send my gut into a twisted knot of angst.
But obviously I must be giving off the right signals. If in doubt I also love my oversized 70s look sunglasses, does wonders for the pretence of glamour when the reality is the bags under my eyes wouldn’t even fit into Easy jet’s generous baggage allowance.
So, back to M. And her autism. She is a clever girl and generally knows what behaviour is expected. So, she holds it together. Since her school and all the professionals involved with her have worked so hard to adapt her school day she has made enormous progress and the meltdowns have been much fewer. But today I am wondering whether just because she looked like this:-
she might actually be feeling more like this:-
I do hope she is feeling like the first picture, but I won’t know until this afternoon, and maybe even much later this evening how her day really went. As I said, all smoke and mirrors.