Friday, December 27, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes

I think back to last Christmas, and how different things were. The emergency IEP meetings right before vacation. Literally, the day before winter break. The decision to pull K out of her mainstream class, and place her in the autism class, in-district, but a half hour away (an hour in travel time by school van.) Picking up my child's things, as though she had lost her job. A cardboard box of stuff that would sit in our dining room for a year, because I was unable to go through it. Hopeful that things would finally be OK, unaware of everything ahead. 

I focused hard on the good times last Christmas. I shared a few pictures here. I held on tight to the belief that things were going to get better, because they couldn't get worse. 

This past year we have gone through a lot of changes. K, especially, has had to deal with more than any 9yo should. How my husband and I survived this past year, still married, I do not know. 

Then there were B's medical issues that literally began the week after we resolved K's school issues. 

HaHa, universe, OK, I get it. Jokes on me! 

But, we are ending the year in a much better place than where we began it. K is in a good school, B's issues are under control for now, and we are going into 2014 without some giant monkey on our back. I think we've learned we can weather a lot as a family, even if at times we were thisclose from not making it (and by thisclose I mean Googling divorce lawyers, and places where I could check myself in after my school-induced nervous breakdown...) 

Whatever 2014 throws at us, we're ready to take it on. It's so cliche, I know, to say we've been made stronger by what we've been through, but it's the truth. 

2013 also brought about a big change in me, personally. How I view autism. How it's OK to just stop. Stop therapies, stop fighting my own kid, stop believing the only goal is that of "passing". It's one thing to say it. One thing to blog about it. It's a totally different thing to actually act upon it. You can't say you respect your child, that you are listening to them, if you are forcing them to attend social groups every week, or wrestling them out of the car for speech. That's not acceptance. Acceptance, for me, meant being brave enough to break free from what I was always told I should do, what "experts" told me to do, and doing what feels right. 

It's made for a calmer life. I say this not to bully anyone into becoming me, but to say I wish I had made this change sooner, and that someone told me  it was OK. 

It's OK. It really, really is. 

It's not to say we still don't have really hard days. Anyone at my house Christmas Day knows that isn't true. But we'd have those hard days even if I was throwing my kids out of the car for therapy after therapy. I know because that was my life for years. It doesn't have to be yours. And we have more good days, more peace, because of how I've grown this year. Because I stopped and looked at everything we had going on, and was honest with myself about what I was telling my kids with my actions, and what they were telling me with theirs. 

It's about time, right? 

So here's to a better 2014. Or at least a more confident 2014. And maybe a 2014 when I blog more ;) 

 But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

K's got the cool girl Santa hat :) 

Santa B and his cousin E. 

1 comment:

  1. ok what's that twirly doll thingie? my girlie would love it.....