Over the past weeks I have had a compelling feeling that somehow I would need to post a year-end message. Something very profound and reflective. ‘Tis the season for such recollection and summary and resolutions put forth for the New Year…yadda, yadda, yadda. Now, as I take some quite time for myself to type, well…I’ve got nothin’. Okay, well, maybe not “nothin'” but certainly nothing that is profound or moving. (And if that doesn’t make you want to read on, I don’t know what would!).
2010 kind of pretty much sucked. At least that was my first overall thought. But pondering that notion deeper, I know that really it wasn’t all so bad. Sure, being immersed in the Spectrum is hard. A lot of days can be VERY hard. Screaming, yelling, throwing things…and that is just from me! (Because it is all about ME, right?). Not to mention the bills and expenses not only for doctor appointments, therapy sessions (for more than one of us in this family) and the like but also expenses for van air conditioners that break, desperate need for a new mattress, upkeep of an old house…it is always something. The economy did not help us by way of income either. Stressful. More like, STRESSFUL!
But those are the memories I am finding myself really having to dig for. Much closer to the surface are the thoughts of the true growth and PROGRESS Henry has made in the last year! Truly amazing! I feel his real turning point was starting last February in his new, smaller classroom; nothing short of miraculous really. Our two weeks at TouchPoint recently was another huge stepping stone for all of our family! Everyone is growing. The oldest, Molly, is in the heart of middle school and all that goes with it but she continues to remain an awesome student and overall great big sister! I can’t believe she turns 13 next week! The “baby”, Lucy, started pre-school this fall! What a pistol she is! I am learning that the one with the “challenges” will be okay. It is those girls that are going to push me over the edge! I guess I will just have to pour another glass of wine! My in-laws will be so proud!
But as a family, too, we are so much more than the autism spectrum. I have to remind myself of this every day. We will not let the Spectrum define us though it is those very features that make our “typical family life” what it is…not always so “typical”. And I am not sure I would have it any other way. We have laughed A LOT this past year, sometimes to keep us from crying or having a nervous breakdown, but mostly I would like to think that it is because we have FUN. We truly ENJOY each other as we are! The cast of characters that periodically show up and parade through our home keep us hopping: Weldge, Henry’s imaginary friend, Anna and Ankle, Lucy’s “sisters” that can change their ages sometimes several times a day, time travelers and clones, robots and one of the more recent characters, the ever elusive Beavcoon!
We have grown so much closer as a family! We have become closer with some friends that have been there for us all along and we have made great new friends this year too! That is what is important. Family. Friends. I am so excited to find such strength and inspiration from my new girlfriends! Just that fact for the first time in YEARS, I feel I can say I have girlfriends makes me feel all giddy! (That is huge for me!). You ladies know who you are…I will let you choose your own pseudonyms for 2011 as I suspect I will have more to say about you in the coming year.
I can’t say I am sorry to see 2010 go but I wouldn’t want to change it either. It was what it was and now it is time to start fresh, again. 2011 probably won’t be much different for us in some ways but I know that we will appreciate and be happy with what we do have. The EF3 tornado that touched down yesterday just about a mile from us as the crow flies (and tornadoes too, apparently), knocking out our electric and cable, reminded us just how fortunate we are. We and our friends were spared. No one was hurt, our homes and immediate neighborhoods intact. Whether you believe it to be Karma, a Higher Power, God, or just dumb luck, we are thankful! I do not just want hope and pray for a better year but fully plan on actively creating one. Though a little hope and prayers can’t hurt! Some kudos to 2010. You taught me a lot but now I am done with you. Bring it on 2011!