This last year has been the best and the worst of it all. It had been like that part in Alice in Wonderland where the path ahead gets erased by that sweeper dog and she cried. When the path you are expecting to follow is removed and you have to find your own way it is crazier than what I imagine being lost at sea must be. Because on the path to god knows where, there seem to be more predators than out in open water. This year the path has changed from a five lane highway back to a set of stairs and then all the other traveling analogies I could possibly think of. It has been without a course is what I'm saying. Without that notebook to refer to it has been mentally easier for me. I can take it day by day without an impending seemingly impossible goal. If he gains skills I party! I cry opening about how it makes me feel. If I cry with joy it makes it easier not to cry in frustration and anguish. I told myself the important thing is NOT to imagine his future. That may sound so stupid to some. I don't know if I can clearly explain it. In my heart I fear that what I picture when I imagine a healthy "normal" grown man version of him will jinx things. If I picture him like men I have met with autism I feel ashamed at how my heart hurts. I feel robbed for him if he is dependent on me and Daddy when he is grown. I feel too many angry things about life being unfair. So, I don't allow my imagination to break my heart. No one can foresee the future for real anyhow. I just know it hurts when people say things like "he'll grow out of it" or "he'll be fine".
This year at the age of three my son has accomplished big things. Like starting Early Interventions Preschool, reciting song lyrics, identifying his potty parts, picking vegetables, pouring sand into a container from another container, being gentle handling an egg, memorizing a daily routine at school, using picture cards to make requests at home, putting his books away, pulling up his pants, allowing me to cut his nails, graduating naps, identifying his family in a photo, eating with a fork and this is all I can recall from memory because I didn't take notes. I'm sure if I combed my archives here I will see some I missed. But all of these are huge because they are his. He accomplishes almost everything in his way in hiss own time and mostly just because he finally decided he needed to.
For the record he also ate his egg toast all by himself with a fork this morning. ::happy dancing::
This year I plan to become the advocate I know I have inside. For other parents to talk to because I know I'm a safe place. Because I know I am so lost too and just being in the trenches with people who get it really matters. I have a feeling there are other moms and dads who feel the same. I gonna be brave and put myself out there to make some good moves within the autism community. Maybe I have a little bit of bareillespiration but I feel like I don't care who is watching because what I do is important. And sitting on the couch feeling sad just isn't.
I have set aside the hobbies that fight with the current flow in our house. You have to choose the greater good when you are a mom anyhow otherwise you just feel selfish or bitter. But there are so many great things to look forward to in the spring let alone the whole new year. I plan to full on farm the hell outta my yard. I wanna feed all my friends with our bounty. I want to raise a greenhouse and expand my chicken run. I want to grow the most epic foods from the seeds I harvested last year. I want to can again because I loved every morsel and we wasted NOTHING grown last year!! I have never been able to say that before. The chickens are laying well through the winter ( even the frozen eggs were fun to collect) and they have become an amazing group of pets for the boy. He collects eggs and feeds them scoops of scratch grain like a tiny farmer pro. They are a systematic animal and creatures of habit. He can relate completely. In fact we have some farm pics and stories to post in a day or so. The girl had a massive amount of chicken stuff she wanted me to post so we are doing a full on chicken segment soon. I will try to space out all the goodness that has been sparked with my cup of coffee and a full night sleep. Crazy what sleep will do for a Moms whole being. When you are all up in momlife, sleep sounds so much better than going out. So tonight hubs and sis and I will go crazy with some jello shots and perhaps make it to midnight if we are lucky.
Happy New year everyone. Here's a look back in no particular order to some of the last year in pictures. Be safe tonight ya'll.