Friday, April 12, 2013

Where are you going? Where have you been?

In all that's happened to us in the last two months, it's necessary for me to take stock of all the wins and losses if I am going to figure out this ongoing maze of raising kids with autism.

It's a testimony to my faith that I've been able to see the wins and victories in the spaces between the heartbreak and losses. Hubby has been the level-headed one lately, and thank God one of us has his head on straight. I've been so busy tailspinning that it's been hard for me to do much between crying and trying not to cry.

Last weekend was as bad as it's been in about 7 years. My immediate response to depression is to completely shut down; last week, with all my responsibilities, that was an impossibility. And that in it of itself was a blessing;  I

  •   ran track practice and got to see, once again, the glory and wonder that is my team
  •   spent an evening under the stars around a campfire among the best parents I know
  •   spent a large part of a fishing afternoon with my den helping the boys with their tackle
  •   was tapped by a dad whose boy was in tears 'to lend a mom's touch.' He dried his eyes--and made an awesome fire with my help
  • received great feedback for Nic from his group facilitator and last, but far from least
  • Nic received a 6th place ribbon for shot put--with no training. We might have found something for him. 
But I can't look at these things without acknowledging
  • that his posse never came to pass. I was reminded of that this past week when Nic said he ran into a friend of his. (I use that term loosely) The friend was meeting another friend. And Nic was there alone.
  • that he and his brother still don't know how to sustain peer interaction. At all.
  • that some of the things I pushed Nic to do failed miserably and will have lasting consequences.

    I was up again in the middle of the night pondering my younger son's scout outing last night.  This picture is a pretty frank assessment of his opinion.

And asking the question: do I push too hard?

There's no simple answer. There's no all or nothing. Everything has to be tempered with moderation.  Their conversational tacks, really, are no different than mine at their ages. I consumed books with the same fire and avidity that they consume stories--books, YouTube, videos--and feel the same need to share blow-by-blow details to anyone who will listen. Peers don't. Adults feel sorry for them. I'm doing all I can do outside of school with psych, social skills groups, whatever I can think of to help them out here. I sometimes think the schools can be doing more to help me out here. I've despaired on that score; budget cuts make it a virtual impossibility. 

So hubby and I are exploring other options. And with so much of our lives up in the air, I'm planning in so far as I can plan. But I find myself more and more seeking divine guidance,  because I am finding that the more I seek, the more I am answered. And I don't always like the answer, but I am certain that the answers are what they are for a much larger reason than I can understand in the moment.

The gift of age: understanding that every piece of your life, the good, the bad, the ugly, happens for a very specific reason, for a very specific lesson.

"And I never lost one minute of sleeping 
Worrying 'bout the way things might have been ......"

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