Friday, March 16, 2012

Our Special Kind of Life

I've been focusing on the negative a lot lately.

I think about all my plans that I had for my life that didn’t happen, aren’t going to happen, or can’t happen.

I harbor resentment towards people who take their perfectly developing children for granted. I hate that the simple things for everyone else are SO HARD for us. I am jealous of friends having babies willy-nilly with no concern for what could go wrong. Ok, maybe not willy-nilly exactly, but sometimes it feels that way!

I wish that I wasn’t working on year five of potty training. I’ve had enough of that shit (literally) to have potty trained at least two, if not three children. Potty training the puppy last spring was a breeze!

And oh….the screaming and the whining….

On top of it all, I’m ready for sunshine. On a beach. With a drink in my hand and my hubby by my side.

Today I am choosing to look at the positive side of things. We have a special kind of life that I don’t want to take for granted. We have joys that not everyone else has!

Long rides in the car are a favorite way to spend a day. The highway! The cars and trucks! The signs! The ramps! The windmills! Train tracks!! We appreciate the details in life. The way the wheel spins on the toy car! The patterns in the wood on the floor! The soft soft blanket! All weather and surroundings are exciting. The snow! The rain! The wind! The hot! The cold! The dirt! The water! The grass! The sun! The moon! The stars! It’s day! It’s night!

We cherish smiles. Looking back, it seems like we didn’t get very many. Now I try to remember each one because I know that they could still be locked inside him somewhere. We get to truly marvel in a child’s development. Had things gone according to plan, Liam would have zipped through all of the milestones and probably had a younger sibling to contend with for attention. Instead, we've been able to focus on one thing at a time, and really see and appreciate each step. We celebrate each victory whether its zipping a coat or reading a word. Liam works hard for each one and each one is worth celebrating! Speaking of celebrating, we get to jump up and down and flap our hands when something is exciting!

We laugh at ourselves when we wish Liam would stop talking for a minute. We laugh because there was a time we heard other parents tell their kids to be quiet, and we were begging Liam to talk, struggling to communicate with limited sign language and some mind-reading. We are more patient people. We see the world a bit differently. We assume there is a reason for everything and try to find it. We recognize that each and every person we meet may be struggling with something that is not visible to the casual observer. Maybe that guy who was rude at the store was struggling to even have been functioning in public at all.

Liam doesn't lie. He can't. He just doesn't get it, and that is one thing I will NOT try to change!

I feel better now.

Liam is a happy, funny kid who is FULL of life and just happens to be on the spectrum. He doesn’t think there is anything wrong or wonder why this happened to him. I don’t ever want to be the reason that his attitude toward this life changes.

He may have a tough road ahead, but so far he’s tackled every challenge and moved on for more.

Turns out we are the lucky ones after all.