I have been reflecting on the past few years, especially this last year and I am just amazed at how much things have changed. Many things have changed for the better. I have changed, the children have changed and David has changed also. We have all grown in some way and have progressed in areas that never seemed possible. Getting ready for our Thanksgiving day has been good because it has forced me to actually take a look at the past and the present and think about how thankful I am.
One of my top things I am thankful for is Daniel getting off the bottle.
I know that may seem silly to some but it has been a real challenge for us and has taken a great deal of patience that I don’t have and could only come from the grace of God. To understand the fullness of the situation is rather impossible but I am sure other parents have their nemesis as well. Daniel was unable to function in public without it in his mouth, he wasn’t able to play with Ariel and Joshua unless he had the bottle in his mouth, he had to sleep with it. It was virtually glued to his mouth, he only drank water and one carnation a day but I had to watch his teeth.
It was so frustrating going out in public and having people stare at him like he was a freak.
The good thing is Daniel didn’t care and that helped me not to care either but for his development and health of his teeth I had to get him off that thing. Now that he is five, it was really time, but it helped most that Daniel felt it was time so it has work out well. I am so thankful for what has happened since the bottle left. He is really talking, I posted last month that he has just started talking in complex sentences, now he is actually having a conversation with me. He has been talking to me, not just telling me what he wants, he is telling me why he wants it, what he likes, when Ariel or Joshua take a toy away from him. Even now he and Joshua are arguing over a toy, both of them saying “I having it” “no, I having it”. It is amazing.
When going through some of these things it feels like it will never be different.
I can relate that to money, we had a very rough year and it seemed very bleak at times, but David has always managed to find a job in the midnight hour, now he has several and we are incredibly blessed being in the free lance work. I thought I would never be able to handle social situations, even though I still have my freak outs and my fears it no longer stops me. I am able to move forward and realize that I am not crazy, my brain works this way and I just need to find out the best ways to help me. Still not having insurance has been a big issue with us, it is frustrating to make too much money to get help but not enough money to afford a plan for our family.
However, we are all very healthy and do our best to stay that way.
Ariel and Joshua are just wonderful, they care so much about Daniel and wanting to help him. They adore him and do whatever they can to help him. They are quick to forgive when he is having a hard day and they are quick to accept any of his differences. I am the oldest of my sisters, I am the only one from my father and mother, and lived with only two of them. I am 10-20 years older then each of them and I never had a true sibling relationship. To see my children love, fight, accept, mentor, and just enjoy each other is a great mystery to me and I am thankful to witness it.
There are so many things I am thankful for it would take too much writing to share it all.
On pondering all of this, I would have to say that I am very thankful for gaining knowledge about the autism spectrum, finding out about Asperger’s. This one thing has caused many other things to fall into place that has made our lives make more sense, has brought healing and clarity, and has led us down a path of joy. I am thankful that I can finally write about it, I can articulate it, I have people who understand what I am talking about, I am not alone. I am especially thankful for this year, it has been the milestone that has turned the course of our lives. We could not have done this alone, through the love, prompting, and direction of God this is possible. We are very thankful to Him.
He didn’t do this stuff magically or through great miraculous signs, He did it through people in many different ways and helped us understand our children and ourselves much better.