This whole year has been a year of firsts and I am very excited about them all. I wanted to catalog our list of firsts so I can look back and remember what a tremendous year this was. For the “normal” family a lot of this stuff would seem to be regular activities, for us they are huge milestones.
As I look each one I am reminded not to take anything for granted.
I am actually quite happy that our experiences are so unique because it keeps us in the mind set of always being thankful. I am so thankful that we are able to do these things now, maybe not as often as other families but it makes it mean so much more to us that we are able to enjoy ourselves now. It also makes us have so much freedom in knowing that if we don’t do the same things as other families it is ok, because we are completely different. We will do normal family activities on our time so we truly can enjoy them and not take them for granted. We are not normal maybe to some but we are perfectly normal to us.
Here is what I have so far.
I started taking all three kids to the park by myself.
I went to the beach with all three kids by myself.
I went to the library with all three kids by myself.
I went grocery shopping with all three kids by myself.
I took all three kids to free art classes all by myself.
They carved a pumpkin with Grammy.
We went to Grammy’s house instead of her coming to our house.
We went to the movies as a family.
We went to the museum as a family.
We went to the store as a family and no one sat in the cart.
We went out for ice cream as a family.
We went to a coffee shop as a family.
We went to garage sales.
(these were the end of 2008 so I will go ahead and put them in)
The kids were in a Christmas program.
We all were in a Christmas parade and rode in a trailer with hay.
Like I said, all of these seem like normal family activities but for us they are not.
It has taken almost 5 years to get to this point and it is awesome. It is so awesome to see Daniel enjoy himself. It is incredible that I have been able to progress too, now I am able to handle stressful situations a lot better. These things mean so much to us. I am so happy to be able to have Ariel and Joshua enjoy themselves also. Those poor guys have had to miss out on some things because of me and Daniel. I was just unable to do it by myself. I actually got fed up with me this year and said “I don’t care I am going to try it”.
So I did, I swallowed my anxiety and fear and I took my babies to the park.
That was the first thing, after that went well I took them to the beach. I just kept pushing myself and going for it. On the days that it didn’t go well I didn’t freak out, I just stayed calm and dealt with whatever was going on. I stopped caring or paying attention to what other people did or said. If Daniel was overloaded and he was unable to control himself, I didn’t even look at people. I could feel their eyes on me but I said to myself “who cares, they have no idea what is going on, I need to help my child”.
That was a first too, me not caring what others thought about Daniel or myself. (well myself in this situation)