It’s a new year

February 2, 2010 at 5:54 am 8 comments

     I vividly remember an email from an old friend many years ago in which she told me she could hardly wait for her son to wake up in the morning so she could hang out with him. That statement stuck with me throughout the years, mostly because my favorite time of the day is about five seconds after C falls asleep. The guilt I feel about that has weighed heavily on me at times. What is wrong with me that I don’t revel in parenting as much as other people do? 

     Lest you get the wrong picture, I have to say that C is just about the most delightful child to ever walk the earth, and I wouldn’t trade him in for any other kid on the planet. Every grown up that meets him adores him, and I would venture to guess that nearly every single teacher in C’s school knows him by name. I can’t even count how many staff members, many of whom I don’t even know, have told me how much they love C. Last week, a substitute teacher stopped me in the hall and said if all kids were as joyful as C, she wouldn’t have retired. That is a pretty amazing testimonial to just how fantastic he is.

     Yet somehow we’re missing that spark at home sometimes. We enjoy C, don’t get me wrong, but other things get in the way. Health concerns, therapies, behavior challenges and IEP details often threaten to take over our world. So much of the day is spent keeping the very specific, very necessary routine that we often miss just living. And missing that seems to translate into missing some of the joy that should come with raising children.

     So my new year’s wish? While I don’t anticipate ever sitting by C’s bed in the morning anxiously awaiting the moment his eyes open, I will continue to hold my old friend up as the kind of parent I am trying to be. I hope to move past the routine to find that the joy is always there even when I seem to have lost it – I just need to remember to revel in it.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jesch  |  February 2, 2010 at 6:20 am

    And I will continue holding you up as the kind of parent others should be.

  • 2. pat temaat  |  February 2, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Log me out or off if you’d like. There are many people in life that I often wonder about and I just have a simple curiosity as to how they are doing and how their life went. I have no interest in getting back in touch most often as my current life is confusing and complicated as it is without adding other dimensions to it. This is interesting reading.

  • 3. therocchronicles  |  February 2, 2010 at 8:39 am

    So, not only our our kids separated at birth, we may be sisters! I know EXACTLY what you mean. Sometimes I am just living for bedtime. Sometimes I feel that way the moment he gets home from school and things fall apart for some unseen reason. During open house, everyone said just “how cute” they think the Roc is and how much of a joy he is. I always think he’s totally adorable, but sometimes parenting him isn’t so joyful. Ack!

    I think I may hold your idea up as well and look for the JOY in everyday.

  • 4. robinaltman  |  February 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    My favorite time of day is right after I feed my sons gruel, gag them, and stick them in the basement. It’s so nice and peaceful.

    I have the feeling that parenting is so tough, (made tougher with IEPs, behavior plans, kids with tons of extra needs), that it obscures the beauty and wonder of it all. I admire your friend for being able to hold onto that.

  • 5. Shivon  |  February 2, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I feel the same way, with What I can only assume is a comparable amount of guilt. I think we had written back and forth of being our babies’ comfort zone. We are the people our sons’ feel most comfortable to just let go with. I think this is why bedtime is so fabulous for us.
    I love Diego with all of my heart but between the appointments, trying to stay two steps ahead of a melt down, the schedule for the day and sensory activities, and the worrying at the end of the day I am exhausted. At night I can relax. I hope one day this will all be routine and bedtime will not equal relaxation. But just like everything else, it all is what it is. You are a wonderful mom all of the time 🙂

  • 6. Angie  |  February 3, 2010 at 6:32 am

    This brought tears to my eyes…I have it “easy”, dear friend. And you didn’t see me yell at the dog and boy last week while kicking a trash can in anger. Maybe I forgot to mention those moments:)

  • 7. transitionalthoughts  |  February 5, 2010 at 1:10 am

    I think we need to try to find the “living” within the necessary routines, because if we start to wait for our Asperger’s children to stop needing routines, we might never start living.

  • 8. kristi  |  February 6, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I used to PRAY for bedtime, sometimes I still do! HUGS


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