Carter is now in 2nd grade. As far as I can tell he is doing great this year. The work he is bringing home is all in the 90’s and above. He is on a “writing books” kick. He has written 3 and they are so darn cute. He has made 16 characters – they each have different names. Each book is about these characters trying to win some sort of race. He spells words on his own and sometimes he will ask me how to spell a word. I love that he is so into writing at such an early age. He is working on book #4. This week instead of us reading him a regular old kids book at night – he wants us to read to him the books he has written. He is so proud of himself and I am proud of him too.
Here is book #1 (the gallery is showing the book from last page to first page for some reason)… You will notice the trophy has a Kit Kat coming out of it. The only candy he likes is a Kit Kat. I think it is too funny that he implemented a Kit Kat into his drawing.
Will is now in 4th grade. It is so hard to believe that in less than a month he will be 10 years old. Oh how I love this sweet boy – his sweet soul. He is taking the mildest of the mild medicine for ADHD (non-hyper). He started taking this particular type of medicine 2 weeks before school started. The other medicine we had him on made him have “down” moods so that is why we switched. We had our check up Wednesday and he absolutely cracked me up. His doctor is a very sweet man – but it is hard for him to really crack a smile. Well – Will had him cracking a smile and almost laughing out loud. Will informed him that the medicine was making him smart and that his grades are doing really well. He also told him that the meds help him not go into “LA LA Land” and when his brain tries to go to “LA LA Land” he can now come back to the real world easier than before. Bless his sweet heart! To say the least – his doctor was all smiles when he left the room. Everyone that meets Will can’t help but love him.
Will told one of his good friends that the medicine was making him smart and helping him make good grades. He said that his friend wanted to know what medicine he was on and where could he get some of the medicine because he needed some to help him make good grades. Will was so excited telling me about his friend wanting the meds and he told me I really needed to talk to the child’s mom so it could help him too. Will is a smart child – he has struggled in the past. I can tell a big difference in him – positive. I am not sure if it is the meds or if it is maturity. Time will tell. I am thankful that my Will is excited about school now… he loves it.
Back to Carter… We live in a small town. My kids go to the “largest” elementary school in the county. Our large is probably not your large if you live in a “big” town. I take my kids to school in the mornings. When Carter gets out of the car he is greeted by teachers/teacher assistants/principal. They all know his name. When they greet him they tell him how excited they are to see him. It gives me a sense of peace knowing that he is in good hands. The other day one of the teacher assistants opened the car door to let him out. She said to him… “There is my little artist. I have to look at his artwork every morning.” That made me feel so good for him. Majority of the faculty and staff know him by name – and know his abilities. I am thankful for these individuals. Very thankful.
My children are growing up. They are becoming little men in a BIG world. Thank goodness we have the support we do in education, family and friends – they help raise my kids in different/positive ways.
The other night I sat and read my entire blog – from my first entry to my last… I cried… mostly tears of joy. Both of my boys have come so far since March of 2013 (when I started this blog). I read my fears, my heart ache, my unknown… I was in a very bad place for myself. Although, I hit the ground running when Carter was diagnosed with autism – I researched, got him into therapies, etc… I had no clue what I was doing but I was doing something. Even though I did this for him – I was so confused. Was I doing the right thing? Autism doesn’t come with a manual. So, I searched out parents that had children with autism. They helped me… they helped me realize the way I felt inside was okay. It is okay that I couldn’t “fix” him… I am so use to “fixing” issues, problems, things, etc… but I couldn’t “fix” him and I was having issues “fixing” my heartache. Sure there are those that tell you to get over it and yourself but until they know your story and every detail of your life and your child’s struggles… they have no say so. Do I feel guilty that I wished my child did not have autism… NO. Do I feel guilty that I cry to myself that he does? NO. I hate that he had/has to endure his struggles to get to where he is today. Do I pat my husband and myself on the back for doing everything we have done for Carter… YES. If that is being conceited… then I am conceited. (I do the same for my typical kid) It has taken a lot of people that have helped get him where he is today and I pat each of them on the back too. Do I ponder on the thoughts of what things would have been like if he did not have autism? Yes, I do. I go through the what if’s… I go through the dreaming about… but the reality is he has autism and I know he is going to be okay as long as he has the support he has. My wish and dream for him is to be re-tested in a few years and to hear the words “he has tested out of the spectrum”. If that wish doesn’t come true… it’s okay… we will continue on the journey. But I will not lie – I will be sad. I have grief and regrets – I don’t celebrate autism… however, I am making a difference within my child… autistic or not autistic…. Carter will always have the support and love from me, our family, our friends and others that are touched by him every day. I proudly say that he is mine – he is my quirky, lovable, silly, honest, and handsome little man. I am proud of him – autism or not.
I will leave you with the below video… and a statement that a friend of mine, who has a child on the low end of the spectrum, wrote about the video after she watched it.
Here it is, the wee hours of the morning and I have gotten up with Charlie…AGAIN. I haven’t slept in months it seems and there is no end to that in sight. Not for me. I take him downstairs to scream away from the family that’s still sleeping upstairs, trying to be considerate. I admit I’ve gotten a little jealous of all the sleep they seem to be able to get while I slip further into the land of crankyville. I feel alone with it…with autism. Watching this on morning #4,899 of this routine it occurs to me: I am exactly where I should be….with him. He is traveling through this hell with me and I know it’s way worse on him. He needs me on so many levels…he also craves my company above all else. Why am I complaining again? The loyalty lines have been clearly drawn. I am exactly where I am wanted and my concern is not only warranted, but appreciated. Alone? No, I’m not. I have him and he has me. I will accept this as my gift and my path without end.
I love you Charlie, and I am sorry if I seemed tired or irritated. Mommy remembers her place now. I have no grand illusion of it ever going away or that things will ever be completely perfect. I don’t care about the sleep I am missing right this second. Though we have a stronger team than ever before I am truly beginning to hate the word. It means something different than i thought. There may be no “I” in team, but there is an “M” and an “E” and that spells ME! Usually i hear self centered people say that, but they mean something different… Trust that I see the ME in Team every morning when her tired eyes shoot daggers at me in the mirror. I only know that he is worth it so I should stop complaining. At least I’m not alone, and neither is he….
This woman states it perfectly. If you listened to her at all you saw the pain it takes to admit these feelings and fears. You would know the guilt we feel for thinking about it, but no one I know is patting their backs for accepting our realities here. The point is we are always struggling to accept things we cannot change. Autism or otherwise – people struggle with that kind of thing all the time. Did I expect Ken and Barbie children? No. I was expecting to raise my children to the best of my ability and see them leave the nest one day to fly on their own. Don’t we all expect that when planning for children? Sure, I was expecting to be a parent for life, but I assumed (like most) that my role would lesson over time as they learned. Now I know I will have one in the nest until my death (if I’m lucky) or until I can no longer physically take care of him. Then he will likely be in a nursing home, at much too young an age, under the care of strangers. I’m selfish for wanting more for him. Should I celebrate how he will eventually be at someone else’s mercy and I can only pray he isn’t abused? The truth is that I wanted more for him. It’s not about me not getting what I wanted or thinking I’m awesome on the days I think/pretend to be ok with his condition. It’s about the inner turmoil and the fear of leaving before my job of making him self sufficient has been reached.