Not an Autism Blog, definitely an Autism Family

I was reading back through my own blog, weird right and I was realizing how much of this blog revolved around Autism for a time and how little I talk about it now. I’m not fighting for services, I’m not fighting behaviors, very often I can pretend we are normal while in public. I feel that while it is never gone, it is not at the forefront of our lives. Now I may be wrong and someone looking in at us would see different, but I feel that we are in a place, that does not demand a t-shirt or bumper sticker.

The kids have a great ABA company, with amazing tutors. No matter who they send here, we have great people in our house. We have graduated out of all other therapies which is such a blessing. For a time we would be gone Monday through Friday with speech, occupational therapy, play therapy and then 20 hours of ABA in the home.

When I recount how far I’ve come I’m hesitant to speak out our achievements. It is not so far from my mind those children who take smaller steps and those who may never take any. I keep in touch with the Autism community through blogs following high and low functioning children and adults, because I don’t want to lose site of the spectrum. On the other hand I wanna pretend to be normal, just like I enjoy pretending to be civilians occasionally. Nothing thrills me more than not having to say my daughter has Asperger’s she will need special treatment. I know that’s not wrong, and yet it feels a bit like survivor’s guilt.

I got out, my child learned to talk, my daughter learned to stop touching, my son learned to stop screaming, running, hitting (well almost). I knew children and families in the waiting rooms of all those clinics. I knew when I said this is our last appointment I was saying my child got better. I knew they would still be there week after week and part of me felt guilty. I think that is what has distanced me from my early activism, and also from the community. Nothing that was said to me, but this little bit of guilt I feel when I think…they have gotten so much better. What do you do with that?

Short Timer’s Disease?

I watered my garden this morning and it rained.

I planted my garden and we got orders to move.

Our ABA just finalized an amazing plan for the kids and we are seeing good progress…and we are moving.

I was reading in one of my favorite Military Wives books that there is something called short timer’s disease. At least I think that is what she calls it. The idea is that once you realize you are moving, or you arrive a duty station with an expiration, you say things like. I can’t pick a new church we are leaving in October. Or, I can’t volunteer for the food drive we are leaving in the Spring…etc etc.

I take this to heart. I want to be the family who is going to parties, and play dates, who is attending church regularly, who is still taking her kids to all her appointments. I want people to turn around one day and say where’s the Hollands? Oh didn’t you know they moved last weekend…No, are you sure they were just here…

Nice Day

So the pool party was great, the kids had a blast.  Thankfully we were at the indoor pool cause the weather wasn’t too warm yesterday and the breeze was cool. My youngest three have these great ski jackets they wear when we go anywhere near water, and my oldest two have almost figured out how to keep their head above water 🙂 It really helps this mama keep everyone safe. We only had a couple of meltdowns and they weren’t  major and only one injury.

My husband thought it would be fun to throw Ephraim, as much as Eph likes to be in the water and it is one of his favorite sensory experiences, he has to be in control. And hurtling through the air is not his idea of control. So he had a brief meltdown where he yelled at Daddy for scaring him. Daddy good man that he is told him how sorry he was and they both moved on 🙂

Somehow during the play Robby cut his hand on the lane line…not even sure how that happened but he had to stay out of the pool for the last 20 minutes, he was bummed, but also alright.

Later after the fun of the part we had over a couple from our church for a small Bible study…so much fun. Thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this couple and having a small baby in the house again. And the kids did great, they interrupted a few times and Daddy and I had to go back and lay the smack down a couple of times but in the all in all they did great no meltdowns and no one was injured. It was a nice day.

Lessons learned

My little traveler is home. Distance and time, seems to always change your perspective. While chatting with my daughter on the phone, I though when did she become a kid? a young lady? Watching her run across the airport dressed to the nine with such a self posses air…where did my baby go?

I arrived at the airport a few minutes late but was told her flight was early, so I felt rushed and harried as I went through security. I arrived at her gate only to be told it was changed to another gate, and then to be paged that she was waiting for me at yet a third gate! I hurried over, hoping she wasn’t dissapointed  or worried that I hadn’t been there when she got off the plane. LOL She was happily chatting away with the flight attendant until I caught her eye, then it was happy  shriek and “mommy, mommy” all the way across the terminal. I guess I still have my little girl for awhile longer. After squeezing the daylights out of all of her siblings we were ready to head out to dinner.

Goodness, but those kids have made it an art to get on each other’s nerves. You would think they didn’t like each other at with the racket they were making in the car, but as I went to check on the kids before I went to bed I found Ephraim curled up at the foot of Talitha’s bed…I’m sure he climbed in after she went to sleep, it was sweet to see that he missed her too. I’m sure once they are all conscious it will be bedlam in here again, but I’ll now its all a front, they really do care for each other 😉

This post sure is rambling, I feel that I have learned a few things in this latest solo vacation:

  1. You have to let your kids go to see them grown up.
  2. Extended grandparent visits are a must.
  3. My kids love each other even if they drive me to distraction with their constant bickering.
  4. Chocolate chip cookies, 90 degree weather and a 2 year old…don’t mix.