Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Value? Goals?

I had a book club meeting at my house last night and we spent some time talking about what our goals were when we were in high school versus what they are now and what we consider to be value in our life. Hmmmm. I remember in my year book writing that I was going to be a "paralegal in a large law firm". So, I've been there, done that....does that mean I have accomplished my goal? Are there more goals to be accomplished, have they changed?

We had a wonderful summer, the kids and I. Really, I can't complain at all. A part of me feels like I deserve it damn it! Another part of me feels like now that things are going well with Alex that I should move on and reclaim those "goals".

What are those goals? Do I have any? Are my kids' still the main goal to focus on? Should I go back to work? Do I have an identity now that they are becoming less dependent on me?

Lots of questions. Not sure of the answers right now. I feel a little guilt even thinking that I should be focusing on myself. Some mothers of Autistic children (and other children with disabilities) don't ever get the opportunity to ask the question of whether they should focus on their goals because their lives are so taken up by their children. I should feel lucky but am having a hard time with even those thoughts. I know that when I was in high school and later when I got married, I never thought that my goal/plan would include having an Autistic child. I almost feel like that has put my goals/life on hold when really it has just taken it in a different path for a season.

Now, what is value? When I think back to all the "earning" potential that was lost by staying home almost 9 years with my children - WOW! That sure is a lot of money. Now, I know most of that would have went to child care, clothes for work, other work expenses, but that still seems like a lot of "value" lost. The big BUT here is the value of my son and the growth he made during the time I was able to be home with him. There is no monetary value I can place on that. Hearing people say "he's Autistic?" puts the priceless exclamation on that!!

I hope to keep focusing on that over these next few months while I try to come to terms with where I/we have been over the last 9 years.

Is there a new season approaching?

Monday, August 3, 2009

alex kindergarten album

Click here to view this photo book larger

one more thing...

Just got a text from my pastor. She said the kids are doing great..."no worries"!



Yesterday evening I left my kids at their first overnight church camp! OMG! They are only 6 and 8! OMG! Alex has Autism! Can you believe it??? I thought I would just break out crying the whole way home but instead this overwhelming sense of finally making it came over me. I have had so many compliments this summer on Alex and how well he is doing. Most people don't even know that he has Autism until I tell them. I did call one of Alex's therapists/tutors on the way home from camp to tell her about dropping him off at camp. Okay so more on the camp...

Our church reserved this camp for the week so only people from our church are there along with the camp counselors that are there the whole summer to help with all the camps that come - even our pastor is there! Anyway...we got there a little early so we could walk around the camp and meet one of the counselors that is a special ed teacher! God is GOOD! Then the camp got busy as more and more people that we knew showed up. The kids, especially Simone, were excited to see kids they knew. They will be at camp from Sunday evening until Wednesday evening. The comments Alex made when I dropped him off made me laugh...

"Hey, hey, hey. We're here" (from 321 Penguins show)

"This is going to be the best camp ever"

"Okay, mommy, if tomorrow is sunny I'll put sunscream on" (this from the kids who ironically screams when I put it on so the fact that he calls it "sunscream" kills me)

"Mommy, can I get a shower tonight on Sunday?"

It is a little hard for me to be home alone especially since my husband is in India - yes the country of India! He was supposed to take off work while the kids were at camp so we could spend time together but obviously that is not happening. So, I am home completely alone! This morning I went for a run and then I am headed to our library to volunteer. After that I think I will hang out at our local coffee shop and read then do some shopping. I'm trying to see this time as a break and time for me but it is awful lonely :(

Anyway....I finally put a profile picture on and it is of Alex sitting on his bunk at camp. I hope it makes you smile as much as it does me!