Saturday, January 23, 2016

Taco Time and Truth Time

I was checking something on my new flash so I used Brother as my subject.

He was happy to cooperate at first and then I started invading his space...

This is all very typical for Brother—the green apples, the salt and vinegar chips, the blanket, the microphone, the headphones, the iPod, the couch—all of it is pretty much him every day. he would live here all day if we would let him.

I call it his cave.

It's where he hides when company comes, but it's also the place he stays most of his days.

I've been working hard to get him services so that I could arrange a caregiver or "buddy" that would be paid to work with him so that he can get out and do things like attending his high school games or going out to eat, all without our being there. He really just doesn't do things very well with us and does better with "buddies." I finally have been able to work that out for him and his buddy is Jake and he has taken him to 2 high school basketball games so far and Brother has LOVED it! I love hearing about him saying "hi" to his peers and them saying "hi" to him. Him being social is something I don't really get to witness because he is so reserved around me, so hearing that this is a part of his personality is so rewarding!

Baby has been talking so much more and she utilizes this skill to tell me what to do quite often... I never thought my little silent one would be such a sassy pants! As much as I have to remind her that she is not being nice, I LOVE that she is talking so much and her voice is so adorable regardless of whether they are sassy or sweet words.

Take this picture for instance.

She made me take it just because she wanted to look at it after...

Our dog, Ranger, really has been a very good thing for our kids and I am amazed at the peace he has brought to our home with his demeanor and presence. He has been such a blessing. I can't begin to tell you how many melt-downs he has discouraged, how many tears he has licked off cheeks, or how many endless snuggles he allows while giving me puppy dog eyes wondering when he gets to be done being squeezed.

Taco time...

Every Monday night we have a family night where we spend time together and have prayer, singing and a spiritual lesson and if the kids are really doing well we have an activity.

The activity part doesn't happen very often because they just don't last long enough or they just aren't comfortable leaving the house.

This last Monday, Sister looked at our preparation chalkboard an saw the family night was on there and said, "Mommy, let's go to Taco Time tonight!"

I was so excited to hear her say she actually wanted to go somewhere as a family!

I jumped on that bandwagon as quickly as possible and we began to "prepare" our 3 kids for a family excursion to Taco Time.

It went so well that we were actually able to take pictures!

These are the simple moments that can bring so much joy. They were all smiles until they had hit their limit of restaurant time and we immediately took the hint and started for the van.

Truth time...

It hits me really hard sometimes that this is Our Life.

Not the good parts like going out to eat as a family or enjoying rare conversation, but the reality of what life is like having ONLY special needs children.

For whatever reason, I'm guessing Brother's age, I have been approached by people, friends or acquaintances, and they remind me of how tough it must be to know I will never experience their first date, their first Prom, their graduation, going to college, marriage, grandchildren, daughter or sons-in-law... then they pause... at least not in the way most parents experience it all.


I know.

Those are actually some of the things that hit me when we got Brother's diagnosis. All the things we wouldn't experience because neither would he.

It's tough to be positive all the time and say, "well, he might have a special friend who will take them to a dance" or "our nieces and nephews will have children and the can be like grandchildren to us."

Sometimes, it just seems like I'm humoring myself so that I don't have to mourn my reality.

Sometimes, it just seems like I am working hard to look at the positive.

I try to stay on the positive side of the street most of the time, but sometimes the mourning screams at me from across the street and I can't help, but look up to see what I'm missing.

It just hit me...

you hear so often "life is a two-way street" or "marriage is a two-way street." Well, I guess Our Life is also a 2 way street. I have 2 ways to go—making the best of our situation or mourning what I can't/don't have, but even if I am trying hard to stay on the "making the best of it" side I am still passing by that loud, annoying, and down-playing side and I can't help, but notice the passing traffic.

But I just have to keep going through on the positive side because I don't think I want to know where the other side of the highway of life takes me, but it's a good reminder to have it there so I know I am making a conscious effort to stay on the route I'm going.

Does that all make sense?

Anyway, that's the truth, I'm passed everyday by what my children could have been, what my life could have been, what Our Life could have been and it's a tough reminder and it's hard not to long for the sights on the other side of the road. I may slow down a little, maybe even contemplate flipping a U-turn but that wouldn't benefit me or my family.

Life is a highway...

yes, I thought of the song... did you?

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