Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bring on the Notebooks

This post is simply me, venting. And probably even cussing.
I like to call it keeping it real. 

You've been warned so please just skip it if you want. No hard feelings.

But the real me today?

The real me is freaking sad.

And you want to know a secret?
This autism shit is hard.

And I tried to do my son's birthday in a low maintenance way that still celebrated him, and it was an epic fail. Epic. Fail.

What did he want to do?
He wanted to stay home and color in notebooks with his one friend, Leah Kate.

What did I push him to do?
1. Invite his cousin too.
2. Wear bluejeans
3. Go to a play area.
4. Make him play in the play area even though he told me it was too loud and crowded.
5. Watch a movie with his older cousins and siblings on the big screen at the church.

You see? Here's the thing. Autism is real, but the world is real too. And even though autistic children live inside their own heads 99.9% of the time, there are people around them who love them and care about them - and all these people - these cousins and friends? They include us in their birthdays and their lives so the "proper" person in me feels rude not to turn around and include them in his birthday and his life.

And he had fun for portions of it.
Real Fun.
Laugh out loud, watch me dance and blow out candles, fun.
Todd says we need to focus on that part.
I'm sure he's right. He usually is.

And yes, he's trying to secretly do what it looks like below......

I'll only post the fun pics because thankfully the camera was packed up for the end of the evening.

We'll call that the "scream your head off about your pants and ankles!" portion of the night. And I tried everything. I tried brushing and joints and counting and squeezing and wrapping and none of it was helping. He kept hitting me and screaming that he couldn't calm down. He was screaming as his friends trickled out without a goodbye or a thank you for coming. 

He calmed down for awhile and then woke up at 1:00 am screaming some more about his pants and ankles. Oh the ankles.

So today we're taking it easy. 

Todd took Isaac to basketball and the rest of us are home, trying to keep our ankles under control. I'm trying to recover from feeling like I ruined my son's birthday. Feeling like I took what he wanted and twisted it into something I thought he we might want, when really I should have just let him do what he wanted.

Next year?
There's going to be so much freaking coloring in notebooks that it's not even gonna be funny. I'm going to color the snot out of some notebooks. Hundreds, thousands of notebooks.

Bring on the notebooks, people.


  1. You guys are the greatest family. I am so lucky to have you as an example! As an added bonus to witnessing some amazing, selfless (yes, you are selfless even if the party didn't turn out) parenting, you keep me going through eight (sometimes frigid) miles and I am better for it.

  2. How did I ever get so far behind in commenting on your awesome blog? Maybe spending time reflecting myself. Trying to focus on how far Owen has come and how open the future is with all the resources available....but mostly....always the LOVE surrounding him, all of you, all of us. God's love for us is undeserved and humbling in its grace and mercy. SO thankful for that and God will lead us through the storms and to the rainbows! Even as a grandparent my "view" has had to be adjusted often for what we know is best for Owen and how he feels most comfortable in himself, yet balancing the ways to nurture and encourage him in every way possible. As a grandparent I am joyous that I love all 6 of my grandkids unconditionally and I plan to buy some notebooks on sale soon....fill them with paper....sharpen some crayons and colored pencils.....fill a box with markers....and prepare to tackle it all head on!