I haven’t written much in 2014. Not that there hasn’t been anything to say, there were so many situations, triumphs, heartaches, one step forwards and two steps back, fist-pumping moments, and on and on. Life happened. So many times I’ve wanted to write, but I have found it harder to write about the Roc as he has gotten older. This is his life, his story, and it doesn’t feel appropriate to write about the harder stuff, but it also feels dishonest to only write about the good. Because this life, as I know it, as he knows it, has both. But I want to continue telling our story because it is a way for me to keep track of where we have been. I have also been told that other people see their family in my own, they see their kiddo in my Roc, and whether they are looking forward or looking back when they read, I appreciate the connections. Also, more than one real life friend has told me that they they learn about autism and what our life is like when they read my words, and I appreciate that just as much as the connections.
So, to get started again after many months off and because I like to focus on all the good stuff, here are some of the family highlights of spring/early summer 2014.
After spending a weekend up on scaffolding in our town home in Delaware a few years ago GC swore that he was never going to have a house with a two story family room and/or foyer again. That statement didn’t hold true as the house we bought when we moved here three years ago has a two story family room. So this spring we rented scaffolding and GC was again painting and installing a ceiling fan way up high, much to his delight.
I even went up on the top level to wash the windows and gained a new appreciation for his bravery!
I went to a Rocky Mountain School of Photography photo weekend in April and finally learned how to shoot in manual. I practiced a lot on our pets
and at swim practice (which is very hard due to the lighting at the pool and all the movement, but I’m working on it.) The Roc is a bit tired of me pointing my camera at him. Actually the dog is too, though I think he is afraid of the noise, and that’s why he leaves the room every time I start snapping.
Swimming was big in the spring with swim team starting back up and going through June. Team practice two nights a week and then a weekly individual swim lessons at a local swim school kept the Roc busy after school. His love affair with water continues and it was a joy to watch him on the team.
My favorite swim memory from this year is from the Roc’s very first swim meet at the end of May. He hadn’t expressed an interest in the meets during the fall/winter season and I didn’t push him to compete. After getting my fall volunteer points complete by working meet concessions I was relieved that he wasn’t interested. The meet I attended was long, crowded, and so noisy. I worried it would be completely overwhelming and that he wouldn’t want to continue on the team if I pushed him to race before he was ready. So when he brought it up on his own, after seeing some of the kids get participation medals at practice this spring, I signed him up for one race, 25 freestyle. When I looked at the team website a few days later I saw that the coach signed him up for backstroke as well. In the days leading up to the meet we went over what to expect and decided that GC would take him to the meet and I would be the one volunteering (as a timer.) I was so nervous for him and so proud when he went to sit with his team. The coaches were awesome about getting the kids to where they needed to be and the Roc got in the water and raced the backstroke. He was so proud of himself when he got to the end of the pool and I was able to wave to him before GC took him home. There was a big chunk of time between his two races, and we live close to the pool, so GC thought it would be better to wait at home. They came back in time for the freestyle and I was psyched that he would be racing in the lane that I was timing!
The Roc is in the lane closest to you as you watch…
He crushed it!
Right after school let out we were invited to spend a weekend up at cabin owned by the coach of the Roc’s special hockey team. He knew that we love the outdoors and thought we might enjoy fishing and hanging out at his little place in the woods. We did! After one day of rain it was peaceful and beautiful.
It was wonderful to spend the time with the Roc’s coach as well. He is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He helped the Roc fish off the dock, putting worm after worm on the hook as the Roc caught sunny after sunny, and he even got all the spiderwebs down off the ceiling. (This is an anxiety issue the Roc developed last summer, which we thought would go away like so many other things have in the past, but it hasn’t gone away…something to write about in the future. Spiderwebs can literally ruin his day.) The special needs world has introduced our family to so many wonderful people and we are very grateful.
After our weekend at the cabin we were biding our time until we left for South Carolina (which deserves a post all it’s own.)