Even though the title is too long (and not a proper title, I know, I know. You know I like those little plus signs don’t you?) I promise this will be short…well, I’ll try anyway. I just sat down and I don’t really know where this post is going. If it’s not short…sorry.
I haven’t blogged since posting that little video of the Roc opening his coveted gift on Christmas morning. There was so much I could have said before and/or after those 52 seconds, about how the fact that he so badly wanted it was a majorly huge first this year, about his voice, his excitement, the joy! I could have written a whole post about the feeling I had watching him tear into that gift, and the fact that GC told me later he teared up watching the Roc. I could have told you about how each gift he opened before that he was disappointed it wasn’t a combine tractor, and he told us so. He also told our wonderful neighbor who went out of her way to buy him a gift, wrap it and walk it over to us on Christmas Eve, that “clothes aren’t a good gift.” ACK! (At least she’s awesome and she busted her gut laughing at his response.) I could have told you about the rest of the day which was good but then went downhill when we went to dinner at a friends house. It was hard for the Roc to wait long past the appointed time for dinner, hard for him to be watched by so many strangers, and then extremely hard for him to be told not to do something by a stranger (he cried, and I felt so bad for him as he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Geesh!) We left as soon as dinner was over, all of us pretty much done with the evening. I could have written a few posts on all that stuff, but I didn’t (until now) because the very best part of the day were those 52 seconds, but you knew that already.
After Christmas the Roc and I survived our couple days stuck in the house together while the snow fell and then the wind blew it away. He was seriously upset that there wasn’t any snow to play in, and I was bummed that we had driven all over town to find a sled because the original forecast was for a significant snowfall…and then it wasn’t much of anything. Then we went to South Carolina to visit GC’s family. And again I could write a few posts about the our time there. About the changes in the Roc. About how we spent the night with my sister in law and her 3 kids and the Roc loved it. Loved it! Loved being with his cousins, wanted to do everything they were doing, played hide-and-seek with them, and then later had a dance party – which was probably the most amusing part of the evening. About how different this was from a few years ago when he couldn’t be near his cousins and would scream when they would invade his personal space bubble. I could kick myself for not taking any pictures of the kids together. I did get pictures from the walks we took on the beach 3 days in a row. (You know it, here come the beach photos.)
Finally, it’s a new year. I don’t do resolutions, and this year is no different in that regard. But I have been thinking about Ali Edward’s and her yearly One Little Word tradition (since 2007.) The idea of picking a word that can have an impact on you throughout the year. For the past two years I silently picked a word in January, and then forgot about them as the year unfolded. Last year I think I choose peace and the year before was celebrate, or it could have been reversed, that’s how much they impacted me. I didn’t give the words the attention I thought I would throughout the year. Then this year I realized that I didn’t let the word come to me, choose me, instead I choose it, I tried to force it. For the past few weeks a word has been popping up, I’m noticing it every where and have been turning it over in my mind. The word is focus.
The past couple years I have been wholly focused on Autism. Reading, researching, googling, worrying, completing evaluations, studying reports, going to doctor appointments, attending school meetings, and worrying some more. Last year was eaten up by the educational label change and my worries and fears about the Roc repeating kindergarten and his school placement for this year. Not to mention the more challenging aspects of the Roc’s autism diagnosis, the behaviors and explosive emotions we are working hard to help him manage.
There are so many ways to go with this word when thinking about how it can impact me this year.
It has become obvious to me that I need to shift my focus. That I need to make time and room in my brain for more than just autism and my gorgeous child. Of course I need to keep my focus on him, but I need to enjoy the good and live in the moment more. Enjoy where he is right now and not where I want him to go or what I hope we accomplish in the next 12 months.
I need to focus on my relationships, with GC and with friends. I shut myself away for awhile after the diagnosis and over time I’ve come back out. I need to get out more, connect more, feed those friendships that have sustained me through these stressful times. I am lucky to have GC, for so many reasons, and I need to focus more on us. We need each other and our relationship deserves more time than it’s been given.
I need to focus on me. I need to feed me and let go of the guilt, for I carry so much guilt around every day. I am no longer going to feel guilty about needing time apart, space for myself, for needing my friends, for wanting to expand, for needing my family, for needing time to be more than mommy/therapist. I need to focus on being healthy and take care of me.
More than anything this year I want to life this life. I want to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now. The small stuff. The good stuff.
Because this life is good.
It’s a new year, what will you focus on?