As cliché as it may be, I believe with every part of me that being truly conscious about our blessings on Thanksgiving (and everyday really) is the root of all that is happy healthy and progressive. I rarely give intimate details about my family life for the world to see, and I’ve never opened up about this stuff in particular aside from to my closest family. But, because today is the actual day of giving thanks… here goes!
I woke up this morning to the sound of my three year old daughter’s tiny voice. It was still a little raspy from sleep, as she stood at the top of the steps sweeping her messy hair away from her tired eyes. “Mommy? Are you down there?” She says the same thing every morning. It’s funny that I can sleep through my husbands alarm clock at five in the morning every day, yet the mere hint of my children’s noises wakes me right up. Some people call it a ‘mommy’s gift’, some call it being ‘in tune’, I CALL IT A BLESSING!
I rolled from my side, gave myself a full body stretch, and then hollered up to her, “Yes baby. Hurry and go potty, I’ll be right up.” It’s the same thing I say to her every morning. As I leaned over to kiss my still sleeping husband on the forehead before crawling out of bed, I reminded myself of how grateful I am for him.
Our life together isn’t a Disney fairytale. We’re a middle class American family, and we work our asses off. Some months we struggle financially, vacations are small/rare, we have disagreements, our fun times do out-trump hard times, and when something breaks we usually work together and fix it ourselves. In other words we are REAL. Now, although our four day Holliday weekend off of work will be insanely busy, it will still be fun and it will be spent together as a family. I’m well aware that there are so many women out there raising their children on their own, and daddies vice-versa. My husband is an amazing family man and for that I AM BLESSED!
Before I’m completely out of bed my daughter is back. “Okay Mommy, I went. Now, are you coming to snuggle or not?” She’s an opinionated mini princess, and since the time changed we’ve developed our own little routine. She’s been waking up at least an hour before I’ve got to get my son out of bed and ready for school five days out of the week. I’m not a morning person, so rather than cursing the powers that be for ruining my life by forcing a time change on us humans… I simply give her apple juice and cookie, turn on a cartoon that’ll actually hold her attention, and we snuggle on the couch so that I can doze back off for a few. Win-win for everyone.
Before long, the two of us were cozy and snug on the couch. Her little toes are wiggling under my arm as she buries herself in her favorite “hairy blankie” (it’s thick fuzzy material) and her giggles at Ferdinand sniffing flowers is keeping me from falling back to sleep. I hate Ferdinand, he’s my least favorite cow and that says a lot. If you know me at all, you know how much I can’t stand cows. I let her watch it anyways, a thousand times over too because she’s obsessed, and that innocence in a toddler is A BLESSING! She’ll be four years old this coming Sunday and coping with my children’s growth is slowly slaughtering me inside. Talk about bitter sweet!
While I laid there, weaving in and out of wakefulness, my six year old son got up a little earlier than he usually does. Needless to say that the possibility of my falling back to sleep this morning was nothing more than a pipe-dream. He plopped himself down on the other side of me, flung his arms over my legs and made himself nice and comfortable… so that he could talk and talk and talk and talk. I should explain a few things about my son. His mind is beautifully outside the box, and to have a child with his quirks is hands down one of my BIGGEST BLESSINGS!
He thinks differently than most kids his age, and to say that he’s merely overly-imaginative or extra-creative would truly be an insult to his ultimate potential in life. He’s currently being observed by our local autism panel. At the ripe young age of six he’s already had multiple teachers (both academically and musically), tutors, and specialists work with him. No one, including myself and my husband, can say exactly how much he knows academically or where he stands developmentally. He’s inconsistent! Some days he’s one kid, and some days he’s another. Some day’s he’ll do his schoolwork slowly, but correctly giving us an insight to how much he actually gets. Some days he’d rather make up his own letters, his own numbers, his own scenarios. All days he refuses to test. He’s defiant in the sweetest way possible. Really he could just care less about how anyone wants him to think or function.
He’s distracted and in his own little world most of the time. He talks to himself making up stories and builds things out of his toys and household items nonstop. He never appears to be listening, yet he hears EVERYTHING and remembers EVERYTHING. Some of his teachers have thought he’s behind, and some think he’s too intelligent and just won’t let us see how much he really catches onto. I could go on and on, but it’s extremely personal, he’s an innocent little soul who deserves the respect of privacy, and I think you get the jist.
As I lay there listening to him talk about the village he created yesterday by tapping an entire box of crayons together, into robots and teepees.. I thought about how BLESSED I am to get to raise him! His world is so magical, and SOOOOO much cooler than the regular persons. He’s amazing, and the way he thinks may be a challenge to figure out, but it’s enchanting. I also thought about how BLESSED my little family is to live in a time where there is so much help and options for children who need the extra attention.
I had such a wonderful conversation the other day with the therapist on his autism panel. We talked about how it doesn’t really make a difference to me or my husband whether or not he’s actually high functioning autistic or if it winds up being a personality trait that’s got him so distracted and hard to crack…. no mater what, we’ll work with him in his own unique way and do what we need to do. We’ll take whatever approach we find that works in order to keep him caught up academically and to encourage his differences in a healthy way both physically and mentally. He doesn’t need a label, he needs understanding and by hell we’ll make sure he has that his entire life. She agreed with our approach completely, and this morning I deeply reflected on how BLESSED we are to be in a place and that there are people who can and will help us help him!
So, today I could have listed all the things I’m grateful for, like a roof over my head, a dependable car, and my favorite books and TV shows… BUT I didn’t. Instead I wanted to talk about the things that really matter to my heart. The things the really truly make me feel BLESSED!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!
Don’t forget to check out this months Writing challenge, there is still a week to jump in if you’d like! “An AwhHaw Moment Amongst Chaos” WIP Writing Scene Challenge, Nov!