E is 16. She is in year 10 this year. She is creative, sensitive, a natural mother type.
L is 12. He is in year 7 this year. He is funny, persistent, hardworking. He has Apsergers Syndrome.
I is 11. He is in year 6 this year. He is confident, resourceful, imaginative.
K is 6. She is in year 1 this year. She is enthusiastic, cheerful, compassionate.
G is 4. She attends preschool 3 days a week. She is tenacious, determined, unique. She has Autistic Disorder.
All my kids are smart. And by smart I mean intelligent. Brainy. Academic achievers. I didn't expect that. Not that I expected any of my children to be unintelligent. It just wasn't something I was expecting! I love it. I love that my kids seek knowledge, that they try hard to do well at school and achieve their goals. And I love that as they grow up they all seem to be developing wisdom as well!! This is most telling in E right now as she starts to look forward and have ideas about what her life will look like. She is starting to want to plan and prepare (something I didn't think of doing at 16!).
I also love that my kids are happy. Well, mostly. We all have our moments. But by and large my kids are content. (Sometimes I might need you who read this to remind me I said that at the end of a tricky day, OK?) I am also proud of the fact that my kids are mostly happy. Because it takes a lot of work to make that happen. As I write more posts and tell you more about what it means to have Aspergers Syndrome or Autistic Disorder (both Autistic Spectrum Disorders, or ASD's), and what it is like to live with someone who has an ASD, you will start to understand how much work goes into parenting in my household and why I am proud that my kids are mostly happy.
All that said, I maintain that my kids are awesome. And I maintain that I am a lucky mother (or blessed or fortunate or charmed or whatever you relate to). Every day there is something to be thankful for. Some days I am thankful that my kids are *only* autistic and not severely physically handicapped. Some days I am thankful that my "normal" kids are given such an opportunity as to learn to live well with differences. Some days I am exceedingly grateful that we live where we do with all the services we have access to. Some days I am thankful for emotional support from friends. Every day I am thankful for my amazing husband. Occasionally I get to the end of a day thankful that I didn't harm someone!! Some days I am unthankful about everything. And today I am thankful that those days do not come around very often anymore.
7 January 2012
|my A.W.E.S.O.M.E. kids|
photograph by Mell Mallin