Sometimes, this life I live feels very lonely.
As a matter of fact, a lot of times, throughout my life, I have felt very alone.
Some of my feelings are (were) justified but
probably a lot of them have just been the result of my own insecurities/emotional baggage and I was not seeing the love that was right in front of my eyes and had been there all along.
Since having Jay, and especially since getting his autism diagnosis, I have definitely felt closer to some unexpected people and been disappointed by others.
It’s taken me some time to come to terms with the disappointment. I’m making progress.
Weekends like the one we just had help A LOT!
We drove to CT and spent 3 nights with friends of ours. S Bird and Sun Man. They have 2 little boys who are the same age as our 2 but both are NT (neuro-typical). We have spent a good amount of time with this family over the past year and they have gotten to know us very well and they know who my sons really are and what they are REALLY like.
There’s little room for pretenses at all with us (I’m guessing all autism families) but there’s definitely no keeping up pretenses when you spend 72 straight hours with my wacky little family. Yet, these friends keep inviting us back. When I try to apologize for anything my kids do they brush it off. When I told them on Monday afternoon that we’d give them a break before coming again they told me to stop being ridiculous. In fact, they will be short on space soon as extended family members will be moving in with them and still they made me promise to come visit during the summer and are already planning on how we can build a big “fort” in the living room and all the kids can sleep there on the floor.
I don’t think they understand how much it means to me. I don’t think they realize how extraordinary they are. All 4 of them. From the littlest “ninja warrior” one to the biggest “bum knee” one.
This morning, I found out that my friend Juddles is driving up from MD and my cousin K is flying up from the Caribbean this coming weekend with her 3 year old daughter just to join us for the NY Autism Speaks walk.
I am blown away and overwhelmed by that.
Who does that?
Amazing people, that’s who.
Sure, we’ll spend a fun day in New York City on Saturday and again after the walk on Sunday but they are making the trip for no other reason than to support us – because they love us.
I don’t have the words to express how much this means to me. I don’t know how to make them feel my appreciation. I can only hope they are doing this because I have spent my life letting them know how important they are to me and being a good friend/cousin to them.
Across oceans and south on the NJ turnpike or north on the NY State thruway …. we are not alone.
Not when Jay struggles, not when he flourishes, not when he cries or laughs. Not when we hike or kayak or when we have to back out of things at the last minute. Not when Jay tosses kittens into the air or when he pulls on dogs tails or stomps on newly planted flowers. Not when Jay refuses to play with other kids or wont share his toys. Not when he gets mad that we won’t stop playing basket ball and just give the ball to him. Not when he wont eat what’s cooked or when he leaves cheese doodle crumbs EVERYWHERE. Not even when specific activities are planned that are intended for his enjoyment but Jay would rather watch animal videos on his i-pad.
We won’t walk alone this weekend.
I have written before about lessons that Jay has unknowingly taught me that I am so grateful for. This one’s a doozy … Through him, I can see the many ways that I truly am loved.
I have never actually been alone.