Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Hurt and My Joy



 It's a peaceful morning. Finn climbed into bed with me, snuggled up under the covers and told me the same thing he tells me every morning ... that he's hungry and ready to watch "cow" (his favorite little video about farms.) I get up, searching in the dark for my slippers ...it's cold now in the mornings. I get him settled on the couch, a warm quilt wrapped around his little diaper clad body... pour myself a cup of coffee, read some Scriptures to start my day. I light a candle and put on some soft music and begin cleaning the kitchen, hoping to accomplish a couple of things before my other three littles get up.
 I check my e mail  and see a message a friend has sent me ...wondering if I would be interested in this "new" study they are doing on autism...I read about this astounding "link" they are finding between mutated genes from some couple and if they have children with high functioning autism. This is nothing new, nothing I haven't read before ... but it makes me feel sad. Instant tears run down my face ... my peaceful morning colliding with my not so peaceful reality.


We have three sons. All of our boys are beautiful inside and out. All of our boys are bright and growing and blooming into wonderful people. All of our sons have high functioning autism.


 I'm not sad that they are mine. I do not feel that they "lack" in any way. I love all of my boys more then words or songs or poems or anything could ever say. 
 But...when I read studies that want to "link" their condition to one cause, or I talk to doctors who callously tell me that environmental issues aren't to blame for this neurological condition, or that they are this way because of "genes" I feel guarded, I feel sad, I feel defensive...sometimes I feel angry....sometimes I feel smart and proud that I have more information than some "professionals." I guess, what it comes down to is that I see the heart of my children, I see the beauty and the creativity and the specialness that is them - I see more than mutated genes and I'm willing to go further then to just say "me and my  husband obviously have genes that aren't compatible and we make babies with issues." 
 I love the quirkiness of my little guys, I love their individuality - but sometimes I grieve. Sometimes it is is early in the morning, in the quiet that I thank God for my blessings, but I also tell Him of my fears and my wants and my pain. Sometimes the hurt strikes unexpectedly when I look at other people's family photos, or when I sit in a restaurant and watch a child sitting at a nearby table, enjoying his meal, connecting with his parents in an obvious sort of way. Sometimes I hurt when I'm on a playdate and I see that my kids aren't like the other kids...sometimes it hurts when I'm in the middle of some long repetitive motion or communication that I have with one of my boys EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail. Sometimes it hurts unexpectedly...when I check an e mail, or watch a new documentary on our food, our air, the pharmaceutical industry. It hurts when I see two people walking, holding hands...and I wonder if my boys will be able to experience that kind of love and connection with another person.  Sometimes, it's early in the morning with my lit pine scented candle and soft piano music and I feel peaceful...and I hurt peacefully. I know that my hurt doesn't change my love... change the status of my joy...it's just a moment of hurt.  
 I am a mother to three sons with autism - I rejoice in their differences, I grieve their differences...this is what is real and what is OKAY. Above all, I love ... I celebrate...and I give thanks for three blessings who are more than mutated genes. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Four Costumed Munchkins and One Happy Seven Year Old


The last few days have brought us...
1. One little prairie girl
2. One energetic Link
3. One teeny yellow Minion
4. One very "serious about his business" Superman

( We celebrated an early Halloween with our kids and then promptly exchanged glow in the dark aliens for their candy stash - a win/win for all. )


My new peg doll obsession saved the day (errr....cake.) Trinity told me that she wanted a Princess cake for her birthday...so with a little thought I decided to give her a Frozen themed cake to go with her new movie we bought her. 


She was pretty much elated with her cream cheese "snow" frosting with glittery sprinkles and Ana and Elsa sitting on top. Trinity had a lovely seventh birthday, complete with a one on one date with mom and dad, a shopping spree with her birthday money, a friend coming over for a girly slumber party - and some beautiful dolls and thrifted doll clothes. I can't believe my baby girl is Lucky Seven and I'm so proud of her giving heart, her warm smile, and her strong desire to do good and to love others. I learn from Trinity everyday - she is a treasure. 
Happy Early Halloween and I will see you in November!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Oh For Joy... Second Version

Oh For Joy, 
Sunlit living room, little boy bouncing
Oh for Joy


Creativity, colors, marker stained hands
Oh For Joy


Glass, colors, butterflies forever flying ... always reminding me of God's love ... a precious gift from a friend forever, Oh For Joy. 


Pine scented candles way before Christmas...Why not? The freedom to be what I want to be, the freedom to taste what I want to taste, the freedom to smell what I want to smell ...
Joy Taken for Granted.  


Faces looking up at the sky, a simple nap in autumn time. Flower covered tummy's and bright pink capris, growing legs and deep rolling belly laughs - my heart could break from so much joy. 


Three little loves, all in a row - Joy. (I didn't put them in this position...promise.)


Bare feet, secrets, wild imaginations...


...accomplishments, something new out of something old, sweet smiles and handmade toys
I could sing from so much joy. 


Ring Around the Rosy goodness, jumping as high as little feet can jump, flying and hand holding and singing out loud as loud as you can...simple sweet childhood joy. 


Rough and tumbling, feet in the air, laughing together in the cool fall breeze,
Free, Loved, Admired ... true joy. 


Stepping stones...life's lessons, life's gifts, God's love...
I've found Joy. 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Home


We came back  from our 9 day trip to Texas ... it's nice to be able to call Colorado "home." Our trip was the first one we've taken out of state since moving here almost 2.5 years ago. Our trip was 14 hours one way, through flat New Mexico and Texas land ... as we returned and our scenery changed from desert and windmill upon and windmill, cows and corn, ghost towns and too many Dairy Queens to count - then finally a few rolling hills dotted with gold and red, then great big hills, then tall snow peaked mountains and then the "Welcome to Colorado" sign, for the first time in a long time I felt deep inside that I have a place I belong - I have a home. It was a good feeling to know that we belong here, that we like it here, that this is most likely where we will be and where our kids will be raised. 
So we are back at it. Our new school books got here, I have many fall craft ideas, we have glow spiders and erasers and lots of good things to hand out at Halloween. Fall is beautiful. 


The weather is crisp but still warm and sunny, the leaves in our yard beautiful and bright, the littles in our yard evidently bigger then last year. 


This morning as I type I have hot oats with pumpkin and cinnamon simmering, the littles are cozy on the couch awaiting our day to start ... state study, painting peg dolls, and hopefully a shopping trip if I can get to it - and lots of cleaning. It's going to be a good day. 


"For ’tis the rustic boy’s delight,
Now autumn’s sun so warmly gleams,
And these ripe berries tempt his sight,
To dabble in the shallow streams.

And oft his rambles we may trace,
Delv’d in the mud his printing feet,
And oft we meet a chubby face
All stained with the berries sweet."


"The summer-flower has run to seed,
And yellow is the woodland bough;
And every leaf of bush and weed
Is tipt with autumn’s pencil now.

And I do love the varied hue,
And I do love the browning plain;
And I do love each scene to view,
That’s mark’d with beauties of her reign.

The woodbine-trees red berries bear,
That clustering hang upon the bower;
While, fondly lingering here and there,
Peeps out a dwindling sickly flower.

The trees’ gay leaves are turned brown,
By every little wind undress’d;
And as they flap and whistle down,
We see the birds’ deserted nest."

~ John Clare (Autumn)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

We Meet Again


Seeing my little disney character nieces for the second time... priceless. 


Seeing my brother with his baby...beyond priceless. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

For the Love of Fall


pine needles...


... beautiful trees, whole and fallen...


... attempting a "together" photo...


... fresh air and clearing minds...


... gold aspens...


... love...


... laughs.

Friday, September 12, 2014

We've been...


We've been...


~ Practicing soccer daily
~ enjoying cooler weather
~ experimenting with headbands for the whole family (it's what happens when you have a bunch of kids with long hair and sticky foods...)


~ enjoying the outdoors
~ smiling at out kids expressing themselves


~ trying to take family pictures (pretty difficult feat when 3 out of your 4 children don't like to make eye contact...thus the reason we have never had a professional photo taken)
~ not caring if out kids take "good' pictures


~ enjoying a beloved brother and watching his fresh start in Colorado
~ eating peanut butter banana sandwiches
~ playing soccer in the backyard (oops, did I already say that?)
~ visiting thrift stores ( getting ready for winter!)


~ eating lots of apples
~ getting ready for fall


~ visiting the library


~ drawing 
~ coloring
~ writing
~ reading
~ watching "The Price is Right" for math class (haha)


~ surviving a three day cold (which is like an eight day cold after everyone in the family catching it a day apart )


~ enjoying fall colors and "get well" flowers from my sweetie (my BIGGEST sweetie)
~ googling pumpkin recipes and making plans


~ drinking pots and pots of echinecea tea and eating vitamin C powder by the spoonful
~ finishing up my Christmas shopping (yes, I am ALMOST done)