Thursday, December 18, 2014

Remembering, Regretting, Learning, and Hoping.

  I spent a lovely morning with my Brady angel, going from store to store, explaining prices and nutritional facts and why the aisles are numbered...every time he would look up at me and try to make conversation about things that I like - I felt uncontrollably happy. I couldn't help but to hug him several times in the middle of a store, couldn't keep my hands off of his long thick hair...couldn't get enough of those freckles and blue eyes. My heart. 

I found a post this morning from almost three years ago and it pretty much sums up the way I have been feeling this last week. Brady hasn't been doing super well in the health department...he is very washed out with dark purple under his eyes. He is congested, then his nose runs...then he is congested. He has a little...errrr...itching problem. He seems very distracted... I have to ask him a question about three times before I get a response. I guess because of all of this I've started searching for answers again for our boys...searching what could be out there to help them with some of the "side effects" of having autism. My search brought me to the book Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. I expected to be be reading a bunch of medical jargon that is totally NOT understandable for a creative brain like mine - but it hasn't been that way at all. It's been mind blowing, eye opening, heart's been a lot for me to take in. This week has been pretty emotional for me. I've struggled a lot internally with a super strong love and hope for my boys, but also just a sadness that you would only understand if you have a special needs child. I have three...this is overwhelming to me sometimes. When I read a book that has ideas that I can try and that tells me that their issues come from their gut, their brains, and their nervous systems and that each child with autism is affected in all three areas, I just feel like there are NINE puzzles to solve. I essentially have to work on all three areas for all three boys. 

 Brady will be nine tomorrow. My baby boy will be nine tomorrow. I think I have a hard time when he has a birthday. Okay, I KNOW I have a hard time when he has a birthday.  My husband has held me several times in the last two days and just let me cry. I love my little boy so much and am so proud of him and his strength. Reading the book about how kids with autism PRIMARY emotion is fear and anxiety is hard to read.  It makes me sad that most of the time that's the FIRST thing that my boys feel, and it's true. I've seen it. 

I'm so happy that my boys also experience a lot of joy. I'm so happy that they seem pretty comfortable in their little worlds and in our home. BUT...after Christmas we are going to pretty much go hardcore with a whole new diet ... first starting with gluten free and then moving on to yeast....again (insert a big sigh.) We will be supplementing them and also detoxing them for heavy metals - I'm a little scared of the changes. For any of you that think your kids might have any of the four A's...autism, adhd, asthma, and food allergies I really recommend this book. In fact, for anyone that has a child and would like to prevent the four A's...I challenge you to read this book. I had a very alert little baby, a very comical little baby...and then I didn't. I wish I would have known some things then that I know now. 

 The most precious little lips, big blue eyes...

 ... engaging, soft chubby little arms, loved to play peek a boo...

... and then one day he just became serious, stopped looking at the camera in photos, had fevers often, a messed up tummy but doctors couldn't figure out what the issues were. I know now what the issue was. People like to encourage and say things like "God made him perfectly." God made my boy perfectly...God didn't make autism. 
I will share my past post at the end here, it's relevant to me today. The love that I have for this little guy is stronger then ever. As he and I were driving home this afternoon and I was watching him look out his car window I wondered what he was thinking about. He see things differently than I do...his world is pretty amazing yet pretty confining. I thought about how much I've changed over the past nine years, my ideas of parenting have changed. I thought when I had a baby that kids were basically good for making you laugh, making you feel loved, and to basically just do whatever you tell them to do. I learned fast that this is completely wrong. Kids are made so that you can love them, so that you can grow, so that you can change things about YOU in order to help them lead fulfilling lives. I have changed...I'm better because of Brady. I love more fuller and more deeply because of Brady. I'm more thoughtful, more sensitive, more sacrificial because of Brady. I nicknamed him "Little Love" when he was a teeny tiny guy and I think that even when he is 180 lbs he will still be my Little Love even though my heart has never loved any other person more fully and more deeply. Thanks for listening....



He sits, perched on one of his favorite spaces - Papa John's old truck, daddy's new one. His eyes are blank and staring into space and I can't help but wonder what he's dreaming of. Is he walking on the moon today, surrounded by all of his planets (he knows all of their names and colors) or is he a samurai....imagining himself karate chopping and taking out the enemy? Is he in school....having a conversation with a friend that he can't have in real life? Is he eating something delicious......or maybe worried that we'll be late to the party on Saturday? I wish he could tell me.
Somedays there are glimpses of hope....he hugs me, awkwardly but sweetly. Somedays he comes up to me, his finger pointed and his face a little nervous and says "I love you Mommy" and then he looks around quickly - I can tell it was hard for him to say those words and he was unsure of what my reaction would be. I hug him and tell him he is the sweetest boy in the world, and that he will always be my very favorite first born. :)
Other days are hard, and I don't know how we are going to get through this...this childhood and this a complete family. I wonder how we are going to meet his special needs, how we will ever learn to communicate with him the RIGHT we will prepare him for his future. I wonder how Zac and I will stay together in spirit and in harmony, stressed beyond our limits on a daily basis?
Someday he will be a man...a strong man with a lot of expectations of his world...some expectations that can't always be met. I worry.

In the end, I know that Brady is perfect. He was made this way for a reason and I don't understand it...but it's real and it's my life and it's not ever going away. He will always need me, and I guess that feels good. It's comforting that my six year old still needs to hold my hand in a store, he needs the security that only I can provide him with in a public space. There are times during my day that I see that as a hassle, and I'm slow to recognize it as a JOY that he's so bonded to me...that he wants me and that he feels safe in my arms and in my sight. He is teaching me things about myself I would never have learned....everyday I have to grow more, I have to get to the next level of understanding....I'm stretched and made stronger...because of him. Thank You My Brayden Allen.
April is autism awareness month. I challenge you to google autism, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger's Syndrome and become *learned.* There are so many children effected by autism today, I know that it is a relief to me when someone can say "oh yah, I know what that is...I read something about it" or "I watched a show about that." Even though they aren't living with it daily, it's nice to know that they know. I don't feel as alone in this journey...and I know that people will be more understanding of my little love and the challenges that he faces ....and they will be SHOCKED at the things that he can do!!!!! He is the smartest little kid that I have ever known and he has a sense about him that is different than other kids....he is COMPLETELY honest.


  1. Happiest of days to Brady tomorrow, and happy birthing day to you.

    This is a beautiful post. Your boys (and Trinity) are so very lucky to have you. You are their foundation, solid and strong, and from it they will thrive.

    Good luck on your journey in the New Year, I hope it brings some positive results for you.

    Enjoy celebrating tomorrow. xo

  2. thanks for this wonderful post. My 7 year old has sensory issues and anxiety (but is not on the autism spectrum, although several doctors have said that he is borderline asperger's). Anyways, I can't imagine having to stress about 3 special needs children instead of just 1! And yes-- knowing that my son is experiencing anxiety a LOT of the time just breaks my heart.
    I have also changed so much since having Finn and he has made me such a better person, but it is also a struggle and not always easy.
    Hoping your are having a lovely birthing day and hope your holidays go smoothly!