That "path to diagnosis" post really wasn't sitting well with me. I think my subjective opinion shown through WAY too much. I've redone, and you can view it here.
I'm on a little hiatus from Facebook, trying to dig my family and myself out of months of neglect. Between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, we had, as a collective group, 4 bouts of strep, 2 rounds of the stomach bug, 3 sets of swollen tonsils with fever that never amounted to anything, 2 ear infections, 3 sinus infections, a bladder infection, a renal ultrasound, a bowel Xray, a horrific drug interaction experience, and a general "living under a black cloud" feeling. The shit started to pileup around here in more ways than one: literal, emotional, temporal, and nutritional.
Add into that whole mess (and there really is no other way to describe it, I think), a HUGE Girl Scout project that I elected to do for my daughter and her cluster, room parent responsibilities for two kids, shuttling 4C all over hither and yon, academic hiccups with 4A, emotional hiccups with 4A, 4Daddy's work travel obligations, a wonderful friend battling her way back from pancreatic cancer with a host of scary setbacks, PTA obligations, and some gentle nudges toward a job for me, and I was stretched WAY too thin.
This is despite my promise to myself (again) not to overdo. To do less better and happier. I am a terribly old dog in this department. Apparently unable to learn new tricks.
All that's behind us now, and we're moving on. To be brutally honest, it sucked. REALLY sucked. We survived it, literally but not gracefully.
What does matter is that we're all still breathing. We all still love each other. We're all still mostly happy. We're digging ourselves out of the clutter and mess and dirt and grime (which never matter in this house, truly, until our feet stick to the floor and we can't walk three feet without stepping on a Lego, shoe, or book and we have fur growing in our toilets--how the kids LOVE to point that one out). I'm moving forward in the job department (but I can't share yet...stay tuned, I promise!).
We've made progress educationally with 4A. We've crossed one big hurdle for her emotional progress, and we're about to add a new component to her treatment and and a new doc to her team. We made HUGE progress on a physical milestone with her (posts on all of these to come, I promise). We're getting there.
I think this horrible winter has reminded me of a couple of things.
Life can be super hard, but that hardness is mitigated (for us) by love and faith and support and kindness. For those reasons, we are immeasurably blessed and thankful.
Autism is tricky. Just when we feel on solid ground, making steady progress, shit hits the fan from left field, rendering us shaky and confused and feeling behind. There really are no answers, in the right and wrong sense, and there are often times no resources (for us, at least, because of our Aspie's gender). What makes that all survivable is our wonderful team of super amazing and supportive docs and teachers and friends and therapists and family. Collectively, we are bigger and stronger than autism.
Stupid shit really doesn't matter. Really. It doesn't matter. I find every single day that the list of "stupid shit" is infinitely longer than the list of stuff that does actually matter.
Typical kids need stuff, too. It's often not as much or not as difficult to obtain or figure out, but they need it nonetheless. Everyone has needs, and everyone is entitled to have those needs met by the people responsible for them. Just because it's super easy for someone to stay on green all day without a single ounce of work on our parts, doesn't mean that he's not entitled to hearing how great of a job he's doing. Just because someone can get dressed all by herself without being told or asked or helped doesn't mean she doesn't need to hear how much we appreciate her. Just because someone doesn't have all of her words yet doesn't mean that she shouldn't get the things she's asking for when she asks nicely. Everybody needs. The needs are different, but that doesn't make them less worthy or valuable or important.
We were here first, 4Daddy and I. We started this whole thing because we loved each other, liked each other, and had fun together. Some days, I wonder where that fun has gone. It's our job to make that fun daily present in our lives and our children's live. We owe it to ourselves, and it's actually super important for them to see it.
This family really is the most important measure of our success. No matter how mean people are or hard life is, no matter how shitty or expensive our insurance, no matter how hard our choice to be a one-working-parent family, no matter how much we eat drive-thru in a week, no matter how high our pile of laundry, no matter how dirty our floor, no matter how behind we are on decluttering or paperwork or yard work, we are a family. A complicated, thoughtful, respectful, smart, uneducated, rude, kind, helpful, obstinate, amazing family. At our very worst, we always have that.