To my…

husband, best friend, soul mate, partner in crime and drinking pal, chef, lover, father to J. It’s been 10 years since we said our ‘I do’s’ or for me to remember to pay attention to the pastor and repeat after him. I have loved you all this time, more some days than others when we just weren’t on the same wave length but in all finality I will never stop falling in love with you.

We’ve had a different and more difficult marriage than most when autism entered J’s life, our lives, our family’s. What we have gained through this journey will always be more significant and out weigh the things we think we have lost and with how we thought our family would grow.

I am thankful for the new and different things you have got me to try; food (mushrooms), books (comics), movies and tv shows (Doctor Who), video games (Overwatch). In turn you have tried the hobbies I enjoy and together we have expanded our pallet in life. We are more rounded people today for sharing a life together and learning for one another.

You are beyond an excellent father and husband, who puts up with both mine and J’s craziness. We’ve had our ups and downs, fights and tears, sleepless nights, long debates with difficult decisions, sadness and sorrow, but most importantly we’ve had smiles, hugs, kisses, laughs and plenty of makeup… I’m so happy we have survived these times, I know there will probably be more but I am so lucky to have you by my side. I get to call him mine forever, whether he likes it or not.

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Personal Growth

A few weeks ago we were hanging out with good friends and their kiddos, enjoying pizza and a few drinks while J enjoyed a movie on his iPad and their two, 6 and 3, ran around the house playing. I think to times before when I have been in the same situation and instead of enjoying the moment I dwelled on J being different from the other children that were around. And for the first time, this evening, I wasn’t worried or concerned about it at all. I was enjoying life, our family and friends for what is rather than what isn’t. Oh, how I’ve grown.

Right now as I sit with J in our very quite home there’s no yelling, no noises, no echos off the walls or throughout the rooms. It is J’s play time, self directed. His newest thing is to sit on the living room couch by himself either to decompress or be a kid hanging off it outside down because that’s fun too. He’ll also sometimes bounce or lay their and flap as he plays movies in his mind. I’ll say an occasional ‘no bite’ as J still likes sensory input by mouth contact and maybe a ‘help-a’ will come from J when he gets struck from hanging off the couch and can’t get righted. Then off to the stairs he’ll go, his other new enjoyment, though not mine, as he likes to lean over the top stair. No wonder I have anxiety issues.

This is our normal.

Being around our friends’ kiddos was so fun. I appreciated their noises, words, and their play and interaction not only between each other but also with us adults. I loved figuring out what they were saying or trying to tell me. I enjoyed them interacting with me, being crazy kids and running amok.

It was a revelation when I realized I wasn’t thinking about or getting sad about not having a this in our home or J not playing with them. I’ve (hopefully) come to the understanding consciously to appreciate what I do have with J instead of contemplating what I don’t. I appreciate what I have, not the lack thereof. Though it is different, it is not less.

Luckily for me, my husband is a big kid so I do get periodically loud noises when J and him are rough housing and playing, as boys tend to do. The noises mostly come Lance though.