Yes, today is my birthday. I am now 31 & I think I am Ok with that. I am not just sure how I suddenly got this old, but I look at my 6 year old and realize I can’t deny it either.
(How in the heck did he get to be 6 anyhow?)
Neil surprised me with a bunch of people at the house on Saturday night. We went out for supper with another couple & when we got back, there was the group. Nice. I am sooooo glad I scrubbed the house down!
I like to look at birthdays as a chance to see where I’ve been and where I think I might be going. I can’t say I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to, but I’ve sure done a lot more than I thought I could have.
For instance, I figured I’d be making a lot (A LOT) more money than I do. But you know what? I don’t actually care. We live really comfortably & more money would likely just complicate things. Better to focus on people than things. So, there’s one major thing I learned. It definitely isn’t about the money in your bank account but the joy in your heart.
And, I thought we would have done more travelling and seen more of the world by now. The farthest south I’ve ever been is Keystone, South Dakota. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a beautiful, wonderful place. I just figured I might have seen Paris by now.
I never, ever thought I’d have a child with special needs, let alone autism. I never thought I’d spend hours in front of a computer until my eyes nearly bled looking for help, resources and answers for him. I never thought I’d spend thousands of dollars on books, supplements, travelling to doctors, hotel stays and therapists. I never thought I’d become an expert gluten & casein free cook or that I’d panic about whether or not “cocoa butter” is dairy. (it isn’t.)
I never thought I’d be on a first-name basis with a dozen therapists, agonize over goal-setting or cry over a therapy report that says my child is still 18 months behind his peers. I never thought I’d lose touch with my closest friends, not because I couldn’t face them, but because I was so caught up in my own life I couldn’t deal with one more joy or tragedy.
You know what else? I never thought I would cry at hearing “I love you Mommy” from my four year old, for the first time. I also never thought I’d tell my six year old to be quiet! I never imagined that I would be so excited about his first invitation to a birthday party. Or the terror and then joy at seeing him ride a two-wheel bike for the first time.
I always knew I was going to be a mother and that I was going to make a difference in the world. I thought that meant helping the less fortunate, the sick or the elderly. What I learned was that as Nathan’s mother, I would be called to advocate, not only for him, but for other children with special needs. I thought making a difference meant that others would be able to see the world changing.
Instead, I feel much more like the little boy rescuing star fish. I can’t save every child. But, I sincerely hope through this blog & through my other blog at www.gfcfcanadianstyle.wordpress.com that I am making a difference to at least one.