Monday, March 5, 2012

A quick look

Every now and then I get down. It happens to all of us. This weekends happened at a hockey game. I'm willing to bet you are all shocked by that! Friday night the announcer names the person singing the national anthem. I don't remember his name, but what I do remember is that he was a 4 year old boy. He walked out in to the arena and sang the anthem. Well, as much as a 4 year old can sing that song! He knew the words, he wasn't phased by the feedback from the sound system in the first few lines. It was no problem to hear him, he didn't miss a beat. There were a lot of notes he missed, but nobody cared. He was given a resounding round of applause when he finished. People were smiling and laughing, agreeing that the team didn't dare lose with that kind of an anthem!

I confess, I had tears in my eyes. But they weren't from pride in that little boy's performance. All I could think of, as I watched in stunned amazement was what a difference our life was. Our 4 year old was at home, happily playing with his sitter. Not because Mom and Dad needed a break, we had looked forward to sharing our love of hockey with our little man. But he can't handle it. There are too many people, too much going on, the crowd is too loud for most of the game, and the horn sends him in to panic attacks. Despite a full year of speech therapy and impressive progress, he's still at least 20 months behind his age for speech. Sure, I can understand 90% of what he says, but not everyone spends the amount of time talking with him that I do. We wouldn't have been able to get him out on the ice. We don't go on the ice the times we've been there, and that kind of change takes time for him. Twenty to thirty minutes of time on a good day. He wouldn't have understood the concept of what was going on, and why he was supposed to sing. Had we gotten him on the ice, he most likely would have taken off, giggling and laughing, and shouting, "slippery Momma, slippery!" as he ran and slid across the ice. The crowd cheering and applauding would have driven him back in to our arms.

Saturday was Senior Night. Now, for years I've avoided that night. To stand there and watch moms and dads walk out and be honored for their contribution on this night was too much. Knowing we would never be there. We would never have a child to take pride in his accomplishments, to see them take the floor for the last time. We wouldn't have the first time, how could we have a last time. So I stayed home Senior Night. Then we got our miracle. I haven't made many Senior nights still, but now it's because I'm busy raising our own son. This was only the second one I've made since Finn was born. But we were talking about it on the way to the arena. In all likelihood, we still won't be attending Senior Night. Not just because hockey is unlikely to be on our list of sports because of cost and time commitments. Any team sport is unlikely to be in our future. But optimism was already raising it's head. It might not be hockey, but it will be something. Despite everything, at some point we will be able to stand there and nod at each other and smile, because "that's our son!" It might be Cross Country, it might be Eagle Scout, it may be the winter concert, or even graduation. There are a lot more parents that don't walk out on the ice for Senior Night than there are those that do.

The final weekend of the hockey season seemed to be nothing but a bunch of reminders of what we don't have. When I think about how many years I thought we'd have nothing, it seems churlish to be disappointed about the things we won't have. There are so many things we do have.

We have Finn. This wonderful, energetic, funny, frustrating, beautiful, mischievous, helpful, destructive, loving boy. Over five years since we learned that I was pregnant. That was a Christmas to remember. Seventeen years of infertility, three separate doctors and differing attempts to have a child, leading to acceptance that it wasn't going to happen, and then that amazing day. Not surprisingly, 5 years later, thinking about those first days too much can make me cry. All through that pregnancy I asked over and over, let him be healthy, let him be healthy (despite everyone that "knew" he was going to be a girl, I was positive it was a boy) let him be healthy. And he is. We have the occasional cold, one nasty bout of stomach flu, and seasonal allergies. But he's healthy and growing. Sometimes I wonder if I should have been more specific. Because autism isn't really a health issue. It can create some, but we seem to not have those issues. Finn was recently given an educational diagnosis of mild to moderate autism. It affects our lives in a lot of ways. But, when I really think about it, when I really look at what parts of life are important, I know that it doesn't matter in the least.

What matters is that right now, right this minute, there is a small boy cuddled up against me. He's watching Oomi Zoomi, and cuddling with his favorite blankets, his brand new,(chosen by him) racing flag pillow, and momma. What could Senior Night have that compares to being ranked amongst your child's things that make him feel safe?

February - a bit late

Well I didn't finish all of January's goals. Most notably I'm missing a couple of blog posts! But I did finish the vests, and the tupperware cupboard is still looking good. You might also notice that February is half over already, darn that short month! So here we go:
1. Blogging. since we're already halfway through, I'm going for 4, including this one.
2. Sewing - I didn't finish the tablecloth, or get the sewing room straightened out. To be honest, that's on the list for today! At least the straightening/organizing. Once that's done, I won't be surprised if I'm feeling a bit inspired to do some sewing.
3. Purging - and not food. Part of my plan for the sewing room is to bring up some storage stuff. I need to accept that I'm never going to finish all those half done projects and get rid of them. They are cluttering up my house, and my mind.
4. I ordered Chewies for Finn last night, so this one is done. To be honest, I kind of lost it when he chewed up another shirt so badly that I can't let him wear it any longer. To make it worse, it was a baseball shirt. When given a choice, he wants Thomas, CARS or a baseball shirt. Baseball shirts are not easy to find this time of year. So to the I went last night.
5. Give up Soda - ok, we know this is a process, but I'm down to less than 1/day. I think that's pretty good. Today I've had about 1/4 c of my diet Coke. (Yes, Ronda, I'm giving up the nectar of the Gods)
6. One "fix up the house project." I'm not sure exactly which one I want to do. I think it's too cold for the staining of the door frames. I know I'm not prepared financially or emotionally for redoing the floors in the living room/dining room or the wallpaper. But maybe, the stain on the trim of the countertops, or repairing the hole in the stairwell would be doable.

I've also been talking about Blogging about Finn, but I'm not sure where to start. The 17 years of struggling to accept not having a child. The shock/joy/terror of finding myself pregnant at 39, or the diagnosis of autism. It can't all go in to one post, and I think people would get sick of it if I talked about him all the time! I will say, he's adorable. He was worth every minute of my pg, and I wouldn't change a thing about him, even though I might say I wish some things weren't such a struggle, to change something would be to change him and I'm not willing to do that!