Thursday, November 24, 2011
I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to anyone reading this, and an extra-extreme Happy Thanksgiving to the other autism/special needs parents out there. My brothers and sisters in lifestyle---you probably understand how bittersweet holidays can be, even one like Thanksgiving, where it is not all about kids being expected to act in certain ways. I am so thankful for Janey, for having her, for her beauty and grace and how unique she is. I am not thankful for how hard her life is now, and how hard it will be in the future. I am not thankful she is going to have to struggle her whole life to be understood, to do things that the rest of us take for granted. I am VERY thankful for the people out there who love her---the family and friends and teachers and staff who care for her. And the students---the amazing students in her room at school who accept her. I am not thankful for how hard life with Janey can be sometimes. It doesn't take a holiday---we had many meltdowns today, diaper incidents, just as many tough times as any day. I am not thankful for the ways autism (not Janey, but Janey's autism) makes life so difficult so much of the time. So bittersweet. I should be more just plain sweet today, but more and more, I am striving to be just plain honest, not just plain sweet. I can say, though, I am thankful for Janey. Not for all her diagnoses, not for all her behaviors, not for the diaper incidents or the crying, but for Janey herself. For the wonderful little girl she is, despite all she has to deal with internally and externally. And I am thankful for you all, my fellow travelers on the slow boat to Holland, to quote another parent. Despite the differences we might have in views and opinions and approaches, we are all in this together. Thank you.