Wednesday, August 6, 2014


The kids spent last week with Marty's parents (aka Nana and Papaw). I had three days of professional development for work, followed by a full workday this past Monday, and Marty couldn't take off four days in a row. Since we have no local family, this was the best option--especially since the kids absolutely LOVE going to stay with them. I missed them terribly, but was so busy with work that I didn't have time to focus on them being gone. 

They came home Monday afternoon. I don't think I've ever been happier to see anyone in my life. They were happy, full of stories and excitement over both their trip and the fact that they were home to their toys, their dog, and most exciting of all--their new bunk beds. After hugs and kisses all around, we jumped right back into our routine, spending time playing outside together before getting ready for bed. After showers and pajamas, I asked Anderson if we were going to "snuggle", which is code for getting into my bed and watching his favorite elevator videos. I was shocked to realize that I couldn't WAIT to "snuggle". In the hectic whirlwind that is our everyday lives, "snuggling" is just another thing to check off the list before I can finally drag myself to bed, and I admit it; sometimes, I wish I could just skip it. Sometimes, I wish he was just one of those kids who says goodnight and crawls into bed, kind of like his sister. And most of the time, I would rather watch anything than elevator videos (linked in case you want to check out Anderson's current favorite). Watching grown men, albeit also on the ASD spectrum, ride and talk about elevators is not the most...entertaining thing to watch. It is admittedly oftentimes like listening to fingernails down a chalkboard.

On this day, though, I swear it was as if I had taken off the blinders of our regular busy routine. I was seeing our routine through new eyes. As we crawled into my bed and he pulled the comforter up to his chin, I watched him. I looked at his little profile in the light of the phone; his slightly pudgy cheeks and nose that are still holding onto toddlerhood.  His long blonde eyelashes and perfect pouty lips. His slightly out-turned ears and fuzzy hair. His eyes, intent on the videos. His genuine smile as he looked at me and said, "see those indicators?" I watched it all and soaked it in, stored it in a locked treasure box in my heart that I can unlock on those days when I literally would rather do anything than the bedtime routine. In those moments, I was purely and completely grateful. Thankful for all of it--for the gorgeous blonde boy that I created and love so fiercely. For the fact that he is on the spectrum, because he has taught me so damn much about acceptance and quirkiness, that different and unique aren't qualities to be embarrassed of but real actual gifts. Gifts that are so rare in this conformist world! In that moment, I was overwhelmed with gratitude, gratitude that I was chosen to be his mother.

Life isn't always so sugar-sweet and perfect. I know that there will be days, probably sooner rather than later, where I will once again dread the bedtime routine. I'll be so tired and stressed that I just want to get into bed without having to hear Dieselducy talk about original, glass-back cabbed elevators. But I'll remember that particular night and know in the back of my mind that it's all a gift I was lucky enough to receive.

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