The strength of your character is truly measured when you face your darkest, weakest moments. Our darkest moments have certainly been seen in the past twelve months, and I really feel like we are coming through it in a blaze of glory. This week we have endured Kaylee's first ear infection, a kidney infection for me that landed me in the ER for several hours, and a croup so bad with Avery that her lips were turning blue and she is now on steroids for a few days.... all this and we are about to host Thanksgiving for a large group in less than 48 hours. But you know what... none of that even begins to compare to the utter JOY we are experiencing as we watch Avery consistently wave bye bye, start to imitate some words, grab our hands over and over again to play ring around the rosy, and finally look.... really LOOK at us and smile from time to time. Who cares that I have to follow her around with a can of Lysol and put a health hazard sign on the door. My little girl is, dare I say, coming back a little bit. Over a year of regressing backwards.... and finally, a nugget of hope to hold on to.
This Thanksgiving I am more grateful than ever before in my life. Grateful for my dedicated, loyal, loving husband, for my unique, special, sweet girls, for my generous, and all involved parents and for extended family, for friends that would move mountains for me, and even for Autism. Autism has shown me a way to see beauty in the smallest ways. To really "get it" I think. I am humbled and thankful for all the experiences that have brought me to the point of evolving into a better mom, and therapist. So this Thanksgiving... remember that it isn't "things" that we should be so grateful for, and it isn't even just "good luck" that we should be thankful about. It's the crap in our lives that makes us stronger... that's what is truly magic. It is what REALLY teaches us how to live.
On a side note...
I spent 8 years of my life "training" to help kids and families with Autism. Now I get to use that "training" in my real life. After 3 years of work, I am FINALLY, and officially a certified RDI consultant. Check out my name on their website! There are only eight consultants with this speciality in the state of Texas. I am not sure I am ready to dive fully into it and take on a full load with my current priorities, but I am a bit proud nonetheless.