Sunday, March 27, 2011
Attitude is Everything.
We have some pretty big events coming up in our house this week!
The first is a very special birthday celebration. Five years ago today I was preparing for the biggest day of my life so far....Avery's birthday. Tomorrow, on March 28th, Avery will turn FIVE years old! When I think back on that day, it amazes me how the dreams I had for her and the way I "thought" our lives would change are all so different now. Don't get me wrong, I still have dreams, and I still maintain that the change that has transformed within us as a result of having our sweet Avery in our hearts is all good. But the dreams are different nonetheless, once again proving that trying to project future events is usually a waste of time! But now, five years after our sweet girl arrived, it blows me away how she is able to bring out the rawest form of love in people. Love that expects very little in return, and love that isn't earned or conditional. She has plenty of things she "can't" do yet, such as talk and run, but she inspires me and those around her every day to work hard, to love better, and to adopt a positive, go with the flow attitude. Her short five years have been a roller coaster of miraculous and marvelous highs and lows, and all in all, we are exceptionally blessed to have her as our sweet daughter. And we will hope, dream, and be here for her in every way that we can for the rest of our lives.
Also coming up this week is "moving day" for us! We are busy packing up our house and slowly schlepping our enormous amount of "stuff" to our new house. We leave with lots of precious memories, but are excited to create many more in our new home. I can tell you that trying to pack and move with three little girls all (developmentally) under the age of 3 is VERY challenging. Thankfully, we have lots of awesome helpers, and we are extraordinarily grateful for their time and effort!
Finally, on April 2nd we will once again acknowledge the National Autism Awareness day, "Light it up Blue." Hundreds of buildings around the nation will change their "lights" to blue in honor of autism awareness, and thousands of people will wear their blue in support of those with Autism and the challenges they face. We will wear our blue with pride, as we are all to aware of how Autism can change the course of a life, and how challenging everyday activities and interactions can become. I wish that even an hour of one day could go by that the word "Autism" didn't cross my mind. When it is as severe as what we have here, it can really become all consuming. Autism may have taken my daughter's voice, and her ability to understand human interactions, but it hasn't taken away her soul, her smile, her laughter, or her brilliant presence. The absolute greatest lesson I have learned from having a daughter with severe Autism is that Attitude is Everything. How I decide to see or perceive something is really up to me. I can choose to be grateful, and see the good in a situation, or I could choose to be angry and sad, and play the victim. Choosing to be grateful doesn't mean I'm not sad from time to time, and by no means have I mastered a positive attitude. But I will keep trying. Happiness shouldn't be so hard, and it really isn't if you simply choose it.
I'll end with a quote from Denis Waitley:
"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
Happy Birthday tomorrow to my sweet Avery Grace. You light up my world and bring so much love, happiness, and hope in every step you take. I love you to the moon and back again. Forever.
Please remember to wear your blue on April 2nd. Do it for Autism Awareness. Do it for Avery and the thousands of kids like her who deserve to be heard, even when they haven't found their voices yet.