It’s a marvelous night for a moon dance

Clay and I have what I would consider a pretty strong marriage and helm what I consider a pretty amazing extended family.
It doesn’t happen effortlessly.
Things are planned.
Things are talked out.
We run like a well oiled machine– we HAVE to.
One of the things that special needs children/children with autism need–THRIVE ON– is consistency.

So we push our egos out the way, roll up our sleeves and do what needs to be done.

In that, though, comes the danger of burnout.  Of stress. Of losing touch with everything around you.

Clay and I are each others biggest cheerleaders.  I TOTALLY encourage his “club meetings” (he and two other teachers getting together and doing “guy” stuff) . In turn he totally supports my time in the sewing room and the pedicure chair.  Darrah too gets encouraged to get out and be with friends.

But what about Clay and I as a couple?  Yeah.  THAT can be rough too.
We receive 6 hours of respite a week in 2 three hour chunks.  One of those chunks is an afterschool time slot that allows me to either get some household chores done….or run errands unencumbered of children.  The other time slot is usually Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm.  This is known as DATE NIGHT.  It is untouchable time for ANYTHING else other than Clay and I leaving the home and getting out.  We hold it sacred.
It’s not all fancy dinners, either.  It’s just TOGETHER time.
Time to reconnect and remember WHY we got together in the first place.
To reconnect as adults
To BE us.

We may go out to eat (with coupons!) We may walk the piers at the waterfront. We may sit in a great spot and listen to podcasts.  But the point is WE DO IT.  And we don’t take it for granted.

But what about family time?
You know, when you have special needs in your life, spontaneity is usually NOT the name of the game.

But you now what?
Last night it was.
Furthermore, it was not OUR idea, but Jack’s.

It has been unseasonably warm here as of late, and the air quite still.
Clay and I were exhausted.  We had a long day.  We went through Jack’s nighttime ritual (meds,etc) and Darrah was in bed after goodnight hugs doing some reading.  We settled in for some DVR’d THE SOUP and some veg out time.  Mindless activity.
Because that is what we NEEDED, right?

Jack, from the other room, suddenly said:
“shoes on! Daddy! Shoes on!”

What the…..?
It was almost nine at night!
I sighed.  Then Clay said, “Jack has the right idea.”
So, crocs on and out we go.
The night was beautiful.
Jack ran to the center of the yard and danced.  A back and forth motion.  Chanting: I see it I see it I see it! I see the moon!

We sat there enjoying the night air.  Soon Jack found himself on the bounce-poline– He called, “TINA! TEEEEEEEEEEEEENA! bouncepoline?! ”  And so I went and bounced him.  All the while we chanted, “I see the moon, I see the moon, I see the moon!”

This was too much fun.
So we called for Darrah.
We all four sat under one of my HUGE quilts.
We watched Jack run in the moonlight.
We listened to Jack and Darrah laugh uproariously on the trampoline– climbing on each other.
Clay turned to me and said:

“Jack knows what’s up-
You play outside when there is sunshine and go outside to see the moon when it’s shining.”

And it’s true.
We were out there for two hours.  Watching the clouds.  Listening to the laughter.
Being silent.
Being a cuddle puddle on the trampoline.

Right before we went in, Clay hugged us all close and said, ” This is what’s important.  THIS”

And its true–
It took Jack’s spontaneity to bring the family together and remind us that sometimes
you just have to dance with abandon in moonlight.


Every little thing is gonna’ be allright

I am not a complainer.
I am an eternal optimistic PollyAnna that can find the silver lining in any cloud.
Looking back over my life, I realize that it is/was a pretty hardcore coping mechanism.
“Everything will be ok.  It HAS to be.  Otherwise, I’m screwed.”
I can endure anything, if I know it is finite.

Now, while the majority of you reading this may think it’s an admirable trait, I assure you that it is not always a good one to be around.   It can smack of denial, sugar-coating, and dismissal.  I can attest that it drives my husband bonkers.

As a mom of a special needs child, I read a lot of Mommy/Daddy blogs.  I love connecting with other parents who truly GET what I deal with on a daily basis.  Many of these blogs are laundry lists of good-natured complaints about their kids’ behavior, frustrations of dealing with bureaucracy and red tape, and the agony of sleep deprivation.  There are detailed accounts of their days of stepping on Leggos, living with extreme OCD and other substantial letters, and cleaning up messes.  Some are angry.  Some are frustrated.  Some are at their wits end.  Most all are honest.  Many of them are funny.

MY blog? I cannot do it.
I just cannot bring myself to write that way.
And believe me when I say:
It’s not YOU, it’s ME

Unlike other parents, I SIGNED on for this.
I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

I didn’t get “the diagnosis”.

I didn’t have to deal with the unknowing.

There was no initial heartache followed by resolve.

So, TO ME, to complain and/or vent about my lot would be unfair.

It’s been MY lot in life to make lemonade outta lemons, quilts outta scraps, and the BEST outta every situation.
I came to this table, sleeves rolled up and ready for whatever was going to come my way.
And to be fair? It’s how I deal with most everything.

I am not better than anyone.  I am just different.
As I stated before:  It’s a coping mechanism left over from my childhood.

And Jack.
In the time since I have come into Jack’s life, I have seen his behavior improve, his vocabulary explode, and his joy blossom.  How can I gripe about anything when there is so much growth?
Not just Jack…..But ME!

Jack has given me a new outlook on life.  He has me focused.  Dialed in. He has taught me to let go of what is not truly important in life and to live in the moment.

As I approach the first year of blog writing, I realize that I have found MY niche in blog writing
(ya’ gotta have a gimmick, right?)
And that is to pass onto people a little bit of my PollyAnna attitude.
To shine a light on the good in the “bad”
To remind others that THIS TOO SHALL PASS

and everything WILL be ok.
It just all depends on how YOU look at it

And from where I am sitting?
The view is pretty beautiful.