Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections on New Year’s Eve 2014

Ben and his Dad at Downtown Disney.  Ben likes to tell his Dad, "One day, I will be bigger than you!" 

There’s only a few hours left of 2014.

Overall, it’s been a good year for this family.

It has been a year of learning and year of growth. 

When Ben was first diagnosed with autism over a year ago, I read every book I could find on the subject.

But my greatest learning by far has come from the blogs and posts that I read from fellow autism parents and adults who are on the spectrum.   I have felt love and support from family, friends, and community, both in the real world and the virtual world. 

A year ago, I was frightened by the unknown, but I realize that I am no longer afraid.  I have all of you, and I realize that I am not alone in this.  We all face challenges of one sort or another, and even though each person’s story is different, we are here for each other, and that is a very comforting thing. 

This blog has been a wonderful way to connect with others.  I have heard from many of you that this blog has helped you to have a deeper understanding of Ben, and, by extension, of autism.  I am always grateful about how my blog has touched someone personally, often in ways I never could have anticipated.  For me, this blog has been a voice for my feelings and a time capsule for memories that would have otherwise disappeared. 

Time passes much to quickly. 

Every morning when Ben wakes up, he asks me if he looks bigger. 

He’s in a huge hurry to grow up. 

He talks about what he’ll do when he’s a grown up (which includes things like riding rollercoasters, buying a house down the street from my parents, owning a cat, a dog, and a bird, and having a little girl). 

Yes, Ben, you are getting bigger.  You have grown up in so many ways this year.

You started kindergarten at your very own school (away from me).

You played on a soccer team (for two seasons!)

You learned to play board games (and lose without crying).

You started taking showers and washing your hair on your own.

You started calling me Mom (not Mommy).

You learned to read, write, and color (mostly) in the lines.

You were able to stand in line for 45 minutes waiting to build that bear.

…and more….so much more!

Ben, I know you are in a hurry to get bigger, but don’t grow up too fast.

2014 flew by much too quickly.

I didn’t have nearly enough time to spend with each of you, but to all of my friends and family (both near and far), I would like to say this.

Thank you for your continued support this year. 

Thanks for always being ready to lend an ear, a kind word, or a chat over a cup of Starbucks. 

Thanks to the parents who invited Ben to birthday parties this year and over to swim.  Thanks for letting us tag along to backyard movie nights and to days at the beach.  Ben’s friendships with your children mean more to me then you can know. 

Thanks for writing to me, pulling me aside at family dinners, and sending me little texts telling me that I’m on the right path and doing a good job.  Because… even though I know it’s never enough, and that we’re all doing the best we can… it’s nice to hear that someone sees and someone cares. 

Thanks for being part of our journey, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

I can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring!

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