I have been away from the blog for such a long time, and so much is going on, it can be difficult to even put words to all the events and phases that are upon us.
My boys are getting bigger and with that, naturally when you are in “the system” that means transition. Transition for the most part means change and in the autism world, often times it also means struggles, behaviours, difficulties, new things and anxieties for both parents and children. But for the most part it ends up being for the better.
Nothing has ever been easy in this household except maybe the sibling rivalry. We are excused from those battles because only one of our three boys talks! I would do anything to hear my non-verbal boys talk and tell me what is going on in their heads but I am certainly grateful that they are still able to reveal their very distinct personalities without words and we are exempt from the sibling wars over toys, food, or the front seat. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of what I am missing out on and I smile. So grateful, teehee.
My Andy is turning 18 next year. He will become an adult even though, developmentally, he is still at an early school age.
My boy has depended on me to keep track of his medications, prepare and feed him his special GF/CF diet, change his pull ups, change and wash his clothing and his bedding. I have been treating wounds from self injurious behaviours and running for the helmet and gauze pads and medical tape when one of several meltdowns a day ends up with blood from the wrist and bruises on the head. I have kept him from danger with ears tuned to that sound of the front door opening and I have kept my finger on the “lock all doors” button in the van while Andy is riding shotgun and his hand wanders to the switches on his door. I have spent many hours in the middle of the night calming, singing and praying for my little blond curly top to finally close his eyes in restful slumber. I have managed doctors appointments, dentists appointments, specialists appointments and neurology appointments. I have held his hand and held him down as he struggles not to be poked while blood is drawn for tests or anesthesia is administered for the dentist to do some work on teeth that like to clamp down on things in his mouth. I have spent many hours driving for therapy, social groups and summer camps and half of Andy’s lifetime in the van driving around the countryside with the window down and his arm out the window waving through the wind against his skin that feels so nice to his senses. I have cleaned up countless broken up plastic slinkies, mangled, chewed up books and food crumbs that are stimmed with rather than eaten. I have attempted to teach potty training, communication and self regulation without much success but am yet still trying some of these things. I have spent many hours at grammy’s pool watching him enjoy the water and splashing with delight.
So many many things over the years for my Dandy Andy and now I am to begin the process of letting go.
Even after writing that long list of “not easy” things, I am still thinking “I don’t think I can do this”. How on earth am I to hand over this boy of mine to someone else’s care? I think of all those things, this is the one single hardest thing I will ever have to do for my Andy and for John and I.
There is this feeling that starts in your gut and it feels like it is being twisted. The bile raises from the back of your mouth and then the heart pain comes and the tears flow uncontrollably. No heart break of my teen years could ever compare to this kind of heartbreak.
Thankfully as I share these raw emotions, there is a comfort. A peace always in the back of my mind that comes to the forefront when my heart struggles. I know that Andy is in God’s hands as He has been all his life. As much as I would like to take credit for the job of raising this special kid I realize that God placed Andy in our care and He has brought other wonderful, loving people in Andy’s life to care for him while we were away on dates, weekends away, at weddings, while Andy was at camp, at school and on the bus. He has put some amazing people in Andy’s life and I know in my heart that he will continue to do that for him long after we are gone.
The following are a few verses that give me this assurance:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
As much as a mother’s heart can be torn I have not a greater love for Andy than God and He is the giver of all things good, the creator of everything we see for nothing would be here without His hand or breath or thought even. Andy is in Good Hands.