I need to force myself to sit down everyday to blog and self reflect. In the last month my life has changed so dramatically (for the better, overall) that it's hard to sometimes remember to keep doing the things that are good for me that I was doing before.... like updating my blog! I use this place as my emotional file cabinet and it totally forces me to digest the struggles and savor the peace. Without that it's easy to lose the balance that I need so desperately. So... a few quick updates?
Ethan's homeschooling is going sooo well! I love being with him more, I love seeing him happier and watching him discover the world around him. Yeah, I know there are hard days and I know he's tough to motivate but it is sooo worth it. I honestly had not idea how much fulfilment I would get from this. I have been taking the option of homeschooling off the table as an option for years, convinced that I wasn't enough of a woman or mother. Sure of what I didn't know rather then what I did. I had built up in my head that only wonder women could do amazing things like home-school. Guess what I found out? no one that home schools wears a cape at home?! Seriously, how did I not know how achievable this was?! A little research, a lot of prayer, and even more determination to make it work and ta-da! It's working!! It was absolutely achievable and within reach this entire time and I wasn't even considering it out of principle.... I guess better late then never, right?
Ethan actually has a lot going on right now. Every six months we re-evaluate Ethan and his progress. How he can process concepts, his fine/gross motor skills, his perceptive skills, etc. They rate his individual strengths and weaknesses and give them an age score.... developmentally speaking. Like, gross motor skills are that of a 6 year 5 month old child or something like that. We've been doing this since he turned 4. EVERY 6 months. Most kids on the Autism spectrum have this done. From the beginning his developmental age was about 9-19 months BELOW his actual age. So at age 7 years 4 months most of his results were 6 years 1 month. His therapist kept telling us that this was perfect and actually good news because he was developing 6+ months worth of skills in the past 6 months. So what if it was "X" number of months behind, as long as he was progressing appropriately time wise. So we watched him develop at his own rate. Progress at his own speed. Learn on his terms. It has been rewarding and fascinating to watch the process and to understand our son more and more. Technically Ethan's official diagnosis is SEVERE AUTISM, VERBAL W/ A CHANCE FOR REGRESSION. We were told that because Ethan started speaking at 18 months then stopped that it was another 'red flag'. The Doctors cautioned us that this might indicate that later in his life he may possibly lose skills he had previously mastered. We took it and marinated on it, we were warned that this commonly happens at at 5 so when he took a little dip in developemental age then we were prepared. But then Ethan came back with a huge burst of skills at 7. We started describing him as not just High Functioning but 'typical with a few quirks'. Many people Ethan have met over the years could not tell he had Autism until they spent more then and hour or two with him. Yeah, over the years Ethan has had a lot of struggles and Autism has certainly made his life harder but overall I've maintained that Autism isn't this big terrible life sentence that is to be mourned forever. There is growth and happiness and progress. Maybe it's just this week but I'm not feeling the Autism love lately.So the eval results came back this week.... usually they say he's about 1-2 years behind developementally. We were expecting that. No. No. No. In 6 months he has regressed in so many areas its scary. He's regressed in things he's had conqured for years. He's regressed in things all of us have worked so hard on! He's regressed about 2 years in 6 months... So now at 9 years- almost 10 years old. He's now developementally 5 yrs and 9 months. I really need a punching bag labeled AUTISM REGRESSION right now.
In other news, I got a new calling at church. Since we moved here I've been on the RS Activities committee and that was actually really a perfect calling for me. I didn't have any pressure to attend every Sunday, I felt like I was contributing and still being true to myself. I got to know a lot of amazing women and as childish as it sounds, I was able to kinda lick my wounds and heal from my last ward. Because Doug helped so much with the kids, when I went to church I was able to focus 100% on me and my testimony. I didn't go for the social aspect or out of abligation, I went for me and it was wonderful to be able to put that part of my life back together again. I have felt more like myself this past year and more true to who I am as a person. Sometimes in the hussle and bustle of life just being who you want to be gets lost. I've really been trying a lot lately to be who I know I am, all the time and to be the person I know I want to be, regardless of situation. Life happens but I 'm trying to not let the unexpected become excuses or road block to who I want to be. So what if Doug's not a member anymore. I am and I like who I am in the church. I am happier being the Mormon me. Respecting Doug's views is part of who I am but, that shouldn't can't change who I am or what I believe. Before he left I was able to not really put a lot into my own testimony. I knew it was there and called on it when I was in a tricky situation, I was constantly in callings and loved sharing it with outher but I didn't actually put anything into it to help it to grow, to strengthen it or maintain it. After he left, for some reason, it was harder to just call on it when needed and holy cow, I needed it! When Doug announced he was done, I was in the Young Women's persidency. I specifically asked the Bishop at the time to please keep me in that calling. He released me the next week. I begged to please give me another calling where I could be a part of the ward. I wanted to give and felt like being in a calling where my testimony was desperately needed my force me to rely in it. Looking back I can now see that what the Bishop was trying to give me was time exactly like this past year. A year for myself. A year to re-center myself and freshen up. A year for growth instead of depleation. I didn't see it that way at the time.. Even when it comes to Husbandface and his pain, people in the ward rejecting him and stopping friendships just when he needed it most, I can now see that some of those people were hurting and scared to. They had leaned on him spiritually and losing that was a little bit of a shock to them just as it was to me. They needed time to lick thier wounds and heal as well. I guess time really does heal old wounds. So back to that calling I mentioned... A few weeks ago the Bishop called Doug and I into his office and asked if I'd accept the calling. The entire ime he was speaking I just kept going over in my head, "Why would they want me to be in that calling?", "Do they even know me?", "I'm not the typical person for this!" So, yeah. To put it mildly I was SHOCKED when they asked me to be in the Relief Society Presidency. Don't get me wrong, I am honored and excited for the opportunity to work the crazy amazing women in the Presidency with me. I just hope I don't screw it up.
I guess this is all where faith has to come in... I say I have Faith and now it's time to test it.