Monday, August 8, 2011

This Summer...


A one word summation of how I have felt this summer.

Endless days of 100+ degree temps.

Austin's recurring ear infections, which means no swimming.

Ellie with no therapy = not working.

Endless days inside our house.

Endless days of cleaning up after the kids...mainly Austin.

Endless days of "He broke ____ today honey" conversations.

The boy and boredom, do not mix well.

Here's a list:
Flour + Hose = White "glue" spots all over our deck/outdoor furniture/grills/windows.

Plugged bathroom sink + water running + locked door = floor damage upstairs and ceiling damage downstairs.

Bike riding indoors + cutting corners too short = trim ripped away from walls.

Toys + Toilet = a plumbing headache.

Towel bar + Boy hanging = holes in the wall.

I'm sure there's more, but my tired brain can't think anymore.

I realize this post sounds very negative, and I hate that. I don't like being negative. I love summer. But not this summer. My eyes are fixed on this coming school year, cooler temps, more help for Ellie, more activity for Austin, more friend time for Annie.

I pray that Austin's ears clear up and next summer we can swim until we turn into fish. I pray that answers come soon for Ellie, and that with answers comes more help. We are exhausted.

And I pray that the next 9 days until school starts go quickly!

And hopefully I can be back to my normal, upbeat, notgoingcrazy self soon. :)

This summer I spent a lot of time reading about all the awesome things our friends are doing with their awesome kids...and that just makes me want to cry. I am happy they had great summers. I am happy that their kids are fun and excited to do new things and go on great vacations. I just wish that could be us. The simplest of things is nearly impossible with our family dynamics right now. An afternoon at the pool, even if Austin could swim, would be a monumental effort. Austin requires a lot of my attention, and with it, he's fine. But pair that with Ellie, who requires a lot of my attention, and with it may or may not be fine, and you have one stretched thin mommy. So many nights I feel tremendous guilt for not having a clue what Annie did most of the day. So yeah... UGH.

Ellie may or may not have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I am in the process of finding out what to do about that. One thing I keep reading on Autism/Asperger's websites is that being a parent to a child like this can be very lonely.

No kidding.

Watching friends walk through life with "normal" kids, and realizing that it's impossible for us is depressing.

Getting harsh and judgmental looks from strangers or even acquaintances at Target/the pool/a restaurant is upsetting and degrading.

Getting blank stares from friends and family, when we try to explain what life is like for us, is disheartening.

Being snubbed and excluded from social groups, teams, or events is angering.

Watching our first born struggle day after day, week after week, even when she is trying so hard is heart wrenching.

Yes, this road is lonely. I am praying we have answers and help soon. And I pray that if you, or even I, are ever in the position to offer a kind word, or even just an understanding smile, to someone struggling with an out-of-control child, do it. Maybe that parent isn't the best parent, or maybe they are. Who are we to judge someone? Maybe their child isn't as compliant as yours. Maybe that child is more challenging than average. Maybe that child has Asperger's or ADHD. Whatever it is, it doesn't deserve judgement from us. I had someone tell me one time that NONE of her four children ever defied her, or threw a fit, in public, EVER. Wow. How? I don't even think I want to know. But it's people like her that make people like me feel like inadequate and terrible parents. Don't be her.

Facebook. Oh how you are two faced. I love facebook for keeping up with my family and friends, their cute pictures, their funny stories, etc... but OH how facebook has another side. A "look at me I'm better than you" side. So what do you do?


Don't just post the "good stuff" so we think you are the best parent with the best children ever, and therefore feel bad about ourselves. If you're kid broke something today, let the rest of us mommies know so we don't feel so alone! If your 3 year old kid ran naked next door to the neighbors house unbeknownst to you, tell us! That's funny stuff people, and it makes us realize you and your kids are REAL and NORMAL, not PERFECT! (And yes that happened to me!) And then next time we REAL people run into each other at Target, we won't feel so alone. We'll realize we have more in common that we knew before, that none of us is perfect with perfect children.

And we won't duck behind the nearest display to hide from you.

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