I grew up in a very strict household....anyone who went to high school or college with me is nodding their heads emphatically right now. Was I grounded for the day if I didn't make my bed? Sure was. 11 pm curfew when I was home from college on break? Check. Car "leased" from my parents for a summer on which I paid mileage? You betcha. Job from the time I was 14 plus babysitting every weekend while my friends were at keggers? That's me! Grrrrrr.....right? Yeah, not so much, at least, not anymore. I recognize that my parents are responsible for my work ethic, my refusal to give up, my belief that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to. I pray that I can instill these same values in my boys.
When all of this first came down the pike, I have to admit that I started to question God's plan for my family. I know that having two boys with special needs is not a tragedy- I love them for who they are and they are of course perfect to me. That doesn't change the fact that this is hard. Every day is it's own challenge and this situation has brought many additional trials to our family.
But then I thought about all of the wonderful things that God has done for my family. One of the biggest blessings that God has brought into my life is the presence of my parents. About 2 months before Jack was diagnosed with Aspergers, my parents moved here from California. They are now about 40 minutes away, and this is the first time in my adult life that I have had members of my family within reasonable driving distance. At first, it was an adjustment for us all. My parents had three girls--- I have two boys....worlds apart! And Jack is not always the most welcoming to new situations....I can still hear "Grammy and Grandad are not here" echoing from about a year ago. But eventually everyone got to know each other, and at this point a visit from Grammy and Grandad has become a highlight for all of us.
My parents have proven to me over and over again this year that they are dedicated and loving grandparents. Not by being there on holidays, or playing with the boys, or buying presents, but by being there when it wasn't easy or convenient for them. My mom has been nanny for weeks at a time, hurtling herself and Jack in and out of the car at school to prevent being run over while Jack was undoubtedly screaming for his killer whale. She has been there after Jack had surgery so I could work. When I first started investigating interventions for the boys and made the decision to change their diet, she was right there with me, researching recipes, experimenting until she found the "perfect" gluten and dairy free cut-out cookie. She made a fully gluten and dairy free Thanksgiving dinner, and God bless mom and dad, they ATE it! (ha)
Tomorrow my parents are coming to observe a home visit by the educator from Nate's ABA program. They want to understand more fully what they can do to help him. I guess I just want them to know that by supporting their daughter so fully they are already doing amazing things for Jack and Nate. I love you