Thursday, June 21, 2012

GBE2: Two Days Ago

School ended yesterday here in New York State. That's it. There is no more avoiding it. Our household is officially on summer "vacation".

Someone please send for help.

Wasn't it just two days ago that the happy yellow school buses pulled into our driveway and took our sons away to the happy little land of school routines, therapies and welcome structure?

Wasn't it just two days ago that I did a little dance of joy as those buses pulled away--free at last! My sanity was saved for another school year! Hazzah!!!

No. I guess it wasn't.

"It's summer," I said to my husband not long ago. "Everybody is talking about it."

He looked at me blankly. He blinked in disbelief, but it was true. People were buzzing about this exciting time of year. The countdowns were over. The wait was complete.

Clean your pools! Dust off your bicycles! Prepare for lazy days and the great outdoors! Heed the call--the seashore has missed you! Breathe deeply, my friends, and allow your lungs to fill with the abundance of the season: light, love and leisure abound!

That's what I hear, anyway.

Not feeling any of this myself, I asked my husband, "Do you feel any excitement with the arrival of summer?"

"No," he said. "It feels like any other time to me."

"Same here," I said.

Two days ago was our anniversary, and my husband and I were in another meeting with the school disctrict, discussing our younger son's mental health and his path forward.

Two days ago I sat sifting through a stack of papers for that meeting, reading everything our child couldn't do while I strived to interject all the things he could do.

Wasn't I doing the very same things for our older son, just two days ago?

Two days ago, it was winter, and I had yet to learn of school phobia. Yes, both of our boys attended school, just two days ago.

Two days ago, I was younger. My family was younger. Some family members were still alive.

Seemingly two days ago, I became a mother to special needs and was called to the task of juggling the multiple challenges in our household, challenges which would determine the course of my childrens' future. I put my life on hold, and I dove in.

More than a decade into the challenge, I'm still rushing madly to meet that goal, realizing now more than ever that both the task and the passing of time are ongoing.

Today, our first full day of summer "vacation" is drawing to a close. Soon, daddy will arrive home, and the pressure to be a single parent for the day will be lifted from my shoulders. As I sit here for a rare moment in my Mom Cave, I can hear our older son babbling away in his sing-song manner as he plays with a vacuum, his voice the high pitch of a ten-year-old.

I wonder how long before that voice changes and I think that it was just two days ago that he sounded like a little boy?

In our life of special needs, we face fires many times throughout the day. Life runs at a fevered pace, one day easily blending into the next. Yet, every so often---perhaps not often enough-- for some reason I am forced to look up, shake myself from my own reality and suddenly realize that life is happening around me.

This entry was written in response to a prompt from the Group Blogging Experience 2(GBE2).

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  1. This walk with you through your "two days" has such a heartbreaking quality to it. Time does all blend together, and in the blink of an eye, too many "two days" worth pass. I hope your summer is not full of so many fires that you don't find any cool respite. You need it and deserve it. At any rate, it seems a tad cooler in the cave...

    1. While overall, I'm not sad, I do feel that this is a sad topic...the passage of time while you are fighting the good fight. You are right, too many "two days" add up before you know it.

      Thanks for always reading and understanding. I love your insight.

  2. As I read this I feel the despair you feel to lose those precious hours you have to yourself while the boys are in school. I wish I could make it better for you, but I can't. Your road is harder than I can even imagine. The days must just blur together for you. Prayers for your sanity and for your stolen moments in your mom cave. Bless you Amy for doing everything you can do for your boys and sacrificing so much for them.


    1. Lol, Oh, Kathy! Having our younger son home due to school phobia is akin to a mom of a young toddler losing that nap time. UGH! however, he needs to be here. Learning in the home environment is right for him. My heart soars when I see him blossom under the right educational setting. We're in a challenging time now, for sure, yet the fast pace is consistent. The race is a marathon. The needs are chronic. I hope parents similarly situated will read this and know that others struggle with finding balance. Thank you so much for reading!!

  3. The cold hard truth of time. While we are battling our way through the day, the years pass. I think of you every single day many times because I constantly pray that you and R will always find the strength to persevere and fight for what your boys must have to become the men they are meant to be.
    I imagine the sad realization that the more things change the more they stay the same, is difficult yet it is a reality for most parents. Then one day you wake up and realize, wow, another decade has passed.
    I do love, love summer, but I spend most of it alone in the heat, humidity and water. If I was spending that time with boys who were bored, out of their comfort zone, not liking the break in routine...summer would not be my favorite season either.
    Lots of trip to a nice pool where they are comfortable...if one exists. Oh, mine is available...if not convenient. ♥

    1. Yet another thing for young parents of autism to consider when starting down this path: it is chronic. It won't go away. Consider the family as a whole. I just dove in to fix the crisis only to find that the crisis was never ending. We all face the passing of time, it is true. If I can, I'd rather not help it pass any quicker than it already does. Lol.

  4. "Two days" ago we were young and expecting babies a few days apart.
    School is still in here for another 4 weeks - but that means 4 weeks tomorrow Ben is leaving the safe, supportive primary school. My little one is leaving primary school! So many of my battles with the education services were around making sure that Ben had enough support at Primary, so he would be ready for High School. And now that time is gone. Did I do enough? Did I push hard enough? And it's only now I'm realising that leaving pirmary wasn't the end point at all, that it's just going on and on.
    I'm Special Needs Manager at my school at the moment. We have 3 little boys starting in September who have a diagnosis or who are on the diagnosis pathway. I'm desperately trying to get things in place for them, thiking all the time how vital it is to get things right now.
    I realy hope you can find some balance over the summer - Does T still get to access services?

    1. Ruth, our July babies...born just two days ago. Sigh. :) Your reply made me nostalgic and, yes, it underscored how we can think life may settle down after a certain stage only to realize that another stage is waiting.

  5. I used to feel just the way you do. Glad to have those few hours when the school bus drove away. But now the children are all grown up and have left the nest to make their own ways. :)
    Nice read.

    1. There have been times I've told myself to not be so happy. One day they will be gone. One day our house will be empty. I wonder about that. I don't know our older son's future. I imagine he will live with us a very long time but hopefully transition into some community living at some point. I don't know. At this point, however, I don't envision much alone time. A dance at bus time can't help but slip out every once in a while.

  6. Wow. You get out late. We've been out of school for almost a month. Unfortunately, I go back July 30, and the kids a week after that.

    Have fun with the kids home from school. This might be a good opportunity to kick back and not worry about IEP meetings and what not.

  7. My favorite line from a song is, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

    It sure does go by quickly, two days at a time.