Wow It's quiet and I don't know what to do with it...so quiet it is almost loud..deafening. The herd is off again ..back to school and routine..life as we have known it this past week and a half is over and I find myself sitting here..not quite fitting in my skin..I don't know what to do with this feeling. It was a two pot of coffee morning..I haven't had to wake up at any scheduled time..free to get up at my own pace..free to stay in my pajamas all day..free to take each moment as each moment..and now..now we are back on a timetable..where my hellos and goodbyes are scheduled..where packing backpacks and doing homework take precedence over random hugs and kisses. I am not sure that I like it.
Christmas went off without a hitch. Well...with the exception of the fifty million piece toy kitchen we forgot to put together until eleven p.m. Christmas eve...otherwise-it was perfect.The morning was pandemonium...but in a good way. Wrapping paper and boxes everywhere. Each of the kids has their own unique method of unwrapping. Sammy is a slow- one present at a time kind of boy, thoroughly looking over each gift before proceeding. Oscar tears everything open at once-quickly taking it all in-he'll look things over in greater detail later. I could almost hear him mentally comparing what he got to what he asked for (This was the first year he actually had a list-with more than one item-and none of them were Thomas toys! Oh how I loathe that cheeky tank engine!). Lily and Zoe are like a couple of chickens..pecking and clucking over (sigh...and comparing) their gifts. From time to time one of them would shriek "MAMA!! PAPA!!! LOOK WHAT I GOT!!!" It was heaven.
The entire vacation was lovely. I really wasn't sure what to expect. We made no plans-instead taking each day as it came..figuring out what to do a moment at a time instead having a planned itinerary. Imagine that..a family that thrives on set schedules- just taking each day as it came...and enjoying it! Even Oscar, the boy who lives for his routine!( although he did announce that he was ready to go back to school on Christmas afternoon). He too found his rhythm-(I think that having a toy garbage truck that farts to play with helped).. It was lovely just being together-away from everything..our own little oasis. I was surprised at how sad I was when it ended. It wasn't too long ago when I would have been thrilled that they were back in school..excited for the predictability and routines-ecstatic even. Looking back over the past, holidays were once so...hard . Even as few as five years ago...when Omar and myself were just coming off of too many years of sleep deprivation..when we had three kids in diapers..and any change or disruption of routine could cause freak outs of epic proportions.. Funny thing is-we were so busy being in the moment that we didn't really recognize it . Don't get me wrong! I remember days when I thought I was going to break-shatter..that I had nothing left to give...Times where I wanted to quit...when I would call Omar at work and give him my two week notice... I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though times were hard, we didn't dwell on them-instead, we muddled through...and although we have made lots of mistakes-our kids have blossomed. Back then, I refused to look anywhere but forward-and it is only now that I fully allow myself a glance back from time to time. If only to take measure of how far we have all come.
This past week, I got into a wee bit of a discussion with someone about my writing style-more specifically why I write the way I do. They felt that my kids couldn't possibly understand humor seeing as that they are autistic..and that using humor both in the raising and in the writing of (our adventures) somehow lessened them. SIGH...I understand that raising kids is hard. Any kids. I understand that there are times when you need to vent..scream..write about frustration. This is true for any parent of ANY child. ALL parents are tragic heroes from time to time(especially when potty training or teaching sex ed.)-it is the nature of the job. Parenting is hard. Disabilities are hard. I get that-really. But my kids aren't disabilities-they just happen to have them. Big difference. So when I write about the funny things that someone has said or done-it is with the utmost respect. I choose to look at life as an adventure and no matter what my kids capabilities I teach them to as well.
One day, they will all read this blog (Sammy does now from time to time) and I want them to see it is a testimony to how wonderful I think they all are-to how blessed I think my life is..and... well.. because I was always too lazy to keep a "baby book". If I don't celebrate how wonderful and unique my kids are-how can I expect the world to? We really aren't that different from any other family. Yes, we have our unique struggles and different ways of doing things. But like everyone else we put our pants on one leg at a time...well at least those of us who wear clothes...
A week has passed since I started this post. A week full of routines and schedules..I looked back and reread that first paragraph and laugh at my innocence. It is nine in the morning and already I have stopped about thirty arguments, filled fifty or so snack requests, found lost socks and shoes, fixed the computer and answered the age old question of "what's for dinner?" at least twenty times. We had a lovely break-but it is back to business as usual. SIGH... I find myself looking forward to next years holiday break...and most definitely to school on Monday. I find myself looking forward. Always forward.