I haven't done this in a long time but it seems fitting to do this now since it is the end of the year. The truth is despite all the crazy things that have happened like my finger breaking, I am doing better now than when I started this blog a year ago in December.
Twelve months ago, I wondered if happiness came in a pill. I wondered if I could survive without them at all. When they worked, I thought everyone around me should have one too. It is silly but what I do know is that the pills are helping me parent my children, be a better partner to my husband, and most importantly help me center myself so that I can accomplish whatever I need to do. However, to be sure, happiness does not come in a pill or in a glass of red but it can help you get through a tough day.
Anyway, here is my gratitude list. I am ashamed to have not done it in so long. I want to bring good fortune to my family and friends for many years to come and the best way that I know how is to be grateful for what I have now.
1. I am grateful that I started Logan on medication. It is not perfect. It gives him a bad temper sometimes but still I see him more at peace than ever before. He is able to participate more in his own life now and while he is so young, everyday counts so I am happy we've started this process.
2. I am grateful that Logan is in a wonderful school. I know a lot of children with ADHD go to school in a general education setting but this wasn't appropriate for him this year. Maybe he has super-ADHD? Is that possible? Anyway, this school is loving and at the same time extremely competent. We were lucky that they accepted him. I say "we" and not just Logan because a good school for him benefits our whole family.
3. When Logan was born, I looked at his face and couldn't believe that I could love another child as much as him but then we had Spencer and he just brings so much joy into our lives. (he is still a royal pain in many ways, don't get me wrong). This year, I am grateful that Spencer is making his own sentences and that he has a competent enough therapist to work on his issues so we can understand what the heck he is trying to say.
4. I am also grateful that Spencer is doing better the second time around for potty training. He still shows signs of anxiety but he actually peed in a toilet other than at school or at home yesterday and that was a huge accomplishment.
5. Let me not forget my life partner in this list. I frequently make this mistake of forgetting to be grateful for him first. He is my opposite which I'm happy about but still it makes us argue and yet, he does listen to me and supports me for those really important things that require us to have a little faith and hope. When I try to convince Kai that we need to do something, I can never guarantee that it will work, like the DAN! protocol, osteomanipulative medicine, non-stimulants, stimulants, swimming... but when we decide to do it, we decide together.
6. This year I have accepted that I am forgetful and disorganized and it has led me to make decisions that have improved my functionality. I bought a blackberry that has really made me so much more efficient. I even bought a different type of birth control (once-monthly) because it was so obvious that I could not remember to take those little pills everyday even though they are the cheapest option.
7. I am grateful this year for my friends both new and old. I couldn't believe how many well-wishes I received about my broken finger. I am especially grateful this year for the friends that I have made in my neighborhood and in Logan's school. My friendships breathes life into a part of me that is neglected and not growing on its own sometimes. They help me cultivate my identity beyond my role as a mother.
8. I am grateful for my parents and father-in-law for still being alive and helping us in whatever way they can. My mom works a lot and can not come visit often but sends me food in a cab from her restaurant whenever I know I'm going to have a tough week. Additionally, my dad who is the epitome of the old school Korean man babysits Spencer for me all the time and washes the dishes, makes rice, and even changes Spencer's diaper. People do change.
9. I am especially grateful for my brother and new sister-in-law. They have given a new sense of family to my children. My children feel that they are loved by them and look forward to seeing them whenever possible.
10. I am grateful for all the programs that help children like ours afford things that they need. This year, I have been crazy about applying for aid and so far have received almost $1,500 for goods and services for Spencer. It is fair to note that Logan's diagnosis of ADHD qualifies for nothing which is sad but still that $1500 has paid for Spencer's swim lessons, weighted blankets, toys for pretend play, and other great things.
11. While Spencer has wonderful therapists that come to our home (and I'm so grateful for them), I am grateful that he started attending a short session preschool this fall. It was really hard to let go but I'm so glad I did. The different people and different environment really gave a new perspective on his abilities and the things that still challenge him. I'm also grateful for his swim instructor, Michael Jackson (Logan's too). He's the first teacher from the general community that has made any progress with my children.
12. Lastly, I am happy for this blog. I am surprised that I have kept it going this long but there is always something to say and I'm incredibly grateful for the people who have been listening. Thank you for validating my thoughts and ideas whether you agreed with them or not. One of my primal wishes is just to be heard and to be able to share and you have allowed me to do that.
I wish everyone in the coming new year, lots of happiness and money, therapeutic and educational advancement, weight loss or gain- whichever you prefer, and good physical and mental health overall.
photo: Here are four things I'm grateful for. The first three are obvious but this pool and gym center we attend has been extremely wonderful to our family. The administrator is great with getting us receipts to help us with reimbursement and he also gives us a separate locker room to change to help keep our boys safe. Their swim instructor is amazing with disabled children and we are not charged a penny more for our extra needs. If anything, we have only received more love and compassion because of them.