Thursday, March 10, 2011

Getting More Than Sleepless Nights In Return

Today is Ashley's birthday.  She's 5.  If you've been keeping track, I have a 12 soon-to-be 13 year old son, an 11 year old daughter, and a 5 year old little girl.

Happy Birthday to her!!!

I remember when I got pregnant.  It was quite a surprise - a four pregnancy tests kind of surprise - and something that I had always hoped for.  I think people were shocked.

Unfortunately, it was a really rough time in our lives.  Sean was newly diagnosed and we were trying our best  to navigate the path that we were now on.  He was also having difficulties at school and Rich, my husband, was having to take on more of the responsibilities with regards to the now monthly update meetings with district personnel. 

Being "advanced maternal age" according to my medical report and the ripe, old age of 37, people's comments were going beyond "When are you due?"   They often wondered aloud what I would do if I had another child like Sean. 

Hmmmm....Like Sean???

Oh, you must mean blonde, left-handed, gorgeous and absolutely brilliant!!!!  I can only hope!

One person, a psychologist, even asked me how I could bring a baby into the house when I had a child like Sean. 

Excuse my language, but who the hell did she think she was?!

Sean had his moments of frustration.  He had his moments where he was uncontrollable and you literally almost had to lay down on top of him to calm him.  He was living in a world that we didn't understand and he didn't have the ability to tell us what he needed.  Of course he was angry.  Of course he was frustrated.  And yes, at times, he was out of control.

But he was also my son.  A wonderful little boy who made you stop and see the rays of sun peeking through the blinds.  A little boy who would run out of school every day and jump into my arms so I could swing him around and hold him tight. 

Autism is something that he has.  Sean is who he is....

I never worried about Sean and the baby.  Never.

And when Ashley was born it was as if something was born inside of Sean.  It might have been due to age or maturity.  It might have been due to therapy.  But something happened.  He began to respond.  He began to come out of his shell.  This little screaming meatloaf that we called Ashley was getting through to him. 

Over the years, as Ashley learned how to communicate, Sean did as well.

Sean was Ashley's first best friend.

While Ashley was a special gift to us, she gave so much more in return.  Ashley gave us light, hope, laughter, joy.

She gave us Sean.

Happy Birthday Ashley!  And thank you...  Love, Mom & Dad

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