Who am I? What about my family? To understand, first realize that I am a person with a great many passions, a great many fears, and a great many anxieties. This blog, a labor of love that I created in honor of my son, also helps alleviate some of my own neuroticisms. We may joke around a little that we have no idea what side of the family the autism comes from, but we know. The neurotic side. My side. And it’s no secret what side of my side it comes from either–except from the person who has autism and doesn’t recognize it yet. But, there’s no shortage of love when it comes to talking about Autism and my family and teaching and all of it because that’s just who I am. I love deeply. I care deeply. I feel deeply. In short, here’s me:
Caring, Intelligent, Loving, Giving
Daughter of Helen and Jim.
Lover of God, teaching, a husband, and two beautiful children.
Who feels adamant about embracing the beauty of autism, sad when people discourage her, and energized by helping others.
Who gives her time to her job too often, her heart to her children, and everything she has left to her husband.
Who fears loneliness, death, and fear itself.
Who would like to see her children accomplish great things, her own dreams come true, and more than just the world around her.
Who lives near the beauty of a vast ocean that leads to places she’s never seen.
Yes, that’s me, in a nutshell. Perhaps an oddly shaped nutshell, but a nutshell nonetheless. But how did I get to the place where I gave of my time, my heart, and my everything? Did I imagine my life would turn out this way?
In two words? Heck no. That’s not how this dream of a life started off at all. So, what’s our story of love? You see, here’s how it all started…
On October 31, 2000, I met
the man of my dreams this guy I ignored because I honestly had no interest in him. I think maybe he dressed up as something, but maybe he didn’t. He probably didn’t. I considered him a fuddy-duddy, honestly. Me? Oh, I made the most of college my Freshman year and did the completely stereotypical thing. I dressed as a French Maid, got slapped on the butt by Batman on the campus bus on the way back to the dorms, who flew off into the night like the caped crusader before I could properly cuss him out for being a teenage boy, and got drunk on Jello shots, but not so drunk that I couldn’t prevent my inebriated friend from “flying” off of her bunk bed. Although I did not plan the drinks or any of hijinks, this guy that I ignored earlier in the night harbored ill feelings about me because of my poor influence on his friend (our common friend) while I felt nothing for him at the time. Later, though, I kind of thought he was a jerk because he did not hide his distaste for me at all. I could not understand what his problem was–we shared a common friend that we both cared about. We just had different ways of showing it.
We argued incessantly about everything. Bonding without knowing it. I don’t think either of us knew that our intellectual arguments and philosophical differences actually created a a connection between us. Months down the line, we had this insane argument wherein he stated that all women were Communists and I argued against him. In the middle of this argument–one of our many arguments–I realized that I liked him and left the room, angry with myself for it. I felt drawn to his intellectualism, even if he was wrong. We wound up together a couple of months later after my friend told him my feelings and I pursued him relentlessly after his unwitting open invitation. He finally agreed that he liked me too and asked me out on March 3, 2001. We’ve been together ever since.
When we had our first child, five years and 6 months later, we never realized what level of commitment our story of love would take us to. We’d need ever bit of love and patience with each other just as new parents, but as parents of a child with a disability, time with each other stretches thin even more when you aren’t sure who the right babysitter for your child will be or when you can afford your next outing because of extra bills. And I teach too, so a lot of times, that cuts into our home lives too. In truth, I think I married a man with the patience of Job. Lord knows he would do anything for me. Anything to make me happy.
[ctt tweet=”Sometimes magic happens every day and you just don’t see it because you aren’t looking. http://ctt.ec/0CJ67+ #truelove #ourstory #marriage” coverup=”0CJ67″]
I had no idea that I had ignored the man of my dreams on October 31, 2000, but in reality, I had the perfect person standing right there and I cannot even remember for the life of me what he wore. I can remember the first time he slipped his hand into mine, though. In the middle of movie marathon in a friend’s dorm room on March 2, 2001 during a terrible, unromantic Brendan Fraser movie, his hand found its way into mine. I will forever remember Tarzan as the sweetest, romantic, unromantic movie ever because the moment felt pivotal–I had waited for him to show an interest and this moment marked a turning point. Then, he walked back with me and my friend to her dorm, holding my hand. It felt like magic.
I see that same magic when I watch him play with our children. When I see the affection our children have toward each other. When Squeaker gives hugs and kisses so freely. When I know our children feel loved and safe in a home where both parents still love each other. And sometimes, when my fingers still graze his, I can still feel that magic–because it’s part of our story. And you know, one day we’ll wake up, look at our wonderfully well-adjusted grown children, and realize that those moments our hands didn’t quite reach across the couch from each other had a purpose. Because our children, though very different from each other in need and personality, will turn out just fine and so will we. Every now and then we’ll need to “watch out for that tree,” but that’s just how our relationship goes. Tarzan moments happen. But that’s when we reach our hands out and make it through this thing together.