Took the tree down …

My son was home for Christmas.  I picked him up on the 23rd. We had a nice ride home and a great entry to the house. I took a sweet picture of him in front of the Christmas tree and promptly posted it on Facebook. Immediately it was “liked”.

Three hours later the boy was super high maintenance. Thomas is special needs so he’ll always be some sort of high maintenance in his general being. Whether it be attention to his meds or supervision while showering and brushing his teeth. That stuff doesn’t bother me. The super high maintenance person Thomas turned into on Dec 23rd, three hours after arriving home is a different animal. He refused any suggestion of entertaining him, refused to draw, color, watch a movie, watch tv, you name it.

Instead Thomas occupied himself by following me around and generally getting in my face wanting this or that, insisting  I wash his clothes every night, still refusing to do anything that would require independence.  This continued on through the 26th of December. So that means I spent my Christmas with this boy on my heels or in my face and him constantly needing “something”, anything you can think of. He was relentless and would not leave me alone.

So on the afternoon of the 26th fueled by caffiene and disappointment I took the tree down. I couldn’t wait to get the most obvious symbol of Christmas out of my house.

The nativity scene is still in place. That is what matters most during this season anyhow.

 

 

Happy New Year

The end to another year. Another Christmas flown by. I rarely reflect at the end of the year. But this year I will.

I think I had a good year. For the first time in a long time I started getting back to “me” again. Feeling like myself, laughing with my kids. I started a new to me antidepressant back in March of this year and that was the final catalyst to enable me to feel better. I no longer feel like the depression is right around the corner waiting to get a jump on me. I can laugh and joke around without feeling false. It’s nice.

We also had an awesome time on vacation this past summer. We rented a large vacation house with two other families (the first time we had ever done that) at the Outer Banks, North Carolina and it worked out really great. We all got along and everyone just chilled. I was able to hang out at the pool for 2 solid days straight. I haven’t hung out at a pool being that carefree since I was a teenager. It was sweet.

This fall flew by I feel; literally.  It seems as if school just started and here we are at the end of 2015, almost half way through the school year. Alyssa graduates high school this year and that blows my mind a bit. We discuss colleges and went to visit a few. She wants to stay in Manhattan and that’s cool. I can’t blame her, I love Manhattan. Daniella started high school this year and I’m happy for her. She had a less than great time at Junior high and really needed the change. She joined the swim team and really enjoyed it. She loved the camaraderie of the team and competing at the meets.   Definitely a year of change for the better for her.

And finally Christmas of 2015. It was a nice enough Christmas. Thomas was home and was quite high maintenance. It was overwhelming to be honest. The girls and Tommy had a great Christmas, my parents came here for dinner with my niece and nephews. We had an unbelievable dinner of rib roast and lasagna. It was Tommy’s idea to have the rib roast and he totally hit the nail on the head.

The day after Christmas I took the tree down. It was drying out and needles were flying off everywhere. Besides as far as I was concerned Christmas was over. I still have the nativity out and that’s all that really matters anyway.

I’m looking forward to 2016 with hope. I’m due to be starting a bible study in January for Mom’s of special needs children and I’m really looking forward to it. I hope I’m a blessing to others and that the Lord uses me as he sees fit. More of Him and less of me.

So I wish everyone reading this a very, very Happy New Year!

 

Holidays

They are upon us…Thanksgiving in a couple of days and then we blink and it’s Christmas. Tommy will be picking up Thomas tomorrow to have him home for Thanksgiving. He’s totally excited to come home and it’s really sweet. He called me this past Sunday morning~early, to confirm the day and time of pick up and that it would be Tommy doing the picking up. Thomas also called Tommy the night before to confirm the same. The boy is consistent.

The day after Thanksgiving “we” (meaning Thomas and I) put up the Christmas tree. Rather I put it up and he supervises. Friday morning Thomas, Tommy and I will go out to get a live tree and when we bring it home, Thomas knows exactly what to do, what goes first, that I need to test the lights, and hey where’s the stand, the star for the top and the skirt for around the tree on the bottom?? The girls will get all into the ornament decorating after a while and the whole thing usually goes very smooth. The only thing that gets exhausting is going up to the attic a million times that day. And Thomas will usually be on to the next phase of decorating after the tree is finished.

This year I’ve  managed to get out of Thomas what he wants for Christmas. I consider that a personal victory because every year it’s a struggle to buy him gifts and we usually don’t have a clue  to tell family what to get for him. Aside from all Thomas’ issues he’s really an easy going guy and really  doesn’t want for much so when he does mention something, anything that he would like I make sure I’m paying attention. For Thomas’ birthday he received a television for his room at school. The TV has a DVD player, Thomas asked for the Spiderman movie on DVD and a new Nintendo DS with a couple of games. No problem!  After I finagled that list from him, he then says, “That’s enough Mom, no more…I don’t want anything else” How do you spoil someone who won’t let you? You gotta love him and that way about him.

So here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving and a smooth Christmas tree decorating!

 

 

Blessings

I have this song running through my head this morning, Blessings by Laura Story. Yesterday my husband and I were talking to a neighbor who also has a special needs daughter. Many of you know about our Thomas who is also special needs. We’ve been through many, many trials with Thomas. And everytime I hear this song I think of him. What if our greatest trial is God’s blessing in disguise?

Anyway, when we were speaking with our neighbor she mentioned that she often wonders what her daughter would have been like had things been different. My husband replied that he often thinks the same thing about Thomas. I do think that also about Thomas. The big “what if?”  What if he’d been born “normal”?. What if? It almost makes you loathe the word, “if”. That word can hold so much. Thomas is one of the greatest achings of my life. It still pains me that he cannot live at home. I know my husband feels the same. I love Thomas for who he is now, not what he could have been. Thomas being the way he is changed me as a mother. And if I were to be able to change him to a “normal” person, would I then have to change myself to how I was before he was in my life?

I honestly don’t dwell on the what ifs because it is pointless. I tend to focus on the present and future which can hold enough worry all by themselves.  But this song speaks so perfectly to my heart. Especially when she sings, “This is not our home…”  No, this is not our home. I often wonder if when I do meet our Lord will I ask Him questions about my earthly life. Thomas being in the forefront of those queries. Why were we chosen to be his parents? Why did God make things so challenging? Why the heartache? Or will I even care at that point? What I do believe is that when Thomas meets the Lord and joins us, I believe he will tell us himself. It will be glorious to hear my son talk clearly and coherently. I was given a glimpse of this in a dream I had a couple of years ago. Thomas was just a typical teen and him, Alyssa and I were just sitting in our front sun porch talking to one another. I have no idea what we were talking about I just remember Thomas being “normal”. I know when we’re all in heaven together we’ll all talk again. God gave me a preview.

The holidays are here!

Well officially Thanksgiving in about 4 more days. I’m not sure how I feel about the upcoming holiday season. Am I dreading the actual Christmas shopping? I don’t know yet as I haven’t even started, no actually I have started, the gifts haven’t arrived yet via our wonderful postal system I almost forgot about them. One gift I did buy my husband I do actually have here in the house…hidden, haha!

Every year we jump through hoops trying to figure out what to buy our son Thomas. He loves opening gifts. However he isn’t the easiest person to buy gifts for. He’s not one to actually play with any toys, even when he was younger he didn’t really play with toys. Now that he’s 18 it’s more difficult since he isn’t a typical 18 year old young man. I also have family calling me for ideas of what to buy him and they usually are told “I don’t know” in response. Hopefully with Thomas home for Thanksgiving we can pry something out of him or maybe we’ll hit the jackpot and find out multiple “things” he’d like.

We put our tree up the day after thanksgiving. A Thomas tradition. He loves to watch me put the tree up and help. He is a great helper. He’ll carry boxes down from the attic and hang ornaments on the tree. But he won’t rest until all the decorations are up and/or out and in their respective places. I used to dread putting up the tree because Thomas will fixate on it, no one would rest until the darn tree was up. What? You want a “break”?? I don’t think so! But he’s mellowed a bit; either that or our patience has increased. It’s probably a combination of both. These days I don’t dread it, I actually look forward to putting up the tree. It wouldn’t be the same if Thomas wasn’t helping me.

I’ll never forget the one Christmas right after I had a miscarriage. I didn’t want to celebrate anything never mind put up the dang tree. Thomas and I brought the tree down from the attic and I started stringing the lights. I tested every strand of lights before putting them on the tree, then…Of course half the lights wouldn’t work once they were actually on the stupid tree and I literally had a half lit tree. It was horrible. I took all the lights off and threw them away and declared that unless we went out and bought a pre lit tree I wasn’t putting up a tree at all. Fast forward to all of us in Sears debating which pre lit tree was best for us. My husband is the best.

So this year we’ll buy a “real” tree and I’ll string the lights and Thomas will direct and supervise as usual. I’m looking forward to it.