It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
~ “Happy” by: Pharrell Williams
By now I’m sure everyone’s heard the “Happy” song by Pharrell Williams. It has a catchy upbeat tune and it’s being played on almost every radio station. This song is perfect for my life right now. For the first time in a long time, I truly feel happy.
Sure, I’ve had happy moments over the past few years but the sad moments always seemed to cast a shadow over my life. At times, fear, worry, and doubt consumed me. It made it impossible for me to be happy. I finally reached a point where I was tired of being unhappy, tired of fearing the worst, worrying about things I cannot control, and doubting myself as a Mother. It was time to STOP.
Once I stopped focusing on the negative, I could focus more on the positive and we’ve had a lot of positive lately. Last month was amazing, here’s a recap:
Autism Awareness Month
April was Autism Awareness Month and as usual our weekends were packed with activity. On April 4th, I hosted the 2nd Annual Howl for Autism Happy Hour at Howl at the Moon. 50 people showed up to support Autism Awareness! I received $1 for every person who attended and the bar matched it. I donated the $100 to Pathfinders for Autism. Pathfinders for Autism provides resources for parents navigating the Autism world. They also host family-friendly events for the Autism community. We recently attended the Skate Party! The boys didn’t last long skating but it was still a good experience. Party Time!
The first weekend in April, we attended back-to-back birthday parties. This same time last year we dreaded going to parties. It wasn’t fun. We barely lasted an hour and we constantly had to watch the boys while other parents enjoyed themselves. This year the boys did great! We stayed 2 hours at their friend Palmer’s pirate-themed party and another 2-3 hours at their cousin, Camden’s 1st birthday party. For once, Jon and I enjoyed ourselves. We watched Aden and Alex engage with other children and participate in party activities- they both loved the pirate ship piñata. On the way home, Alex told me he wanted a piñata at his birthday party. It was great to see how far they’ve come in just a year.Surviving & Thriving
We survived spring break! The week every year I dread turned out to be a nice relaxing week for all of us. We kept it low key. We visited grandparents, played in the backyard, and went to the zoo on Good Friday. Even though both boys were pretty well-behaved, I was ready for them to go back to school. Mommy missed her quiet afternoons.
Both transitioned smoothly back to school from spring break. Alex started typical preschool and had no problems adjusting. Alex now attends typical preschool from 1:15pm-2:30pm M-F. Aden started 2 weeks later and goes from 2:00pm-2:30pm during centers/play. So far he’s doing well playing with other children. If this continues, his length of stay will be increased to include more academics. We recently discovered that although Aden can count, he can’t identify written numbers so we’ve been working on number labeling and identification. So far, so good. Same with letters, he can now identify more than half of his letters with the correct sound! Kindergarten here we come!
Easter was a huge success. We had an egg hunt in our backyard. Last year, Aden wasn’t interested in looking for eggs. This year he was just as enthusiastic as Alex. It was nice to see him joining in and having fun. I forgot all about sitting on the Easter bunny’s lap…maybe next year.We also dyed Easter eggs which I didn’t even attempt last year for obvious reasons. It was messy but the good thing about dye, it washes off…eventually.
I went a bit overboard for Easter. Their baskets seemed more like a mini-Christmas present display. Yeah, I’m that person. I can’t help it! I’m excited that Aden and Alex can finally play functionally with toys! They’re actually interested in toys (Alex- Octonauts and Aden- dinosaurs and monsters, Both: Superheroes!). I’m just making up for lost time.ROAR!
Finally, we attended Roar for Autism’s Family Fun Festival at Oregon Ridge. Again, I couldn’t believe how much Aden and Alex have changed in one year. Last year, we spent 2 hours running around bouncing to and from activities. This year they were able to focus and participate in games. They watched the mascot obstacle course challenge and engaged with the mascots. They waited for balloons and had their faces painted. No major meltdowns. Best of all, I met my fundraising goal of $500! Thanks to my family and friends! By donating, they are giving other children a chance to meet their full potential!
As you can see, I have a lot to be happy about.