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Showing posts from October, 2016

Sometimes a Loss is a Win

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With Seraphina, things have gotten turned upside down. I have to remind myself that there are four other children counting on me to help them and guide them through life. Pair this with my husbands travel schedule, kids ranging in age from 3 to 11 and just trying to keep up with life and volunteering and sometimes I lose sight of what matters. Yesterday however I was reminded that I need to stop, take a deep breath and make sure I am NOT using all my energy on Seraphina alone. Its truly a struggle for me because I so want to give her what she needs and help her develop as typically as possible.

To try and stay involved with the other kids, this year I decided I would coach field hockey and somehow also ended up coaching soccer for my Jude. He only  went 3 times and though I was annoyed that I got up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and he rarely accompanied me, my oldest did. She got up each week this fall and volunteered to assist me in teaching 8 four and five year olds in learning how to p…

Can I Choose to Forgive Myself

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Choosing to let go of the guilt is something I don’t come by easily. I am cradle Catholic. Practicing to this day and I come by my guilt honestly. Always have. Sadly, forgiveness is not something I am good at when it comes to myself.
When I first suspected Seraphina’s autism, I began to recount each individual occurrence of my pregnancy. I wondered what I had been exposed to and how it could have manipulated her genetics. I spent hours trying to determine if her unusual behaviors were just a sensitive, quirky child or a child with a disability that I needed to get help for? When I finally had the courage to get the help she needed when I knew what I was facing was far bigger than myself, we officially had Seraphina diagnosed. Her primary diagnosis is mild autism with a smattering of other smaller diagnoses highlighted on the paper the doctor handed me. As we drove home that day, I immediately wanted an answer. Why? Why her? Why us? What did I do? Was this karma? People always talk a…

Three Gifts I Didn't Realize Autism Would Give Me

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A week ago, I was getting ready for a follow up visit with the Developmental Pediatrician and to be honest before last April I wasn’t really all too sure what a Developmental Pediatrician did or was but I was certain my family of seven didn’t need one. That was until I was ready to get real and acknowledge that my youngest daughter was in fact on the autism spectrum.
Seraphina was born without much notice on a blazing hot September evening. She flew into the world letting us know life would never be the same. With four children at home and no clue as to who this being was that we were brining into the world, I was utterly shocked the next day as I slid her sweet newborn body into a pink outfit that let us know “I’m the little sister”.
Our sweet Seraphina, which takes its name from the strongest of angels would truly begin to show us the strength we needed to lead her in life and the strength she had to show us the life that was planned for her. As an infant, Seraphina was perfect. T…

Don't Make Plans

As I drove home from the doctor's office with sweet Serrie in the back I blared my Dave Matthews CD and thought of years ago when life seemed hard but truly wasn't. Before I had kids I knew how to parent. I also knew what every child needed. I was the child whisperer. Then I had my own kids and they didn't get the memo.

Since Seraphina's diagnosis we have been working hard. There have been up to 9 therapies a week at our most intense point and since she's been in school she's out of the house at least 14 hours a week receiving services for speech, OT and social interaction. I have seen some progression and just today my post on Facebook talked about how I hoped that the doctor would witness such growth.

Today we had our follow up at the developmental pediatrician. I love her. I love her office. I love her staff. I love the nurse. Seraphina has other thoughts. Seraphina refuses the scale. So I got weighed today. Yeah. Not. Seraphina refuses to get measured. They…

Dear Clare

Dear Clare,

Your namesake, she's screaming. She can't seem to control her emotions and she's out of control.

 I named her for you.

When I found out I was pregnant, Seraphina seemed perfect. An angel, like you.

I thought of how my oldest and how she related to you and how when you spoke with us your smile pushed deep into our soul and gave us a sense of peace.

This fifth child, this child who wasn't planned must be a gift. From you. To embrace life. To live life. To accept life. Completely.

This baby, this gift, this blessing, she's been different than I imagined.

I guess that is life.

I am certain you never expected to be dealt the cards you were and to have cancer and battle it when you were just a child.

LLLC.

Live Life Like Clare.

A child who lived with ferocity. A child who loved with her whole being. Can I live life like you? Can I be as positive? As ferocious? As willing to go as far as I can as you did? For my child? For your namesake?

I am certain Clare you…