A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Birthday Grief Strikes Again!

I thought I might escape it this year since I have a reason to be distracted. But, nope. Here they come… the feelings. Ugh, the feelings. Nine. She's nine. This isn't where she was supposed to be at nine. But, here we are. Together. As time continues to pile up behind us, I do find myself moving forward in the acceptance department. I do accept who she is, how she is, and I absolutely love and appreciate all the fabulous things about her. Not just the obvious things like she won't be a "mean girl" because she just doesn't even get that, but also things like how she's so sweet and snuggly and loves to make us laugh and have fun; that she's still so connected to me- no desire to push me away and keep secrets in the name of maturity.

Still, the birthday is the one milestone that always gets me. At 2, they said we'd do all the early intervention and by five she could be indistinguishable from the other kids. Five! I did it all. Every kind of therapy. Now at nine, she's grown leaps and bounds. I do have so much gratitude. She's a great kid. But indistinguishable? Not even close. Rather, as she's gotten older, the differences between her and the other kids are just more obvious. The chasm continues to grow. It's a pattern I've noticed for a couple years now. So, this is just how it'll be. And that will have to be okay. She's her own kid and there's certainly no one just like her. I can't truly say that about some of the other kids I find myself comparing her to. Maybe this year will be the year of self-help skills: learning to dress herself, brush her own teeth, mayyyybe even some, ummm, bathroom hygiene?

This is gonna be a big year for her. So much change. A whole new experience, new growth opportunities, a new title: big sister. I'm certain that while the transition may be tough at first, she will undoubtedly rise to the occasion just like she always does and she'll develop new skills and new coping mechanisms. Yes, probably new stims and new scripts, too- part of the package that is my little bird!

So, the feelings? They're all part of the chronic grief that I have talked about before. I have it. I'm not ashamed. Not constant, but chronic. It comes in waves. And here comes a wave. And that's okay. It's a process, I'm a work in progress, and this isn't easy. Too often parents like me are judged for our feelings and our experience. Thankfully, I can see through those who judge- and there's no room in my heart or head for them. Today I keep on keeping on. I'll allow myself to feel my feelings and then move on. I've got a GFCF cake to bake, balloons to blow up, and a little bird to squeeze tight!

Here are some old Little Bird birthday posts if you're avoiding whatever you're supposed to be doing right now.

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