Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mama to Males

So it has been a while since I have posted anything but I thought that since I was starting a Online Bible Study thru Proverbs 31 ministeries I would take the time to add a quick post.

This weeks blog hop is to share our "Mama Story" so here is mine:
When I was 20 I knew that by the time that I was 30 I would be married, with children, (probably 4 if I had my way) and have a wonderful career.
The day of my 30 th birthday, which was when all of my dreams were going to come true, I was single, not even dating and working a mediocore job at best. And being a Mama, was looking more and more like a pipedream.  I had no idea that God was about to do a great thing in my life over the next three years.
It started at a 3 day weekend at a church that I'll just call life changing. That weekend changed my priorities from all about me to a whole lot more about God and others.
A couple of years later I was actually dating a godly man. I was not just happy I was estatic! By then I was 32 and I beginning to wonder about where this relationship was going. I mean really I was already 2 years behind on MY plan..and I was not going wait until I was 40 to have kids. If I was going to be a mama, I was going to be young enough to enjoy it.

So one night as my then boyfriend was getting ready to leave my house to head for his own, I ran out to his truck and when he rolled down his window, I declared, "I've only got eight more years to have kids!"

To hear him tell the story, he was half way home before he said to himself, "I hope that she's not expecting me to do something about that."

But I was...and when we finally did get married a little over a year later, I was hopeful that we wouldn't have any problems starting a family......We didn't.
9 months after our wedding we were welcoming our son Andrew into the world and 18 months later, another son Benjamin.

I was happy, I finally had my family.  It was picture perfect actually...that was until things didn't go as I had planned.

We, like so many others, have had ups and downs, but the hardest thing for this Mama, (besides sitting in the hosptial for 10 days in burn unit with my youngest son who was 3 and he had pulled a pot of speghetti sauce over on himself ) was the diagnosis that we received a year later of his Autism Spectrum Disorder.  That was only the beginning of what I truely do consider our nightmare (at least somedays). Benji, as we call him, was nonverbal for much of his toddler years. Last year he was in first grade in a special education class and had worked his vocabulary up to maybe 20 single words. Most of them are food items. Our biggest challenge with him is that he has LITTLE, if at all, safety awareness. So we have to cover the windows in his room upstairs and have elaborate chains on the doors to keep him from opening the doors and running out into traffic or just wandering away.

Our older son Andrew was just diagnosed during last school year (3rd grade) with Austism (Level 1) what used to be called Asperger's.  He has trouble in class, staying on task and is socially lacking.

About 3 years ago we found it more expensive for me to work full time and find daycare then to get stay home. So that's when I started my career as a homemaker. The problem is, most days I feel like a failure as a housekeeper.
These days I wonder what the home of a "normal family" looks like. I am pretty certain that it doesn't look anything like mine.  I am spending less and less time on social networking sites because I am tired of looking at pictures and posts from my family and friends of their wonderful children getting straight A's and going to basketball camps and playing awesome little league soccer. Even hearing about something as simple as a family vacation at Disney World or the beach, makes me tear up.
Every thing is hard with kids on the spectrum. Or at least that is my experience so far. Vacations have to be planned carefully so not to over stimulate the youngest and do things that will let adults do things with the kids, I have given up on the idea that my oldest son will ever play a team sport or even be able to be with a group of kids his own age for extracurricular activities.  My kids are very smart about a lot of things but not necessarily acedemics. Certainly neither of them are genuses.
I feel comfortable that Andrew will be able to find a niche and a job somewhere along the way but I worry whether Benji will ever be able to be independent and in the workforce.  Heck at this point I just want him to stop having accidents in his pants and throwing every item that he picks up in the air. I don't want to make my house a prison because I'm afraid he will get away from me and I'll not be able to catch him before he get hit by a car.
I want my boys to be be able to ride their bikes and go play with friends at the park, participate in school programs without being the one that everyone is staring. I want to be able to send them outside in the backyard to play to give me give a few minutes of peace.
Does it sound like I am complaining? Yup I am. But you wanted my story, and this is it.

Please don't get me wrong, I love my kids, I cry when they hurt and I smile when they laugh. And most of the time I love their quirkyness. It is afterall the way that God made them. And he gave them to me to mother. (Although sometimes I have to wonder why because often I don't know what to do with them) And as my best friend tells me, "neither of your kids hit any branches on the way down the ugly tree". They are good looking guys!

My prayer is that over the course of this study God will renew my heart and restore my soul as I study His Words!