My Challenge

Things have always come fairly easy to me. While I've always been a pretty hard worker, it's been mostly easy. If ever I didn't like a job, I'd quit and easily find another. It's was a rarity that I would ever interview for a job and NOT get it. Skill? Maybe. Luck? Probably.

So I always felt lucky I guess. Reflecting back, school was easy and I got pretty good grades without even trying. I think now, wow--what if I would have really actually applied myself? What would have been possible?

Relationships for me have also been fairly easy. I've always been a long-term relationship person and have loved deeply and been loved. For that too, I am lucky.

Most all of my dreams have come true. How many people can say that?

So many abundant blessings for one person, I feel almost guilty. Like I didn't really deserve it.

Was it luck that we were able to get pregnant when we wanted? 10 years ago we had our first boy, Jimmy. And besides being adorable, smart, funny and kind--he was also very easy. It was easy and natural to love and nurture him. It was if I had been equipped with my very own Staples Easy Button.

When he started to grow up, Jim and I felt a sense of guilt for not having more children. We longed to have another child and to also be able to grow our family. We wanted Jimmy to have a sibling. And while we didn't go crazy about conceiving, we decided if it happened it was meant to be. So we through caution to the wind and by golly, I guess it was really meant to be, because we easily got pregnant with the Doodle.

Both of my pregnancies were easy. My first natural delivery was difficult with Jimmy and I had some subsequent medical issues--but I had a simple surgery and everything is fine now. But, because of the complications, we had a c-section with the Doodle Bug.

So for 38 years of my life--it was pretty much smooth sailing. Not much tragedy and just a little heart break, nothing that couldn't be healed with time, compassion and little chocolate. I've always been blessed with a really easy and comfortable life.

Then came autism.

And then epilepsy.

And they have moved in to my once easy and comfortable life and taken it over. I'm not feeling so lucky anymore. And it's hard to adjust. But what's even harder is watching the autism and epilepsy show no mercy on my little boy. I can accept that things aren't perfect. I can accept this new challenge. But it's heart breaking to watch how it debilitates my 3 year old.

Autism and it's good friend epilepsy now control not just one life--but the lives of our entire family. No more quick and easy trips to the store. No more easy to find a babysitter. No more good night sleeps. No more leaving the Cheerios in arms reach of an ambitious 3 year old. No more getting down without a helmet. No more parties. No more forgetting to lock the front door. No more eating out in restaurants. No more spontaneity. No more long drives in the car. No more calm. No more predictability, unless it's chaos that you predict...

Things have changed.

I'd actually consider my life hard right now, if you were to ask me. I'm adapting and learning and restoring my patience skills because as much as I love this Doodle, he is a challenge. My challenge. And I think about how easy I had it and how hard he's going to have it because of his development and just being different.

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