I have a lot of new followers, which is awesome (Hi, all!), but many of you might not know that my husband and I have two kids with Autism. They are super great! I wrote about them previously here, here, and here, but it’s been awhile since I’ve written up an update.
Tristan is now 5 years old and will begin 5K in the beginning of September (what?! How?!). He attends a mainstream school and, as far as I know, is the only special needs kiddo in his class. His favorite things to do lately are read/watch The Gruffalo, listen to/sing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, and draw. You may have seen some of his awesome artwork on my Instagram #TristanDraws.
Graham is 3 years old and attends the special 3K they have at their school since the cut off for 4K is September (Graham turns 4 in December). Graham’s favorite past-times include watching dinosaur shows/movies, playing with dinosaur toys, making dinosaur noises, and coloring on the walls when the mood strikes him.
Both kids receive 35-40 hours of in-home intensive ABA therapy per week. It’s a lot. And although they get breaks and also don’t have therapy on Sundays, it is a LONG week for them. But they are doing great! Graham is currently potty training and says more words each day. He used to just scream when something happened that he didn’t like and NOW he says “No. No thanks” which is amazing to us! Tristan still does some screaming and we are definitely working on using a set schedule in public so he doesn’t get so overwhelmed, but his language and people skills improve every single day.
During the week, I am not home for any of this. I work full-time an hour away. Luke is an amazing stay-at-home dad during the day and currently serves at a local restaurant at night when I get home.
Ok, after ALL of that intro I’ll tell you my goal for the weekend.
It may not seem like something that’s difficult, but isn’t it? It’s easy to sit down on the couch and begin checking Facebook and Twitter. I do have a lot of virtual friends and those social media platforms are where I talk to them. After all, it’s the weekend. I’ve been at work all week and need to unwind a little. But what I don’t see when I do that is Graham looking at me when his favorite comes on the screen. I don’t see Tristan’s latest drawing before it’s erased (because his favorite medium is the MagnaDoodle). They want to share these moments with me, but if I don’t look up from my phone and be present then I miss it. One day, both of them might not care to look at me when they do something they’re proud of—but I want the reason they don’t look is because they know I’m proud, not because they’ve given up waiting for me to watch them.
And yes, I won’t be home all of Saturday because I’ll be attending a book signing that morning. But when I’m home, I’m making it my goal to be present. Be there. For them. So, each moment that I am with my kids, I am making it my goal to roar with Graham or draw with Tristan. I will be present.