For a few months now I’ve felt like I didn’t know what to say on the blog. Which is, in part, selfish. I’ve used this blog as occasional therapy to deal with the challenges that come with being a family that doesn’t follow a traditional structure, a multi-racial family with a stay at home dad and special needs children.
I field a lot of commentary from people out there in the world, and I’ve used this blog as my mouthpiece from time to time to vent the pain and frustration that comes just from LIVING. I don’t think I’m unique, I think we all have those same challenges, they just take different shapes. We’ve all been hurt by strangers, by well meaning friends, no matter our situation.
But I’ve been grateful for this platform, even if I’ve been an unfaithful user of it.
So, one more time, I’ll use you as my sounding board.
I’m often asked what I think the future will hold. For my family, specifically for my Danger Boy, who has autism. Will he live on his own? Will he be able to have a job?
The simple answer answer is this: I don’t know.
But here’s the beautiful, freeing, marvelous truth, my friends: Autistic or neurotypical, none of us knows what tomorrow will bring.
I know a lot of people don’t find beauty in uncertainty, but I do. The possibilities are limitless, they are unknowable. And since they’re fuzzy, undetermined and invisible to me, I’m free to focus on today. On my 7yo boy’s beautiful smile. On the triumph of him asking for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when yesterday he would have struggled to speak one word of a sentence. When two years ago he said no words at all. (And you can bet, later on there will be peanut butter on my keyboard!)
I can’t see the future. So I look at today.
At my eight year old son, who has made leaps and bounds socially over the past few years. Who is interacting more with his peers, and with us, than in the past I’d imagined possible.
Oh, the years I spent worrying about what would be. And now we’re here, and it turns out it’s pretty darn beautiful here.
I look at my five year old daughter, so perfect where she is right now, right on track developmentally. What a blessing. One I can’t take for granted. Her every word is a miracle to me, because at five neither of my sons could have a conversation with us, and she’s free to fill the silence with her unique perspective of the universe.
I look at my husband, who I married ten years ago this May. You guys, he just gets hotter. Today, he’s even better than he was yesterday. Today, I appreciate him more than I ever could have a decade ago when I stood there and promised to love him forever. I didn’t know what our forever would be. If I had? I don’t know if I would have walked forward. Into periods of financial struggle, of worry and fear and tears for our children, of serious illness in the family.
Thank God I didn’t know. Thank God I couldn’t see the future, a future I might not have been brave enough for back then. But I’m brave enough now. That’s all we need, really. To be able to weather the storm we’re in, not the ones coming down the road.
I’m glad we were brave enough to walk into the unknown then. I’m glad we’re here today. I’m thankful we’re still talking forward together, not knowing what’s ahead. We’ll get through. And if the past is an indicator, we’ll even get through it with a smile.
I’ve shared my struggles here, my times of feeling I was walking through the woods without a map. Those times are hard. But I find them especially overwhelming when I’m looking too far ahead, imagining the forest goes on forever. That I’ll be forever lost among the trees.
I wasn’t. I’m not. The future wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.
Today is so much more beautiful than I ever could have dreamed. It’s my prayer that I learn to keep my eyes on the present. That I learn to take the future as it comes into the present, rather than whiling my present away, trying to look through the fog and see what lies ahead, worrying, worrying, worrying for the things I can’t predict.
Maybe the road ahead is rocky. That’s okay. I’ll navigate it when I get there. And then? Then I’ll be ready. Or I’ll get ready when the time is right, if the past is an indicator.
This is my hope for all of you. That you might find beauty in the every day. That we would worry less about what’s on the road ahead. That we would rejoice in the moment we’re in, even if it’s raining.
I might not be here on PBK anymore, but I’ll certainly be on my own blog from time to time at my website. I’m also frequently on twitter as @maiseyyates and on Facebook as Maisey Yates, Romance Author. We don’t have to be strangers! 🙂