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Attending - Present Tense

My awareness recently has been of grief.

Grief changes. It shapes. It molds. Through loss, awareness of things that normally don't matter, truly matter. Anger is a predominant factor of grief. Anxiety presents in many ways.

Our culture is one that responds to grief. We accept the devastation, the anger, the need for healing. The need for time. The need to start something anew. That it's ok to NOT be ok.

And we celebrate and mourn after our loss.

It made me realize that life, new beginnings, and children aren't appreciated as they come. I complain that I'm tired. I complain that I'm overwhelmed. I complain that things are really hard for Q.

And I think of the demands of new parents. Of young parents. Of working parents. Of parents 'getting through their days', including mountains of laundry, never ending bills, never enough groceries, and the losing battle of sleep. The loss of identity as a fellow human transforming to one of a parent and caregiver.

Include in that the Rockstar parents of children with additional needs. ANY additional needs. The severity truly doesn't matter when it's your child. There is no apples to apples, nor is there apples to oranges. There is the consuming fact of YOUR child and their needs.

What I'm not always good at is slowing right down and realizing how appreciative we should be.

I want to celebrate life before the loss. I want our little family to teach Q the beauty of these complications. These inherent confusing emotions that make us 'us'.

We've made recent changes that have been profoundly impactful, incredibly quickly. Not without heartache, loss, or the growing pains of immediate change.

Q's progress has been unbelievable.

The impact of this is due to his incredible team, and his progressive school that employs talented, heartfelt, and innovative individuals. It's a team that learns. That adapts, and my heart bursts every time I read an email, a facebook post, and update, or speak to any of them.

The community support of South Burlington...it's so far been unmatched. We've loved every individual who has been a part of Q's life and support so far. Red-tape and politics are understandable, but they hold NO place in a child's world who has needs (this includes school meals, school clothes, and any basic need children have, and that families require support with).

Q's sign is incredible. We are at 4-5 word sentences, with vivid facial expressions. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Depends on the day.

His personality has always been apparent and strong. He's an old soul, a bit of an empath, and a whole lot of naughty most days. I could not love him more for this mix, and being such a strong willed child myself do my best to never, ever, break or dull his spirit. His exuberance for the outdoors is a pagan ritual that feeds his little soul.

The growth this allows him with his inherent personalities is going to be what gets us through these days. It's going to be the foundation of his success.

Q's expressive heart and face bring us joy on the hardest days, and have melted everyone's heart who has interacted with him.

As we settle into our new home, I'm astounded by Q's flexibility. We are into great new routines, and he is turning into a superb listener (when he wants to, that is!) and an engaging communicative child.

I'm feeling thankful. I'm feeling overwhelmed.

I'm feeling like I don't want the grief portion of his diagnosis lingering with our family anymore.

We are joy.

We are growth.

We are going to change things for our little fella.