This is what inspires me to blog. Yup, a sweet Halloween picture of me and my kids. Alex was the grim reaper and Hannah was “Frankie Stein” from Monster High. A typical family portrait, right?
I like this picture because we all look happy and because both kids stayed still enough to capture this moment. There are three other pictures in that series, and one good pic out of four is a pretty good success rate for us!
It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. Well I’m guessing for most inspirational photos a good deal of those words are obvious and accessible and fairly easy for others to discuss and describe.
For my family, however, words are often locked up inside my son’s head. And even pictures don’t always give away the concepts underneath the image or behind the situation. Much of the time we defy description and it’s nearly impossible to place us in any kind of “box.” The term “think outside the box” doesn’t even cut it– you have to think inside, outside and beyond the oval aquarium to understand my beloved fish-in-a-tree and what it means to me to write about being his mother.
Let me take you behind this picture and into the huge collection of words it is worth, so you can understand what truly inspires me to blog.
First of all, notice how tall Alex stands. I was scrunching down a bit here, but he is now as big as I am. In his baby book, I noted when he hit 2.5 feet that he was “half as tall as Mommy.” He inherited tall, lanky genes from his father and he continues to grow.
I write because I want to capture this time and hang onto the child Alex I know before he grows into a man.
When Alex was three I watched him slip away behind a curtain of autism. Now I know how precious a minute of closeness caught on film can be. I take nothing for granted, I live day-by-day and (most of the time) I don’t sweat the small stuff.
I write because I am grateful to be here now and I want to celebrate and share these little moments, which I now understand are everything.
I am so often the person behind the camera, but this picture was taken by Aubrey who will one day officially become Alex’s and Hannah’s stepmom. It is a true joy to share my life with her and to see myself and my children through her eyes.
I write because I want to shout to the world, “This is my family and we know what love really means! We struggle, we cry, we laugh and we play. We are here and we are real and we are thankful that the universe brought us all together.”
See the slightly mischievous look on Hannah’s face? How proud she is to play her character? How sweetly she smiles? From the time she was born (with sparkles in her hair!) Hannah has had a unique role in our family. She dearly loves her brother, she is compassionate and wise beyond her years, and she hasn’t had an easy childhood so far. Hannah will be the one person in the world who will know Alex the longest and I am confident they will journey together, wherever life takes them.
I write for my future adult daughter, to share my insights, struggles and joys. I want Hannah to know my journey as a mother, not because I have answers, but rather because I don’t. I want her to keep trying when she struggles, to believe she can make it through, to be persistent in finding her strength. To show her she can do it, I write to try my best to lead by example.
This is how we look post-autism diagnosis. Post-divorce. Post-inpatient hospitalization. Post-residential placement. Post-losing my mother. This is my family (including the woman behind the camera) after opening our minds and hearts to a new life which is better than we ever could have imagined.
I write because my story is only my story, but in the sharing of our collective community of stories, something wonderful happens.
We create INSPIRATION.