I am a tired person. I am making soup and its cloudy and rainy outside and its just making me so drowsy! Whew. Today is going to be a coffee in the afternoon kind of day. I try not to caffeinate after noon, but honestly its that or sleepwalk through the rest of my day. Miss S has been fascinated with plants lately. It is wonderful and adorable and I love it… but its beginning to seep into my day. For example, I sleepily got everyone into the car to go to school the other day and I’m walking out the door with my giant coffee mug and after taking a sip I find there is something papery in my mouth! I have papers in my cup! How did this happen?! Oh. Oh wait, its a leaf. Its leaves actually. In my cup. Miss S says she added them for extra flavor. Yum. Later in the afternoon I am doing dishes when I look at my (formerly) empty flower pot on the sink and find it filled with green leaves and water. She wanted to make sure they could still grow.
I’m not a green thumb by any means, but we’re going to go over gardening 101 this weekend. In the meantime, its cute. Well, except for the leaves in my coffee. That kind of freaked me out to be honest.
The third week of school is upon us and the kiddos have collectively turned in 2 projects. Swimming lessons, youth group and Sunday school classes have started – we’re in full swing. I tell you, I was on the phone the other day when I was asked what activities the children were doing this fall and I rattled off a few and then… I dunno, it felt like that wasn’t enough and the person I was talking to also seemed to feel like I was “missing” something and so began to mention how I would be saving money by not having the children in so many activities at once. While that is true (hey, swimming lessons x 3 is not cheap) they are also doing youth group and private therapy and to be honest, I just can’t run around more right now. We really went all out last spring and when it came time to sign up for fall activities I just couldn’t over extend myself again. Maybe we’ll ramp up this winter with a 3rd activity. Maybe not. How many things do children do at a time these days? It seems like they’re over scheduled or under scheduled. Its difficult to strike a balance.
Be Fierce. #AimforBalance
This was what my husband said to me after tiring of hearing about all of our church drama. I just stopped mid-sentence. Um, yeah, but its a church, not a doughnut. I do really really love gourmet doughnuts. You may recall my post here where I just “lost it” while waiting in line at Bennison’s, a local bakery here. Quick recap: I have 3 children plus DH and myself, I spend a minimum of $18 walking into a bakery and usually its more if we get loaves of bread or rolls, etc. Its hard for me to get there to begin with, what with all the wiggly ASDness and whatnot, and its usually a “treat” for my children. I don’t expect special treatment, but I do expect to get my “turn” in line after I’ve been waiting there for ages. In any case, I know what he meant. “Leave the drama alone”. Per our difficulty with our special needs child at church and other religious education goals not lining up, we have officially left our church and the notification e-mails have been sent and phone calls made. Here was my original post about that. I am more upset than I thought I would be, but I do think it was the right decision in the long term. I am most sorry that I have lost a couple of new, but good friends from the congregation due to just…. drama I guess. I’m not even sure what happened. Here are the reasons we left the church:
- Our spiritual journey is not aligned with that of the church and we can’t in good conscience continue along this path of religious education for our children.
- Our children are getting older and moving into the “big kid” classes. It is important to us to have a more structured environment for their religious education. At this time the staff, model and structure for caring for our ASD child does not meet our needs.
- We have felt that the church is becoming more and more committed to social outreach causes instead of nourishing the body and spirituality within the church.
- Along with ministering to those with regards to racial diversification, economic inequality and immigration reform, ministering to individuals with special needs and the families who care for them can indeed be its own method of “outreach” into the community and we would like to be in a place where this is more of a priority.
I was also especially hurt because our “spiritual journey” is pushing us in more of a conservative direction right now and its just not something that I ever thought I would be judged for. We don’t all take the same path.
Anyway, I’m off to Hewn. They have amazing croissants. 😉
Be Fierce. #Dropthatdoughnut
We have dealt with all manner of surprising situations since being blessed with our special needs child. Regularly and often we get to see just how strong and or talented or smart we actually are. Our convictions and morals are put to the test on such a regular basis that we really don’t have the time to be “wishy-washy” on many issues. We have to pick a side and just stick to it! Sometimes of course, we make a bad decision or one that just wasn’t too smart. We learn fast, pick up and keep going. We are in the process of making the difficult decision of whether to stay with our current church or pull our family out due to lack of support for Mr. M in Sunday school classes. We have not had good “long term” church-going experiences. When we lived “in the city” we found a church close to our home that we loved and could walk to. We loved the pastor, we loved the people, the location. It was amazing! Then we had a baby. (dun dun dunnn) Then the pastor left. Then the personality of the church began to shift and many of our friends left. Then we had a second baby. (dun dun dunnn) The baptism of our second child there was so bad we still issue heartfelt apologies for it whenever it is brought up within our family. He’s 7. (wah wahh) Then we moved. We “church shopped” and found a church in our town that seemed to fit well with our values and our family needs. We love the pastor and his family, the church is adorable and their children’s programming for little ones is lovely! The problem is that for older children, the religious education is much more… fluid. It isn’t a big program because the church doesn’t have a lot of families. It is a very lean program and while they are willing to support Mr. M to some extent in his class, the special needs families are expected to do much of the heavy lifting with respect to teaching, classroom support and communication within the children’s program. I hate to be the person that’s all, “this is too hard, I can’t do it”. But… this really is too hard, and I can’t do it. I understand that many people do not see all that I do within a school year or even over the summer, but I do a lot and I cannot take on any more responsibilities. I just can’t. So. It is looking like we are going to be changing churches again. I am upset. I am upset for the children. I am upset for me. I am upset for DH because he finally found a church where he felt at “home”. For the next 14 years however, its not just about DH and I, its about the 5 of us and what works for the 5 of us as a group. I am constantly reminding my family (my own family mind you) of this when we come to visit for an extended stay in the summers. My warnings go like this: “Don’t forget that Mr. M can wander and he is sometimes difficult in large groups because of the sound. You may have to repeat instructions to him umpteen times and still, we may not be able to do all the activities that your group does. Miss. S is still a toddler and pretty much talks continuously unless she is asleep. Mr. A can be very loud and hyper-active. There are 5 of us! That’s a lot of people in your house!” This is my life. This is my group. We go as a package or we don’t go at all. So… we’re looking at possibilities for our family to join a new church. There is a church we have been “supplementing” our children’s RE programming with because they are a large church and have a much larger children’s program, so we will most likely end up there. They have more staff, more support and many many families. They are used to children and they welcome them. They have a school-age mid-week “club” for kids and one for younger toddlers too. They even offer a couple of camps per year. The downside is that I don’t know that DH and I will fit in there as well as we do at our current church. Oh well. See? This is where I get to test my convictions. Do I really act as I say I do? Well, yes, I do. Or at least I try to. I know in my heart this is the right decision for our family and well, at least we’ll have a common thread at the new church. Its a start. A new start.
Be Fierce. #OpenANewDoor