Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised

First, Halloween.  It started out in the morning with Eli & I in tears as I was trying to get his costume on him to wear for kindergarten.  I got my hopes up--him being excited to go trick-or-treating & telling me he wanted to be a "green monster!"  So I couldn't help getting my hopes up.  To only get them dashed when he wouldn't wear it, trust me I tried any persuasion & threats, nobody was going to get him to wear his costume.

And in my anger I texted Eli's therapists: "I will be forever grateful if you guys come up with a way for him to wear his costume for trick or treating tonight!! I'm trying everything & he won't wear it for school but if tonight he wears it I will be in heaven :) thanks & good luck!!"

I called Chad on the way to school disappointed but soon after dropping him off for school, I started to relax & realize it's not a big deal if Eli doesn't wear his costume.  And started to prepare myself mentally that I'll be OK if he doesn't.

But his therapists came up with a plan!  Eli practiced trick-or-treating at our house! Eli put on his costume & him and the therapist went outside & would take a short walk come knock on the door & grab a treat!  So Eli would connect the trick-or-treating to wearing his costume. :) And it worked!  Eli put on the costume for the trunk-or-treat without any crying!  And he wore it while we ate chili, then went to about 15 cars to grab some candy.  He was satisfied with his bucket of candy, came to the car the rest of the time with me--tore off his costume and opened all his candy.  (Only ate the starbursts & nerds..)  But he wore it while he went trick-or-treating & I couldn't of been more pleased with the progress he made so quickly from our morning dilemma together to the 5:30 trunk-or-treat.  His therapists are amazing, once again I LOVE ABA therapy.

Mike Wazowski
Second, school program.  I told my friend that I am not expecting Eli to participate in the school program.  And she said, "but you will be pleasantly surprised if he does." And I was.  I was "pleasantly surprised."  He graduated in May this year from preschool & he stood with the rest of the kids up at the front of everyone but didn't help sing any of the songs.  He just stood there & looked cute.  It's now November, 6 months later & I didn't expect anything to change.  Mostly from experience getting your hopes up only makes you crash hard when it doesn't happen.  But he participated in the songs.  It was so darling & I was crying tears.  I was so proud of him.  He was shy about the last two songs but I was so pleased with him participating.  (I will post a video eventually..)

Now I want to clarify some things before you comment.  I am getting better, slowly but surely, at not expecting Eli to want or do what the typical kid his age does.  But it's hard to not want those things so badly for him. (I can't explain how badly in words, but I know any mother who has a child that is noticeably different understands me.)  And when you think it's just a Halloween costume, it wasn't for me.  When he understood what trick-or-treating was the week before & wanted to go so badly I thought that meant the costume part as well.  And I let myself get my hopes up.  When your kid is different you just want some common ground between him and the kid next door.  Because he can't talk as good, ride a bike as well, catch/throw a ball very well, share with others, understand as much, or share his thoughts as well as a typical 5 year old--and the list goes on--I let myself expect him to wear his costume & that's why I was in tears when he wouldn't.  Not because of the costume but because it hit me hard how different he is from kids his age.

These moments actually happen rarely these days.  For the most part I am SO HAPPY with the progress he is making.  I am not going to lose hope, but I will not expect him to be at certain points in his life & be disappointed when he doesn't reach certain criteria.  It's too heartbreaking and it isn't fair for Eli.  He puts his best effort into his therapy & tries so hard--that he needs my encouragement, support, positive attitude & love instead of disappointment.  If only I didn't cry Halloween, but I did & want you to know I am getting better.  Such as my theme for this blog, "live & learn."  I apply it and am only growing from my life experiences.

Our book club is reading a book this month called, Wonder.  I haven't started it yet but when I was reading about the book--this line stuck out to me:

.."you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out."

Maybe Eli isn't meant to blend in.  

Hope you enjoyed reading & if you have any thoughts on my words above please leave me a message!  I love to hear from my readers.



  1. I love your honesty Katie! Hey I know you mention that your very conscious about feeding Eli foods that help with Autism symptoms, and there are so many recipes available (Thankfully) but I wanted to mention a recipe blog that I love to use. She cooks for her family and her Autistic daughter, Thought maybe you would find it interesting!

    1. Thanks Briana! Sorry I am just replying..this month has been, well December :) Hope you enjoyed the holiday season!