Every morning after I finish dropping my kids off at their respective camps and head to work, I quickly press the button that turns off the DVD and turns on the radio so I can lose myself in music before the workday starts. I sing at the top of my lungs, use the steering wheel as a drum, and squirm-dance in my seat. Totally normal, right? Stop laughing, guy-next-to-me-at-the-stop-light. I swear I’m mostly sane.
This morning as I flipped through stations, I heard Natasha Bedingfield’s song Unwritten.
I have always loved this song and will confess I have blasted it countless times, while driving to job interviews, before the start of a new position, right before each of my kids were born; it just speaks to me in a way that gives me a surge of confidence and hope and keeps me moving forward.
This morning though as the song played through, I was thinking about the Thinking Moms’ kiddos. Blaze’s P. and Snap’s A. both start middle school this year, and both Blaze and Snap have done everything they can to prep their sons for this rite of passage. Saint’s Jaz starts high school — and every Thinking Mom is looking forward to her fresh start in a new district. The Rev’s Noah and both of Poppy’s boys just won placements in amazing autism schools. Mama Mac’s Nick has made so much progress this summer he is going to blow his teachers away in the fall.
I think back to where we were with Harry this time last year. He had no consistent words. He had two signs, ‘more’ and ‘milk,’ that he used very unreliably. He starts this new school year with around 60 signs he can use in combination, he can read sight words, and he has a few words he can say consistently and on demand. He can move his tongue now — he can stick it out when asked. He imitates the position of your lips when trying to say something, even if sound does not come out. He is poised, I think, for real speech and I for one am waiting to hear what he has to say.
Our kids are getting better. For some, like Blaze’s P. and Dragon Slayer’s girls, the progression is almost full circle. For some, progress is slower and sometimes masked by detox, with just momentary glimpses of the child inside. But it’s happening. Collectively, our kids are getting closer to health and recovery. Closer to being able to write their own chapters without us filling in their words for them.
So much preparation has gone in to making the next school year successful. IEP meetings have come and gone, and placements have been won through hard work and countless hours of preparation. We have secured the very best we can for our children, whether that is private placement, homeschooling, or mainstreaming into typical classes. We are prepping for hockey games and karate tournaments. Pining for playdates and party invitations. The summer is coming to a close, and we are filled with hope that this year will be our year. For making friends. For health. For impulse control. For riding a bike. For cessation of seizures. For fitting in. For speech.
Renew yourselves with us and, as Tex wisely says, ‘give yourselves permission’ to hope, to dream, that this year will be your year of progress as well.
We are leaving no stone unturned and will share our findings along the way. This school year, along with homework and therapy sessions, we’ll collectively tackle viruses and bacteria, parasites and biofilm, detox and drainage, CEASE and homeopathy, HANDLE, Brain Balance, chelation and countless other things pertinent to our children’s recoveries.
For all our kids, and for yours, I leave you with these words from the song I love:
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
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