Here's Why

Grace for the process.

Here goes.

I’m sitting on my couch with a heating pad, my laptop, and a cup of coffee. The screen door is open. I put a blanket over my legs and a podcast on the speakers.

And I don’t know what to do with myself.

The girls are napping, and Jack is at his second full day of “school”.

I mean, it’s kind of school. It’s… therapy? Clinic? Center-based services? It’s just easier to call it school. So let’s.

I’ve gotten better about writing about harder things, but I haven’t gotten good at it. This is a hard thing, and here goes.

Jack received an Autism Spectrum Disorders diagnosis this summer. I sought it out, pursued it — I knew a diagnosis would qualify us for services that Jack needed.

And I prayed and hoped and convinced myself that he wouldn’t get it.

But he did. He did qualify. And the doctor said: “Jack has many strengths. Fifteen percent of these kiddos outgrow this disorder by six-years old. If he gets intensive help, if he gets ABA therapy for 40 hours a week, we could see this go away.”

And this made me want to throw up. This made me want to punch something. This still brings stinging, mean, angry tears to my eyes. Because how dare you give me some kind of false hope, some kind of maybe.

I hate maybes.

And while this post is about Jack, it’s mostly about his mom. It’s mostly about how I am leaning in to this diagnosis.

It’s about being disappointed in myself for not learning the lesson that has been handed to me, over and over again. I get it, God. Thick skull.

You’d think I’d stop believing I was the one driving this boat.

Nope. The news broadcasted details of my divorce on the evening news. My sister went braindead even though I squeezed her limp hand over and over. And no matter how hard I “teach” him, no matter what I research and Pinterest and practice, Jack has Autism.

Exhale. Sometimes, that’s the one-way track my brain hurtles down.

I’m still going to paint my life in my dreams. I’m still going to hope and imagine and plan. I know this because nothing has ever been able to change that. This is about being proud that I know myself better these days.

But I’m also going to be honest: Right now, I am grieving. I’m feeling this, I’ve been feeling this, and this sucks.

I try not to think the hard things. Will Jack be made fun of? Will he ever date? Will he ever live on his own? Are the girls developing on pace? I try not to borrow tomorrow’s heartache. I try to give it the middle finger. Every day. Errrrr. Day.

Thick skull or not, here’s a thing I have learned: It’s ok to sit in the suck. For me, and you, and humans, it’s part of the process. It’s good to mourn the loss of how we thought it would be.

We (humans) are so uncomfortable with other people being uncomfortable. We want to fix it, fix it fast, and we go about this ‘fixing’ by telling people that’s everything is going to be ok, that they are strong, and then telling them just where their bootstraps can be located.

I am very guilty of this.

In the Autism world, this means: “You are super mom! You are the best mom for him. Have you tried essential oils? Have you tried eliminating gluten? Join this Facebook group. See this doctor, he’s the best.”

I’m trying to try (it’s a thing) to practice self compassion. To give myself grace in the process. For me, like too many other people, I’ve got enough firm; I need a little more gentle. The job will still get done. Me, I’m resilient and tough and I bounce back. I will tackle the challenge, no matter how I do it. I will kick this one’s ass, too. It’s my job, and it’s my job to do it well.

But this time, I’m not going to shove past my vulnerable spots. I’m not going to demand that I instantly redefine what my life looks like. I’ll get there.

Sometimes, you plan your life out and it blows up in your face. And sometimes, no matter how much organic produce and prenatal vitamins you consume, your kid is born different.

Sometimes, when we need it to be the most, life is not in our control.




Here's Why, Uncategorized

TNT and 3 days short.

Tomorrow, Elizabeth and Charlotte will be 3 days shy of 6-months old.

They will be the same age Miles was when Megan died.

Tonight, I am thinking all of those thoughts that you think I’m thinking.

(I am always aware; my wheels are always making these connections.)

(It always hurts.)

My heart is built with a fuse that will surely one day burn out. Some days I know this truth so clearly that it scares me, makes me claw and cling to life in all its self-constructed value. Other days, I cheer that fuse on — beg it to burn as bright as can be.

(You do this, too. We all do.)twins

Here's Why, Life right now

No bigs.

On Tuesday mornings, I meet with a big ol’ group of women, all ages, and we listen to our teacher and drink lots of coffee and oogle babies and escape our toddlers for an hour or so. Bible Study Tuesday has become a staple in my life.

Today, our fearless leader asked us, “What are you doing in your life that counts for eternity?”

Quite the question.

My mind went right to my lap, which was bouncing a fussy Charlie Girl.

My lap is tired.

I’m tired — Mother of Newborn Twins tired. Mother of a Two-year Old tired. Mother of a Six-Going-on-Sixteen-Year Old tired. My eyes are tired of opening at 3am. My ears are tired of screeches. My arms are tired of catching, lifting, hoisting, holding. My skin is tired of being touched and touched and touched. And my nostrils? Well, yeah, they’re tired too.

This is what I’m doing that I hope, hope, hope is counting for eternity, at least in a positive way. And here’s what I think.

I’m doing really, really well. I am KILLING IT.

I know this for a fact because my kids bathe daily, usually. I know because nine times out of ten, Carter’s homework is finished before the morning it’s due. It’s a fact because Jack ate split pea soup for lunch and only spilt half down his shirt and because 50% of my twins are sleeping through the night.

I know because Carter says if he could pick anyone in the world, he’d want to have dinner with me and a sleepover with Grammie and Miley. I know because Jack hasn’t broken a bone yet. I know because I regularly load up four seat-belted kids into my sky-blue minivan and successfully pull out of our driveway without major bodily injuries. I know because our kids can’t tell the difference between real and fake meat, because one boy loves asparagus and the other loves salad.

I know because church on Sundays, gymnastics on Wednesdays, baseball on Saturdays. Because I remembered to cut out all of those Boxtops for Education. Because more whole foods! Fuel points! Notes in his lunchbox! Two dishwasher cycles, three loads of laundry — daily!

I’m totally bragging here, but I even exercised this week. I even curled my hair once.

But I couldn’t do it all by myself. I’d like to take a moment to praise the other power players raising these little humans: their dad, their grandparents, their aunts and uncles, and Amazon Prime.

This #momlife is the bee’s knees, and I am rocking it. You go, Heather Lynne. Keep on keepin’ on.

(But mostly, what I’m trying to say is this #momlife is so, so hard, and I’m going to keep on keepin’ on. Eternity is on the line.)