In just a few short months my oldest child will be 16. This life is so much different than we had imagined 16 years ago at this time; not better or worse, just different.
Christmas time will always be a time of remembering for me. Our first child was due on New Years day but I had a miscarriage and it never came to be. I was quite pregnant with Logan by the time my due date for our first child came. We light a candle and whisper love to our Kennedy as each new year begins. I had hopes and dreams for this child I was carrying, this promise and gift from God. Promises and gifts come in all shapes and sizes, Logan is no different.
But as I reflect on my time at 16; I was anxiously awaiting the opportunity to write my exam for my license. I was right around Logan’s age when I met Steve. I was hanging out and making memories. I was part of a youth group. I was singing and dreaming of my future, of all the possibilities. I felt alive and vibrant. There is something precious about that age, on the cusp of being an adult yet still shielded somewhat from the full realities of life.
Friends who have children the same age as Logan post pictures and I see in their photos what I am missing and what he is missing. I won’t lie, it hurts badly. I drift in and out of my grief both with the diagnosis of autism and global developmental delay, also with living apart from us. This wasn’t in my dream, this wasn’t my fantasy.
Logan is a tremendous young man. He is friendly, empathetic, funny and quite witty (at the times he chooses to talk…like when the rounds of knock knock jokes are flowing around the car and Faith says knock knock and Logan answers “who cares!”) I love Logan’s heart and I’m honoured to be his mom.
I didn’t think I could handle this life. I do bear the scars of this life: two kids with severe autism, it’s a contributing part of my PTSD diagnosis. But here I am, deeply loving my kids and thankful to have them in my life. For the ways that they teach me to love unconditionally, for the Christmas Eve Logan told me he loved me for the first time. For the hugs and affection that he gives. But some days are filled with grief for the “if only’s” and I allow myself those days. Those days are real but I also know that isn’t the end of the story, tomorrow will come full of new promise.