Every year since becoming a mom I have wanted to really savour and relish the holiday season - every year I am so busy and everything just slips by. Last year was the worst by far - our whole family was in crisis and it was all we could do to get through. For the first time in almost 20 years I did not send out a single Christmas card - just couldn't do it. And that was ok - it was necessary. We still went through the motions the best we could last year - still made the Gingerbread house and decorated the tree. I hardly remember any of it. I was in survival mode.
This year I am not working, we have more supports in place for C and we are all in a much better place. 2010 has been, by far, the hardest year for our family and I can't say I will be sad to see it go. But amidst all of the hardship there have been some amazing things to come - renewed friendship, random acts of kindness, reconnecting as a family, maturing and taking some steps toward independence and so on. So really, as my the title of my blog indicates - I am usually a pretty optimistic and grateful person. My boys might drive me crazy at times but I do view them as blessings.
When engaged in extreme parenting of kids with complex needs it can become second nature to live from one crisis to the next, merely surviving. There were long periods of time this past year that I was sure we were losing our son to the depths of mental illness he would never return from. He has returned and our family is once again strong and together and honestly even better than we were before. The one thing I learned early on in all of this is to count my blessings and to revel in each moment that was good, one day (or hour or even second) at a time.
So in December (I'm going to try for everyday - we'll see) I am going to post about the many blessings in my life. Some will be somewhat random and fun and others will be very serious and thought out. I hope you will stick around and perhaps post some of your own blessings.