Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I know most of my blogs are about me & what I am doing to get in shape, and the occasional blog packed with healthy tips, but today it's time for something different. You have probably noticed by now that I am big into preaching about motivation& how important it is to stay motivated. There is nothing more motivating for me than my children.
Let's start with Jackie.
She's not *mine* in the truest sense of the word, but she certainly feels like my own child. I've been with Andrew, her father, since she was only 22 months old. I taught her how to walk, talk, and read. She kind of knew how to walk when I met her, but only with support. After 2 months with me she was walking on her own with ease & even going up & down the stairs by herself!
She taught me the importance of patience and also how amazing & rewarding persistence can be. She was diagnosed with autism back in 2009. Jackie isn't a "typical" kid, she's got a lot stacked against her. She had developmental delays since birth, and it's been very hard for her to lead a, um, "normal" life. She has trouble paying attention & staying focused, and quite a bit of sensory issues as well.
She's a burn victim. You'd never guess by looking at her that over 60% of her body was once scalded by hot water (including half of her face). Poor baby spent 2 weeks at Shriners hospital in Boston recovering. Had to have a few skin grafts, too. She healed up great! You really can't even tell except for on her left hand and foot where the skin grafts are.
I hate using words like normal and typical, but as anyone who knows someone with autism knows, kids who've been diagnosed are anything but. Not in a bad way, necessarily, but life with Jackie is definitely different!
She has an amazing sense of humor, she loves to dance, is obsessed with leaves & sticks, and is a big fan of cats. She's got the most beautiful blue eyes in the world & they are framed quite nicely by hair the color of chocolate. She loves fairies, especially Tinkerbell. Her favorite toy is her V-Reader. She is learning how to read this year & doing a nice job with it. She tends to forget if we don't practice every night so we have to stay right on top of it & repeat, repeat, repeat.
Jackie lives with us full time. Her mom lives out of state. She's been such an inspiration to me and to many people who have met her. Already, she is blowing right passed the expectations of doctors, not just for how she healed up after her accident, but with everything she has been able to achieve since receiving her diagnosis in October of 2009. She is a special little girl & possesses two rare gifts for a child her age: extreme patience with others & never wanting to give up.
I have learned so much since becoming a mommy on November 6th, 2007. My life wasn't really heading anywhere before I found out I was pregnant. I was a train wreck. My depression & anxiety issues were on the verge of consuming me, and I wasn't too interested in making anything of my life. All I wanted to do was party. I drank almost every night. I'm not proud of it, but it's true.
Xander gave me focus, purpose. My life is still a mess, not going to lie. The good news is that I rarely drink anymore, maybe a dozen times since he was born - and that doesn't mean I've gotten drunk that much, I am counting each night I've drank here. Now, I am all about fixing my life & making things better instead of destroying everything. I recently sought out counseling & I am being treated for panic disorder. I am hoping to get that straightened out in the next few months so that maybe I can go to school next spring & help these kids live the lives they deserve - full of opportunities and happiness.
Xander makes me so happy, and gives me so much love it's unreal. He is my best friend.
These kids are my world. I am going to keep trying to be the mom they need. They are my main motivation in every aspect of my life. I will reach my goals & I will be the healthiest, best mommy I can be for them.