The boys enjoyed the chance to get outside, too. Most of the toys are put away, but their trucks and lawnmower are still around, so they had fun while staying warm.
This weather is great for being outside, but also great for making cookies when it is time to come in the house. Since Mairead is a novice chef, we started with the easiest kind of baking-- pre made! She had fun just arranging the dough on the cookie sheets and then checking on them while they baked.
Out in the yard, she was a big help to Daddy who did a ton of raking and bagging this weekend.
Mairead and I took a long walk to see what we could find in the neighborhood. We came across one of the last dandelions of the season and Mairead was fascinated by it.
A nearby wall has berries still clinging to a vine and she always wants to stop and collect some.
Not sure what this face is about...
I have to share this crazy dream I had the other night...I only remember flashes of images, but basically, Mairead was at a new school and I was with her. All of the other kids were running around playing, etc. Mairead kept wanting to climb this play structure thing, but there was a ladder part and it kept disappearing. She would want to go up, but I would have to go find the ladder, set it up, and help her with it.
People kept moving the ladder so I would have to go find it and drag it back. No one was around to help me. When I did get it where it needed to go, it was really hard to set up. It kept sliding back down and I had to learn a 'trick to it' to get it set up. I kept fumbling with it and getting frustrated, and she was sad that she just wanted to climb up.
When I finally got it right and we got to the top, there were cookies for everyone... I don't really get that part...
Anyway, the metaphor here is striking and sad. Think I might be a little obsessed with her education? We are still waiting to hear from the schools about when they will observe her-- we are hoping it is very soon so that we might move things along. I just hope and pray they see what we see and offer to give her the help she needs... soon.
Our experiences in Mairead's short life have not been what we expected. Raising a child with special needs is such a detour from the road we had planned on traveling, and we are moving forward without a map- just doing the best we can. Lots of people say things like, "I don't know how you do it." Or, "you're stronger than I ever would be. You're such a special person." I don't know that I believe that children with special needs are born only to special people, but I do believe that having a child with sn can make you become special. It can make you become an educator, an advocate, and a fighter. It can make you stand up for someone in ways you never have before. It can make you crazy, sad, depressed, and it can make you appreciate every single second of life more than you ever did before.
I don't believe that I was chosen to be Mairead's mom because I am special, I am just her mom, and any mom would do anything she could to make her child's life as wonderful as possible. I am doing what all moms do- the best I can. I do believe that being her mom has made me stronger and wiser, and that it has given me a new appreciation for every single moment of life. So many things I would have taken for granted before are now little miracles.
What makes me special is the way I have chosen to face this life unexpected. I am choosing to love my daughter, advocate for her, fight for anything she needs. Stand up for her, endure the stares from other parents, even educate them, and face challenging or uncomfortable situations if they are what is best for her. I love my child(ren) unconditionally. I don't care if they are valedictorians, quarterbacks, doctors, artists, or PhDs. I only care that they are loved, they are happy, and they someday know how much I love them.