There are options…

…and then there are options.

I don’t know, I guess I thought by now I would have it all figured out. Like somehow these past few years wouldn’t be for nothing, and gradually things would get easier, or atleast, a little less difficult. You know, maybe I could reach the point where taking all three kids to town, wouldn’t be an all day adventure that ended with screaming and yelling, and an early bed time for all involved? But apparently, that isn’t the case.

Its not JUST Josh that makes things difficult, infact, its really unfair to say that everything that is difficult is because of him. Its just how it is. Some reason, kids + me = nothing but difficulty. Everyone, anyone else, seems to be able to handle them fine. I see people with 6+ kids, going through the store with no problems. Nothing. 6 kids, and no problems, yet I have ½ the amount of kids, and I cant even keep my cool. Or figure things out. Or any of that.

Its not just Josh that I have a hard time understanding. Its not just Josh that I wonder if Im doing the right thing for, sure, he takes the spot light a majority of the time, and his problems outweigh things more often than not, but to be honest…Im just as clueless with the other two as I am with him. Autism or not.

Someone, the other day told me that things “Only got easier” from here on out, after she asked the ages of the kids. I thought at first she was joking, I wondered if it was sarcasm. Easier? But she was serious, and went on to say that after a certain age, things just get easier…and went on to say how and why…and all of that. I couldn’t help but wonder…is it just me? Just us? Just…this? Is it really suppose to get easier? Because so far, that theory hasn’t panned out so well. Infact, things have just gotten harder. Atleast in one aspect. I used to think that the younger ages were difficult because I had no clue why they would suddenly start crying, and well, they weren’t really able to say why either. “If only they could talk” were my famous last words.

And now? Now I say “If only they’d shut up” because it seems they never stop talking, arguing, bickering, fighting, and talking back – with reasons on why they cant do something. Or help someone…and so forth.

This past week, I have really debated some hard topics. Atleast for me, they have been hard. The majority of it boiling down to whats best for the kids, Josh, was the hot topic of the week. But the other two weren’t far from my mind.

Nothing really made sense, and the more I thought about it, the harder it was to think things over with a clear perspective. I finally just had to say that I was done with it for a while. I needed to let things clear up before I could make an actual decision. Which is where we are now. Waiting. Because I don’t know what to do.

I know there are a lot of options for Josh. Many different ways we could go with things, and Im split 50/50. I ultimately want whats best for him, but the nagging question of what IS best, is constantly at the front of my mind. I could passionately seek out the best of help for him, I have considered just about every option that has come into my mind, or been offered by different people, and as the week came to a close, I was ready to just sign him back over the state, fully convinced that would be the best for all involved.

Ive considered moving, Ive considered institutions for brief periods of time, Ive considered adoption, and just about everything else. But I havent been able to come up with a sold decision on WHATS best. Not only for him, but for them all. Because while I could get him more therapy, and more help, I have to wonder…later down the road, is keeping him, keeping them, going to do more harm than good?

Weve come a long way. Atleast, I like to think we have…

I think back over the places we have been, and even though I know we have a long ways to go, and many difficulties to over come…I cant help but think that if we can just make it through this, we can keep going until we make it to our next problem…and then we will figure out how to get through that, because we have to. There are other options, yes. Many of them. Many of options that get me confused, and frustrated, and angry and upset. Options that I don’t know are best…but options that Im going to try and not think about, until all of THESE options, are exhausted.

Why?

Because we have to.

There really isn’t any other option.  Atleast not yet.  Until we have exhausted every avenue there is to exhaust.  For now, we will try, try and keep trying.

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One comment

  1. Dave, Dave, Dave,
    At the risk of being pushy and also appearing senile because I am repeating myself, being a parent means YOU get to be in charge. That doesn’t mean you need to change your name to Patton and rule with an iron fist, it just means you get the last word.
    Your kids come with some baggage and that baggage certainly drives some of their behavior. My guess abandonment, trust and recognizing love are issues shared by M and D for sure – whether they know it or not. Testing limits is normal for kids but for your kids there are probably different motivations for testing your limits. BUT letting them get away with back talk, not being responsible for their own problems, and not giving them limits will not help them grow up to be caring responsible adults.
    As individuals everyone has responsibilities. For a kid that means they clean up after themselves, they are responsible for their belongings, they are responsible for doing school work and getting it turned in on time and if they are old enough, they get themselves up for school on time and they are responsible for their own hygiene. In a family everyone has additional responsibilities to their home and their family members. Taking out the garbage, sweeping the floor, doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom – everyone creates garbage, tracks in dirt from outside, dirties dishes when they eat and yes boys miss the toilet when they pee. YUK. Unless there is enough money for a maid, everyone has to help with the household chores.
    Try holding the kids responsible for themselves and together come up with a plan to keep the house in order. Keep it simple, be fair and don’t make it punitive but have consequences for not following the rules. Dave, emphasize that this is all of your reality and together you can make it be the best it can be.
    You know my friend; you don’t have to do it alone. You don’t have to have all the answers.

    Kathy U

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