Today is New Years Eve which means we all think back on the year, think ahead to the year to come and “resolve” to improve something somehow.. ourselves, our lives, the world…
The problem with New Years Resolutions is that most people only make them once a year. Really, we should be dedicating our lives to improving ourselves every single day. But that’s a whole other story.
Those of us with a child that’s been diagnosed with Autism know that we’ve been making resolutions with every therapy session, every IEP meeting… with every milestone that’s been missed.
Then New Years Eve rolls around and as we watch friends and family gather to ring in the new year, we’re “stuck” at home because there’s no one we’d trust with our children that aren’t old enough to be out partying for the big night. The neighbourhood babysitter just isn’t going to cut it on these nights.
While we sit and wonder if everyone’s talking about how “stuffy” or “over protective” we are while they’re drinking it up, we are content with our decision… here’s why.
People celebrate the turning of the year over to a new one but really, is tomorrow really going to be different from yesterday? Not likely. You may write the wrong year on your rent check tomorrow. Otherwise, chances are you won’t feel any different.
When you have a child with Autism that’s missed so many milestones over those short few years between 2 and 5 years of age, you not only learn to really appreciate the little things but you learn what’s really important.
Pulling down the calendar off the wall to put up a new one is not cause for celebration.. your child saying “I love you” is. Your child using a toilet for the first time is. Your child looking you in the eye, giving you a hug… kissing you! Now that’s cause for celebration!
There’s nothing wrong with resolving to make your life better in the coming year but don’t ever think that I’m missing out on any celebrating when I’m at home with my boys on New Years Eve.
I’ve made my resolutions already… many times. I’ve had my celebrations and they meant the world to me.
It’s because I’m not out partying that I’m not missing a single thing.
So what is my “New Years Resolution” then? The same as it is every day:
To strive to be the person that I would like my children to grow up to be.