My New Years Resolution

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.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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4 Responses to My New Years Resolution

  1. Wendy Hirst December 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    What a lovely post and yes with an autistic child you do appreciate the little things. Sometimes I think it the little things that keep us going.
    I am sat in tonight as well as we have the same problem we don’t trust anyone with the kids. My New Year’s resolution is to make more people aware of autism if I can
    Happy new Year to you and your family

  2. mamafog December 31, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    I know what you mean. I don’t bother with New Year’s resolutions, it seems like our whole life is filled with goals and resolutions.

    It is just another day. But still, Happy New Year to you and your family.

  3. Lisa December 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    I agree, this year has been very tough. But I’ve also learned a lot about how to deal with it all. I’ve learned to let go of the regrets of all the have nots and enjoy all that my son has gained in this last year.

    Happy New Beginnings Duncan to you and ur family!

  4. Aradsmom December 31, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Yes, a tough year, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. There were moments I’d like to forget, and moments I’d love to live over and over again. It was the year my grade-school-age Aspie began to make friends, and the year my ASD toddler learned to sign “cracker”.

    We all have our celebrations, we just measure our milestones a little differently…May the next leg of your journey bring you many reasons to celebrate!!!

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