Is this Thing Still On?

I'll be honest: I've avoided this blog for years now. And that's because for years now, I've been facing some pretty significant challenges and I haven't really been ready to discuss them or lay them bare for the world to inspect. And therein lies the problem of creating a life that's on display (even if it's only to advocate for your child with special needs): when things like divorce and crippling depression come calling, you never really know what you're supposed to say to this audience you've built. So you hide. You pull the covers over your head and hope everyone just walks away and forgets you exist, at least for a little while. And that's exactly what happened in the two-and-a-half years since my last post. 

I wish I could say that I'm back because life got better after it got worse, but that would be a lie. Perhaps I'm back in the hopes that it will get better if I expose myself once more. I'm not really sure. But I have to give it a shot. I have to try something. Because I've tried everything else.

I'll give you the updates you deserve to read first: the kids are amazing. They're growing and changing and talking back and learning and eating me out of house and home. They love fiercely and hug tightly and fight loudly. They are smart and strong and beautiful.

Atticus is 8 now and will be 9 in June. He's finishing 3rd grade at our neighborhood school, where he has made some very close friends and has truly blossomed academically. He plays piano and baseball, loves minecraft, and is still the pickiest eater I've ever known in my life. He is also the kindest, most empathetic child on the planet. This is not an exaggeration. He is a GOOD KID who is doing a damn fine job of living up to his name. He does his homework without having to be asked, makes his siblings breakfast every Saturday so that I can sleep in, and moderates more squabbles between Lucy and Quinn than anyone his age should have to endure. And he does it all without complaint. I would not have survived the past two years without him.

Quinn turned 6 just before Christmas and we kept him in preschool one more year to give him a chance to catch up before he starts kindergarten this fall. I'm freaking out a little a lot about this transition. Is he ready? Will the other kids make fun of him? Will he have friends? Will he be able to keep up? Over and over and over, these thoughts consume me. But I have to remind myself that Quinn is actually doing pretty well. He understands nearly everything you tell him. He is potty trained, can follow instructions, and knows his letters. He is very difficult to understand in terms of speech, but he is speaking. Lucy knows Quinn's language better than anyone and translates often. But he's also determined to be understood, and will therefore use any combination of gestures, words, and/or sign language to get his point across. And if you STILL don't get it, he'll just grab your hand and drag you to whatever it is he wants and stand there with his arms crossed until you get it.

Lucy is almost 4 but she acts like she's 14. She's so smart, you guys. So so so smart. And she knows it. She knows how to work a room and still hasn't come to terms with the old adage, "you can't always get what you want." She is precocious and stubborn and completely fearless, flashing her dimples and absurdly long lashes at anyone within eye shot. She does basic math and knows her letters and makes up silly little songs constantly. She loves to dance, cuddle her massive collection of stuffed animals, and change her clothing 3-4 times/day. She is her mother's daughter.

There's the fun stuff. Now for the tough stuff. Brian and I just didn't make it. We still care very much about each other and are working together to raise these babies, but we no longer work as a couple, and we know we aren't doing the kids any favors by staying together for their sake. We still own our house and the kids call it home every day. We take turns living there each week with the kids and will continue this arrangement for at least one more year.  It was a sad decision, but the right one for our family. I wish I could speak about it more openly. But I can't yet. And I'm sorry it's taken this long to share this new reality with you. I will be taking a more active role on this blog from here on out. I hope you'll continue to stop in and catch up with our family.


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