New and different can be good. It can be bad. It can be both. It can be neither.
It sometimes feels like the majority of my life right now consists of new and different. Ever since I came out of the closet it seems like everything has changed. Almost every relationship I have has changed. I have a new job and a new van and new people in my life and a new outlook.
Anyone in Autism World can tell you that change isn't always the easiest on our families. We begin summer break this week and the schedules will be different and the people working with the kids will be different and there will be a whole lot of new. But among the chaos of their new and my new and our new, there are some things that never change.
Diva Girl is still a diva. She was awarded the "Spunky Spirit" award at the end of the school year, which surprised just about no one. She's a head taller than most kids her age. Playing with beads and her ipad while perched on the top of her dresser is still her favorite past time. And, much to my dismay, she still loves to sniff my armpits as soon as I break out the tank tops. She's still my girl. And she knows her mama loves her.
Rascal is still a rascal. He was awarded the "Best Smile" award, and let's face it...that just means he is still a happy little fellow who is about the cutest thing you've ever seen. He loves to climb and run and be chased. He is a cuddle bug who still can't figure out that sometimes other people need to breathe when you are hugging them (especially little brother...poor kid gets loved on a little too much sometimes!) He is my big boy. And he knows his mama loves him.
Vlad is still my little hoppy happy flapper. You can find him with a pillow or pillow case at any given moment. He still isn't the quickest to smile, but when he does the sun comes out and the birds sing and it is worth the wait. He is still content to just sit and watch a movie with you, especially Monsters Inc or Veggie Tales. And the boy can chug milk like nobody's business. He is my baby (always will be, even when he's 50). And he knows his mama loves him.
And me? Well, I'm still the same friend and daughter and sister. I still love to get completely wrapped up in a good book. I still have a serious affection for coffee drinks. I spend a lot of time filling out forms and juggling therapists and worrying about communication and complaining about cooking dinner. I am their mama. And I love them like crazy.
So, some things never change. Some things are worth holding on to. Some things are such a part of who you are that you couldn't change them if you wanted to. And as the years go by I'm sure some of those things about my kids will change. They will grow and they will evolve and they will learn and discover who they are. But I bet more than a few of those things will always be true, they will always be an anchor in the chaos. So whenever new and different starts feeling like new and scary, I can come back here and reread this and remember. Some things never change.