Grieving & Celebrating

It’s been awhile since I updated, and there have been some good changes.

Austin is now loving school! He gets excited when we turn in every morning. When a teacher comes to take him out of the car, his face lights up in a big smile. He is really doing well and is thriving in this routine.

Austin is still completely  nonverbal, though there have been improvements. He is babbling again; jibber jabbering in his own language. He has said a few words randomly, but still isn’t able to repeat them on command and generally doesn’t say them more than once. It has to start somewhere  though, so although I am guarded about getting too excited, I am definitely pleased with how he’s doing.

The ABC song is Austin’s favorite right now, he hums along when we sing it, and a couple times has tried making the sounds with me.

He got a stuffed v tech frog from his school for Christmas and he loves the “5 minutes to night night” setting, lol. His daddy & I feel a little differently about that frog, however, after our recent Disney trip where  he pushed the frog’s night night setting for FIVE HOURS nonstop in the middle of the night. Haha. That’s a night we won’t soon forget & that is the last time we will attempt all sleeping together in one room. At least for a long time!

During this past year and a half I’ve struggled with the feelings I’ve had, some of which I’ve shared here, and I’ve felt guilty for having those feelings. I’ve read so many times that with a special child you have to celebrate their accomplishments no matter how small. And of course I do!

But to be completely honest even when I am excited about something new Austin has done, I still feel the sadness.

I feel the pain that even though he’s progressing, his improvements are milestones that normally occur in an infant’s first year of life.

I feel the pain that he’s not the 3 1/2 year old I dreamed he’d be.

The little guy who would’ve been dressed up in a police uniform with a plastic gun on his hip. The little boy who would’ve been following his daddy around impressed with his police car and his police gear. Maybe he would’ve dreamed of being just like him one day.

I grieve that we don’t have the little boy driving us crazy by asking hundreds of questions every day or begging for just one more story at night. I grieve for the little voice we haven’t heard that would be saying “I love you daddy.” “I love you mommy”.

I grieve that we don’t have the little boy I’d dreamed we would have when I found out we were having a son.

I am learning though that being sad is ok. It’s even necessary. And it doesn’t take away from being proud of his progress.

A friend shared a video and this statement jumped out at me:

“Grieving the losses is not incompatible with celebrating the triumphs.”

Simple enough, but for me it was profound. Feeling the pain of our losses doesn’t mean I can’t also celebrate accomplishments & be positive about Austin’s future even if it will look different than we’d planned.

I may not have what I expected at this stage of life with our little guy, but what I do have is an incredibly sweet, beautiful little boy who is my whole world. He’s cuddly and squishy and loving. He strokes my hair and rubs his nose on mine. He stares right into my eyes and smiles that ridiculously adorable dimpled smile.

He doesn’t tell me verbally that he loves me, but he doesn’t have to. He tells me in a hundred other ways every day. He is my everything, and I am thankful that God gave him to us.



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