I received a notification from WordPress that I have 100 “likes” on my blog! So funny to think others will like or relate to my life. I have had no less then 10 friends from high school, college, law school, etc. share with me that they too have a child on the spectrum. This info instantly makes me cry. I am not sure if I cry because I am touched they shared this with me, or because we could’ve helped each other for years and didn’t know it, or because I can truly imagine their struggles. Facebook helps with connecting too. I think the sharing comes from “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” and by now I’m pretty damn naked.
In the next few weeks, as we approach April, Autism Awareness Month, our lives are packed with Autism related activities. Luckily Earl already got our blue lightbulbs from Home Depot to light it up blue on April 2. Next Saturday is Surfers for Autism in Deerfield Beach and we have been attending since the first one that was held about 5 years ago. Local surfer dudes and dudettes take our kids into the ocean and teach surfing. It is a spectacular event. The couple that runs this organization have “taken it on road” all over Florida. We are hosting a fundraiser at 16 Handles Yogurt Shop. They are generously donating a portion of the proceeds to Autism Speaks and our team. We have received tons of positive responses from our locals and we are trying to leverage all outlets, parents friends, kids schools, therapy center, work, etc. One of my friends from High School, (yay New Ro) is participating in a fabulous event riding bikes to support autism. The website is www.gtd4autism.org. Please check it out if you can. His son’s name is Kyle and the team is Kyle’s Runaways II. We are supporting each other. He reached out to me and shared the story of his family. I am grateful to hear from him and to share our journey. We connected through facebook, saw each other briefly at the night before the High School Reunion in September. The real connection, the people connection, has been there since high school and our shared experiences have brought our friendship alive again. I am really old school; friends from my childhood warm my heart. Sometimes facebook, twitter, etc can be a complete escape, waste of time. Other times it can connect you with people who can change your life just by hearing someone say “hey I’m with you”.
Bryan had a play date yesterday afternoon. (ok admittedly I am all over the map today). His classmate wanted him to come over and the family is terrific. They have two older boys and their oldest was Bryan’s football buddy this past season. Can you imagine such a nice kid; he has his own brother with autism, lives with it every day, yet volunteers with kids with autism too? Clearly they are doing something right in that house. We had a fabulous experience. Bryan and his friend were upstairs playing games and I sat with the parents downstairs on the couch just chatting. The Dad was telling me how his youngest, Bryan’s friend, lights up their lives. Although we all share the worries, hopes and dreams for our kids, it was so inspiring to hear a father say how much he enjoyed just seeing his son’s smile and sunny disposition. We are both very lucky; our boys smile almost all of the time, are fun-loving and verbal. It was a 2 hour playdate, the most Bryan and his friend could handle. I don’t know how much they talked to each other or truly interacted, but the sheer comfort of each other’s company, since they are in the same class, relaxed them both. There were hugs and kisses all around when we arrived and when we left. Bryan was excited on the way over and very proud of himself on the way home.