Frequently in life you have to make choices, sometimes big choices. When you are a parent it is even scarier because those choices don't just effect you. You are making decisions that can have long term affects on a whole other generation. Three years ago next month my husband and I made such a choice. We did it with out a crystal ball to see the many repercussions that followed like ripples on a pond from a rain drop.
To properly tell the story I have to go back almost five years ago. The economy was almost at the bottom and the construction industry that my husband had come from was gone. I had taken a job working grave yard shifts at a local CVS Pharmacy. I would be up all night moving freight and up all day with a 9 month old and a 21 month old ASD. My husband would take on any odd job that he could. We were horribly broke and never used public assistance. Some may wonder how I managed during that time to potty train a moderate ASD boy. Its called having no money to buy diapers. We couldn't even afford meat. We were literally on our last dime and I will never forget confiding in my co worker that one more month and we would be done, and homeless. Before that week was over, out of the blue, a man,(the one that my husband still works for), called and gave my husband a job. It was and has been a good job with good pay. I had prayed so much. For the first time in my life I truly began to believe that someone was listening.
A year after my husband got this miracle job I was able to completely quit mine. My husband was also promoted numerous times and he wound up on the crew who went to Oregon every winter to mechanic. Also, the next year was supposed to be a whole lot of moves. With my husband working seven days a week we realized that we were faced with a huge decision. So, we chose to give up our rental and moved into a RV. My son was three and daughter was two. At this point we knew that our son was way behind on language and had a ton of odd quirks. But, neither of us had completely realized the scope or long reach our choice would have. I will never forget just how angry my son was. Everyone would say, "oh, just make it into a fun adventure," even after I told them that it didn't make a difference.
We left the stores that he had always gone to, the church that we had always gone to and forced him into a new small space with over stimulating Laundromats. That year we moved our trailer six time in twelve months. He regressed and became more angry and withdrawn.
By the time my son was five I knew for sure that there was something going on. At the time my husband was gone for about seventeen hours a day seven days a week. We were still in the trailer and I was trying to home school thru a local charter school. I told my husband that he needed to be assessed. And when we did sure enough he was diagnosed as moderately autistic with an additional language diagnosis and borderline ID. I had never guess that. The date that I got the call is etched in my brain as well as his birthday. It was February 12, 2014. I will never forget the women at the Regional Center telling me that he would need substantial support. I thought that it was mild maybe not even autistic,(a paranoid mom). When we got the report it was seventeen pages long. I read it and my husband read it too.
Like a lightning bolt from heaven, I remember realizing just how hard he must have worked to get where he was. It hurt, a lot. We realized that we had to find a good school and a house close to that school. And that even though my husband was down to six days a week that it would mean time a part. Miraculously we found his school and a teacher who loves our son. She is dedicated to helping him be the best him that he could be. We found a nice house in a good neighborhood that is only about five minutes from the school. Everything was coming together it was like a fairy tale. As they say, "all good things must come to an end."
There was a fire. Not a house fire, but, a huge forest fire started by lightening. The company that my husband works for sub contracts to anther company that lost billions of board foot of timber to the fire. That means that they sent my husbands company to harvest it before it becomes rotten. I got to hold back my crying children as their dad drove away knowing that he would be gone for a week. When he gets home we would get maybe twenty hours to see him every week. That is including sleep time. My heart was torn in two. My husband and I were sure though that this was the right decision though.
That brings us to this last weekend. I somehow missed that the kids were going to have a four day weekend because of Veteran's Day. Instead of my husband driving for hours to come see us we drove two hours to the RV and stayed until yesterday. I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to be a family. My husband is the kind of husband that when he is around my life is a million times better. When I was much younger a very wise person once told me that you know that you have found the right person to be with if with them your joys are doubled and your sorrows are cut in half. As corny as it sounds that is what my husband is to me.
Yes it is so much easier on me to have a washer, drier, dishwasher, space and a fenced in back yard. I would trade it in a heart beat if it meant being back with my husband in that thirty-one foot RV. The reality is that I am a mom and even if we are all heart broken apart, this is what is best for my son. He is over all happier with the stability and a good school. You can't forget that it also means no more Laundromats,(yay). I may not know what the future may bring, (until I get a working crystal ball), I will only be able to do the best that I can with what I know. Anyway that is all any of us can ever do. I will end this post with an appropriate quote, "Love is unselfishly choosing for another's highest good," C.S. Lewis.