Yesterday, Avery and I had an unplanned and unplugged play day. We started things off with a trip to her favorite play place and then home for lunch, a walk and some sidewalk chalk fun. It was definitely something we both needed.
Things have been rough lately for both of us. Avery has been having a rough time at school and at home. She hasn’t been sleeping well and her anxiety is high. If she doesn’t sleep that means I don’t sleep. I have been thinking a lot about her going into 4k. I hope she is ready but sometimes I am not sure. We were hoping that she would be a little farther ahead than she is as her first year in school is coming to a close. I am also worried about how summer is going to go for her. She is used to having somewhere to go four days a week and when summer comes she will be back home with me all day. We do have equine therapy to go to one day a week and we have been in correspondence with music therapy again. (Fingers crossed on music therapy; that would be so great for Avery.) But that would still leave five days a week with nothing. So, it’s been a little stressful over here lately. Avery gets frustrated that she can’t communicate like she wants to. She has a lot to say and express. Not being able to always do that is very hard for her. We try to be patient but sometimes it’s challenging. Especially on little sleep.
Back to yesterday. We headed out early for the play place and I was hoping for the best. When we arrived, Avery immediately headed for the trampolines. (There are six!) Then she ventured about and ended up at the piano with a book. She had a blast and it was so nice to see her happy again. We were having so much fun I didn’t even notice a woman approaching me. She started out by asking if Avery was on the spectrum. Normally, I get nervous when people start talking to us because it usually follows with unwanted advice or criticism. I told her that she was and then she introduced us to her grandson that is a year older than Avery and is also on the spectrum. We had a nice talk about different therapies and how much we loved taking the kids to Tiny Tots because they are so accepting. It was so nice to talk with someone who is going through and doing the exact same things I am. I was so grateful for a positive encounter and I so hope we run into them again. Shortly after we went home for lunch and then we decided to go outside. We went for a walk and when we came home we got out Avery’s sidewalk chalk. Avery has way more interest in it this year. She actually colored for quite a while and then she handed each color to me and I drew a letter of the alphabet. Wouldn’t you know we have enough chalk to go through the alphabet twice 😉 I was telling her how good she was at drawing when I got a “Yeah mom.” from her. Yay! Our day ended with Avery climbing on my lap and falling asleep 🙂 She followed by sleeping for a good nine hours. Both haven’t happened in a while and were a nice surprise.
After yesterday I realized I need to focus on the short-term instead of the long-term with Avery. Instead of worrying about what her future will hold I need to look at how far we have come. She is using her words a little more and saying more “approximate” phrases. The PECS system is coming along and she is getting more social. All of the small steps add up to huge steps and she is doing both. There are always going to be bad days. But when you get a really good day it makes up for all of the bad ones. I also need to stop worrying about other people. I know how smart Avery is and she doesn’t have to prove herself to others. Days like yesterday make all of the advocating, emails, phone calls and stress worth it. There are always going to be people judging you. But you do come across awesome people in the world that you connect with and have a great conversation. Sometimes all you need is a play day 🙂