***Many thanks to Kristen for reminding me why I do this blog! Thank you for writing and getting me back on the horse!!***
I have not fully accepted that winter is quickly making it's comeback. The weather is indeed frightful outside with a big ice storm on its way, so today is a perfect day to get under a blanket and write this blog. This southern girl does not do well in the cold.
Since the last blog, I am happy to report that Liam has settled in nicely to middle school. I have made great sacrifices to stay in the county where we live because the school system here is amazing! All of my support network and family lie one county over, so it can be difficult when the stuff of life happens. But, it has been well worth it when I come to an IEP meeting and his teachers give me good reports and seem truly invested in his learning. He is independently walking to each class and has minimal support in the inclusion classrooms. He is only pulled out a few times during the day for individualized teaching- which is HUGE! We are putting him in different arenas of extracurricular activities to see which one "sticks". I can report that while being the water boy for the middle school football team over the summer and early fall was an honor, I think he likes knowing the stats of the game rather than the manual labor required to actually fill the bottles up and take them to the players.
|The Water Boy!|
To my horror, players and coaches were many times desperately yelling for water while Liam was too busy staring into space and adding up the yardage gain in his head from the previous play. I had to stop going to the games because I would get more stressed out about his lack luster performance than he would!
I don't believe I have fully explained Liam's obsession with football on this blog. He just so happens to be one of the biggest University of Alabama's fans. And, unless you are just completely unaware of anything sports related, Bama has been consistently on top for the past 5 years. And, unless you live under a rock- there was a small (really tiny) game played this past Saturday that rocked Bama's hopes for a 3rd National Championship in 4 years under the reign of head coach, Sir Nick Saban, or "Lord Saban" as he is referred to in our house. And, this game may have been our fiercest rival ever. And, the last play of the game before inevitable overtime, may just have been played and replayed countless times on every single network on every single channel in the entire nation. Our beloved team lost. Our championship dreams dashed by a "miracle" play that some are calling the greatest end to a football game in history.
|Lord Saban with his team!|
We were in shock.
To work so hard to get to this point in the season-only to lose in one moment was gut-wrenching! I act like it was me on the field playing the game, but this is SEC football! We live and die football down here.
As my mind stared blankly at the screen, my family members all muttering sighs of disbelief, a familiar sound came from the bedroom next to us. Liam had wisely given himself time-outs through out the game if the score was too close for comfort. He would emerge from the bedroom, check the status, and quickly go back in and close the door if he knew his blood pressure couldn't handle it! But, the sound I heard was one of angry screams of rage, things being thrown, and walls being punched!
I had been preparing for this day all along. It's pretty remarkable that Alabama has won as many games as they have. They have been the team to beat for several years and there was talk of a dynasty occurring. So, in the mind of a child with autism, winning becomes a routine. And, I know I have talked on this blog about the futile nature of trying to explain winning and losing to him.
Then, to make matters worse, another family member raged at the fact that Liam was raging...
We were all grieving, and none of us knew what to do but to go to our default modes of coping.
When I finally made it in to Liam's room without having things thrown at me, he was lying down, breathing deeply, hands close to his face, and eyes closed. I scratched his back and we both sat in silence for a while.
When enough time had passed, he looked at me wide-eyed and said, "Mom, MY 'play of the game' was the 99 yard pass that AJ McCarron threw!"
AJ McCarron is Alabama's QB that threw an incredible 99 yard pass for a touchdown in the
|Few QB's have as many Championship rings as losses!|
same game that Auburn won. It was indeed a great play and probably would have moved AJ's chances of winning a Heisman- if Bama had won the game.
But, it was not the pass that stood out to me. It was Liam's ability to bring it back around to a memorable moment of joy in the game. To me, this was a giant leap for mankind!!! (okay, maybe just our family)
Liam was able to recall a good moment and let that be his comfort. He could have easily dwelt on the loss for days and days on end. But, instead, he focused on the positive- something that he has never been able to do very well (if ever) up until this point. And, something that is very difficult for him given his unwavering obsession with all things Alabama sports.
The Auburn-Alabama game is called the Iron Bowl every year for historical, and some more obvious, reasons. With Iron-Bowl-like strength, Liam managed to kick the walls, throw a few items, and tear things up. But, miraculously, he used that same strength to dig deep and find a ray of light in the midst of heartache.
The lesson here is that things are moving...things are changing...he is progressing...and the struggles we have dealt with for so long are finally moving more and more in to the past. And in the meantime, he teaches ME the stuff of life. He is teaching me to focus on what went right instead of what went wrong.
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
He continues to "sharpen" me every day! I love this, and I love that little guy!
Oh...and Roll Tide Roll!!