It’s been one whole year.

It’s been a year since I started this blog. I was in desperate need of an outlet, a creative outlet, a rant outlet, a way to let off some steam, be myself, write about our lives, my life, my son’s life, our pressures, our problems, our good days and our bad days. I had quit my job in order to be a stay-at-home mom and take care of my son and become even more involved in his therapies, help him and myself work through our issues and I think it did him a whole lot of good. He was, and is, in a very good school, and his behavior has improved immensely. But I wasn’t happy. My husband wasn’t happy. We were always strapped for case, although we didn’t change much in our day-to-day activities, we were always worried about what the day would bring tomorrow. What if something major happened and we just didn’t have enough cash to cover it?? K was constantly ranting about that. As an accountant, worrying and planning about the future is basically in his blood. You need to go back to work he’d say to me all the time. And it’s not like I wasn’t looking. But if you don’t live in Greece at the present where the situation out there is beyond horrible then you just don’t know how hard it is to compete with girls fresh out of school. I mean, with all my studies and credentials and experience I actually got upset when I got turned down for a job as a waitress at a cafe! What does that say about us? Anyway, I’m working now, full-time and it’s still tough, though not as tough financially because the pay is good. But we put little Maria in daycare, more for social skill building reasons than anything else really. That has been tough on me because I still feel like she’s too young to be away from home for such long periods of time during the day. She’s a trooper though, and she’s adjusted beautifully, made little friends too. Like I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, she knows the drill. She’s been awesome in helping us with Panayioti and she’s always helping me with her brother when some days he just wants to be in his ‘zone’. There are days when I think she’s the older of the two.

Last weekend I took the little guy to cirque du soleil, vip seats and everything. I wanted him to be right up-front to get the full effect of the show. It was OK though. He seemed more interested in his popcorn (playing with eat-not eating it) and sniffing his vip pass, than anything else and not that interested in the acrobatics, something that surprised me knowing how much he loves to climb things and hang off stuff. Kind of regretted the 140 euros I gave, but oh well. And then yesterday I dragged the whole familia to a very, very northern suburb of Athens for a day in nature. The company I work for footed the entrance tickets for 4 adults and kids got in for free. There was tons of stuff to do there but it was cold and windy, Miss Maria has a tiny bit of a cough, and Panayioti just whined the whole entire time. I think the only time he enjoyed himself was when it was just the two of us and we sat in this quiet little corner and listenend to live musicians playing soft Greek music. When it was time to leave he kept looking back at the musicians and I thought how much if he could talk he’d say that he wanted to stay.

A lot has changed this past year. But a lot of things are the same and that’s fine with me. The little guy is still non-verbal but so much more cooperative and communicating in other ways. And way more independent when it comes to the bathroom. I was calling out to him the other day and got no response so of course I panicked. But then as I passed by the bathroom I noticed the door was ajar and saw two little feet dangling from the toilet. He actually pulled his pants and undie down and sat on the seat all by himself! That’s huge. He didn’t take my hand and lead me there and wait while I help him like he always does. He did it by himself. Everything. Just another ‘tiny’ proud autism parent moment.

And work has been ok. It’s only been 2 1/2 months and I’m slowly finding my pace, focusing on what I’m good at, shaking off the negative vibes from certain people and the snickering and snide remarks due to the fact that I’ve never been someone’s personal assistant before so I can’t really compete with others that have been there for over 10 years, and although I have been in Greece for a while now I still have unknown words, and phrases but I ask and I ask. And every day that goes by I realize that I’m stronger than I thought and that’s always a good thing, right?

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