There are some “big” changes underway in our household. Mostly, at least from my point of view, these changes revolve around me working a lot more. This is good, because it means my business is succeeding. This is bad, because it means I’m spending more time away from my family. It’s all an adjustment, and Alex is having the hardest time with it. Just about every time he sees me, he grabs at me, often lovingly but sometimes out of frustration. As much as he’s used to me working so much, he’s not used to me working so much! He wants more mommy time, and I’m trying to give it to him, but I also have to do the work I’ve agreed to do. On the plus side, he’s also connecting a bit better with daddy (Mark), so that’s helping him to adjust to my new schedule.
Along with this, something unexpected has “happened.” I’m putting “happened” in quotes, because it hasn’t actually happened yet. It might though, and it’s looking promising. This something isn’t “big,” it’s HUGE. Basically, if it happens, it involves moving. Not just to a new neighborhood, but to a new state—across the country. It means a new house—a nicer house. It means, eventually, rebuilding this house. It means having more money and more “toys,” like an iPad and/or a laptop for each child. It means more space and separate bedrooms (instead of Willy and Brandon sharing the living room, because Alex and Ben CANNOT share a room and neither of the big boys want to share a room with either of the little boys).
Like I said: HUGE. A kind of success I wasn’t even planning on, didn’t even consider until it was (tentatively) dropped in my lap.
So, how does a family with three autistic boys deal with such big changes?
A lot of foreshadowing, even though it’s only tentative, is the biggest thing. We talk about it. We think about it. And we talk some more.
Planning is a really big thing, too. Not only would we be up-rooting our three boys; we’d also be leaving my step-son behind, except for the summers. Leaving him physically behind. Painful. Hard. And that by itself requires a lot of planning, making sure we have enough safeguards and stuff in place that he’ll be okay and won’t feel left behind, even though he’s choosing to stay here. Plus, of course, trying to make the whole thing as easy on the three boys as possible. I haven’t even come close to figuring that one out yet.
But what else? It’s too soon to act. We can’t make any picture for the little boys and it seems too soon, too tentative to make a social story for Willy. So we talk and we plan and we worry and we hope.
Changes are hard. Dealing with the relatively small change of my new work schedule is a challenge. Preparing, even tentatively, for the big change…huge change...that’s something else.