“At my worst moments, my family is around to rescue me. They are there to throw me a life preserver. They are there to cheer me on. They are everything. They are MY everything.“
My Family is an Anchor
This isn’t the first time Caitlin has asked me to guest post on her blog, and it isn’t the first time I have accepted either. But it is, in fact, the first time I have finally sat down to do so.
You see, I “run” (and I use that term very loosely because I currently post probably three times a year) a blog of my own called Confessions of a Woman in Over Her Head. As I said, I’m not the greatest blogger. Actually, I’m not a very reliable person, so blogging is hard for me. I like to think I am, but I’m really not. Anyway, I am getting away from myself. I’m going too fast.
Let me slow down and formally introduce myself: My name is Kimberly, I’m Caitlin’s cousin on her mother’s side. We are really close in age, and in life. (You all know Debi right?! Amazing woman, and I’m lucky enough to have her sister, Donna, as my mother!)
And those women, a book could be written on their lives. A book could be written on all the love and guidance they have given to us over the years. I’m not sure if a better example of a family sticking together exists in this world. I really don’t.
But, as usual, I digress. So back to the basics, my name is Kimberly. My significant other, of ten and a half years (but NOT my husband, we decided that “living in sin” is a lot more fun) is Roger.
And my daughter is Mia. Mia is nine. Mia is autistic. Mia is classically autistic. Mia is non-verbal autistic (although she does speak, but mainly with echolalia). Mia is what you perceive autism to be, and at the same time, she is so much more.
That, right there, is mainly the topic of my blog – Mia and her autism.
It is mainly the reason I claim to be “in over my head.” Autism comes out of nowhere, it isn’t part of the plan.
Autism throws you for a loop, and in the beginning it’s like having a child that speaks a different language. Luckily, during the ensuing years we have managed to form a language of our own that works. (Much like all new mothers, new families, you find out what works for you and throw the rest away).
So, over the past seven years since Mia’s diagnosis I have slowly begun to get my head above water. First with little breaths here and there. Then a slow tread until finally, one day, I found myself swimming. And now there are times when I am able to swim a breast stroke through this life of mine faster than Michael Phelps (is he still a thing?).
Of course, as with all things in life, there are times I still sink back underneath the surface – when things become challenging. Those days are hard. They are difficult. Those are days I wish I never had to live through. Days when Mia’s body doesn’t listen to her mind and she is unable to do simple tasks she can normally accomplish with ease.
And, as a mother, the frustration she feels is felt by me, deep inside my soul. But surprisingly enough, it is the rough moments in life that I am able to look around and realize just how lucky I am, because it is in those moments that I realize, I never am, nor was I ever, actually “in over my head”..
And this is why: At my worst moments, my family is around to rescue me. They are there to throw me a life preserver. They are there to cheer me on. They are everything. They are MY everything.
I am blessed. I am absolutely, unequivocally blessed to have such a strong family unit. To have been taught since birth to lean on my family. To have be taught that life is hard.
Horrible things will happen. But, it is in those dreadful moments that we all huddle close together, and hold each other until the storm passes and the waters calm…. and it is again safe to swim.