In the summer of 2011, I decided that I wanted to start writing. Actually, writing has been on the back burner since my children were placed in special education in 1991-1992. It has been my secret dream. Well, not so secret. My husband has known since before we were married. My parents and siblings have been aware of my dream of being a writer ever since I was a young child.
Even though I didn’t pursue writing when my children were young, I did keep journals. My journals were a way keeping the dream alive, while also serving a therapeutic function. They were not great literature by any measure. Many of the entries are mundane: Christmas lists, budgets, devotions, how I spent too much money, how a car repair delayed buying winter boots, etc. More importantly, over half of the content is about our journey with our kids: descriptions of of their developmental differences, diagnoses, therapies, emotional struggles, conflict regarding their educational services, IEPC meetings, turmoil regarding medication, etc.
Most of this blog has been written either about current events in our children’s transition to adulthood, or looking back from the perspective of accomplishing much of our long term goal of independence. These journals looked forward to a future that I hoped for, struggled toward, and could not have imagined.
When my kids began to be able to read, my journal writing tapered off. I didn’t want them to read about themselves and be embarrassed. So I took the journals upstairs and put them all together in a box. I hid them away. I have thumbed through them briefly a few times in the last 12-15 years.
Tonight I finally brought the large box of my journals downstairs and put it next to my computer desk. I am ready to look to the time when I was looking forward.
I am ready to read the real time descriptions of our struggles. I remember that Mary’s language development didn’t fit the typical progression, even for children with delayed language development. I remember bits and pieces regarding her language development. But I also know that I wrote down language samples (an influence of my linguistics training in college)
I expect that this will be an emotional process as I relive the past. However, the accomplishments of today are due to a myriad of small steps and repetitive successes. The story of transition would not be complete without a description of how we got here.