Peaks and Valleys

Casey has recently taken up hiking as a hobby.  Hiking is very popular here in Cape Town as there are endless mountains and trails.  Last week he took Kieren and her little buddy Dunte on another long hike to visit a waterfall.  They had a grand adventure.

I took a nap.  It was also grand.

I have been thinking a lot about the peaks and valleys of life.

There are so many highs and lows that come with every single day.  We expect and look for the highs and we are shocked and discouraged at the lows.  But both should be expected.  Both are NEEDED.

Now being a special needs family has really highlighted the peaks and valleys in our life.  We are on a journey of early intervention for Keller’s autism and there are MANY highs and lows.  Both are to be expected and even both are NEEDED.  But the lows hurt pretty bad.

We are seeing progress in Keller in certain areas of his life through therapy.  He is learning new words all the time and LOVES celebrating with us for every new word.  His new favorite word is ‘bulldozer’ which he says ‘fur-oh-duh.’  He is so proud.  I AM SO PROUD.  But we are also seeing Keller really struggle with some other parts of his life, and sometimes his struggling is INTENSE.  Recently bath time has become ‘oh so you are trying to murder  me?’ time in Keller’s head.  HE HATES BATH.  HE SCREAMS AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS FROM THE MOMENT YOU SAY ‘BATH.’  It’s pretty painful for me; so much so, that I recently came to the conclusion that children do not ever needs baths and we will now skip them forever.

They are cute and will still be loved when they are smelly.

Our therapist didn’t agree with my new life choice and says we should keep bathing our kids.

So the torture continues.

But it got me really thinking of the peaks and valleys in autism treatment and IN LIFE.  Sometimes you are moving forward and sometimes you are being pushed backwards.  Sometimes you are swimming in blessing and other times you feel you must be cursed.  One moment you are on the top and then next minute you are down in the ditch.  This is life, and there are things to be learned from both parts of the journey.  We need the HIGHS and LOWS.

So when you see pictures from our family on social media that look like this:

There was probably just a moment that more looked like this:

That pillow is Keller’s BEST FRIEND.  It’s disgusting and sewn up so many times and full of holes and his WORLD.  Without it, and often times WITH it, Keller melts down.

This is life.  We learn and we grow.  We have highs and we have lows.

And sometimes life seems to give us HUGE mountains that we must climb, and so we climb and build our endurance along the way.  We are definitely building some endurance and can’t wait to see the view from the top of THIS mountain.