If you follow me on social media or Youtube you have probably seen that on September 8th in the wee hours of the morning we woke up to smoke filling our house. My wife got me up because of the smell and as I opened the bedroom door I was overwhelmed by thick black smoke. We both went into emergency mode. As we ducked under the choking black smoke rolling over us I opened the doors to the kids rooms. We ducked and crawled down to the floor to head to the front door. As I watched Samantha and the kids go out the front I realized Jayden wasn’t with us. As I turned around to see him he wasn’t there. After finding the hallway I found Jayden standing in the hall with his hand over his nose and lips clinched tightly. We crawled out the front door & after getting the pets out the fire department arrived. We watched from the cold front lawn, covered in blankets from our neighbors, as they worked to put out the flames eating our home of the last 5 years.
About 5 and a half years ago we were out of town for our wedding anniversary only to arrive back to a burned out shell of a house so this hits us very hard. I don’t know if it was the roar of the flames, the exploding glass, kids crying, or hearing Samantha’s sobbing “not again, how could this happen again”. All of those things jumbled me. I pride myself on being put together in times of hardship or emergencies but I was broken at that moment. I could do nothing but hold my youngest, cry with him, & watch the fire do what fire does.
Its been a couple of weeks now. We are staying with my parents. Never did I think I would be back in the room I grew up in at 35 with my kids just down the hall. That said, things are okay. Not great but I can go with okay. We are waiting to find out what we can get from our renters insurance & crossing our fingers its enough to get our family into somewhere new all the while working to keep business going. Life moves on. It begs the question still though…Who’s house burns down twice!?! Freakin’ twice y’all!
Thanks so much for all the messages, prayers, donations, & other well wishes! You have no idea how much we appreciate it all.
Well, we staved it off as long as we could. Dungeons & Dragons, yep we’ve gone there! Its aaaaalllllll over people, it’s done. We watched Gravity Falls & when he saw the mock version of it he looked at my wife & said “wouldn’t it be cool if that was a real game!” So she let the cat out of the bag & he did some googling. The next day we had a home made cardboard D&D with hand drawn characters. It was just to damn cute & it felt to good to see him so excited about something that is NOT video games or on YouTube so she loaded him up and headed to the comic book store. Who knew the game was $70 but once he saw it it was to late! Now the entire family is in on the game & we spent this evening after dinner playing. Sam snapped a few photos that I couldn’t help but post up to share. Not my cup of tea, I’m more of a Tetris man myself but totally worth it to see how much fun he was having throwing zombies at us.
We have been working a lot, it’s easy to do when you are self employed. It’s so cool to be able to travel to new parts of the country photographing weddings at beautiful places. Your business gets just a little popular & it’s super hard not to want to please everyone that asks you to do work for them but so goes life, we have to start turning away some jobs because otherwise your family life suffers. That being said my wife & I both committed to scaling back, re-centering, & focusing on being successful at home as well as at work instead of putting all of our eggs in the work basket. This not only means working less & more efficiently but also doing more one on one things with the kids, doing different things as a family, & of course taking more photos of them just hanging out. We photograph weddings for a living & one of my favorite things about that is the photojournalistic style we bring to it, just capturing it as it happens, moving away from the classic super posed photography. We both wanted to bring this to our home life so Samantha picked up the camera on our day off & used the day to document our stay-at-home mulligan day that we dubbed our ‘no work mental health day’. Take a peek!
Don’t forget we are now doing a web show over on YouTube & if you or someone you know happens to be getting married jump over to our other site Hibben Photography to take a look at our work…Yeah, shameless self plug! 🙂
We love Big Bang Theory! From the time our son was diagnosed we have always had friends & older family members who had a hard time understanding what was going on with him. ‘He’s just an odd kid’ or ‘He’ll grow out of it’ were common sayings that made us want to pull our hair out. Slowly as shows like Parenthood became more popular they showed some of those people what we go through daily people started to get it. Even more than the heavy story lines of parenthood, Big Bang & Dr. Sheldon Cooper came to the rescue showing the masses that these kind of people are not only productive members of society but they are awesome! It wasn’t just a win for getting people to look at kids with Asperger’s in a different light but it was a release for patents like us, a time to laugh & say ‘he totally does that!!’ Last night we settled in to watch the most recent new episode in which Penny & Sheldon do an experiment to see if they can fall in love by going through questions. Aside from the fact that the episode was hilarious there was a moment where he went all high functioning autistic on us talking about how he wished he could read minds because facial expressions & social cues were so hard to understand. He told penny he was envious of her because she could do these things so easily. While millions of people tuned in & laughed & laughed again at the antics the characters were going through I couldn’t help but take a second to realize that while all these NT people are laughing there are scores of parents just like us watching, welling up with a tears at the realization that it’s going to be okay that our kids aren’t the same as yours. It’s a big deal that the writers add these kinds of story lines. When someone comes along who doesn’t have contact with one of these kids & 10 years ago would have just written them off as an odd ball now they associate them with someone like Sheldon making them, even unknowingly, more accepting of our kids!
Is it a cure for autism… kind of yeah! Because the kind of cure we need is acceptance & awareness! Autism isn’t chicken pox, it’s not something that is going to go away after taking a pill or drinking a fruit smoothie. Granted there are a boat load of opinions on these last two sentences but even if you do think autism is something that is curable we can all agree that awareness & acceptance is always a good thing.
Just a quick note to say thanks for all the support I have had over the years with Adventures In Aspergers! With the new chapters we have started, i.e. pre teen & middle school years, I thought I would give the blog a face lift as well as update some things. A new platform, yep I’m switching to wordpress for all you bloggers out there. Also updating the name keeping Adventures In Aspergers but adding the new ‘Adventures With Autism’ as well. I’m not only adding it because it accurate but also because it will improve the sites reach. I started this blog as an outlet & it has been a great one but even more than an outlet it has been a help to so many people that I’ve been inspired to widen my reach & put out as much helpful content as possible. Everything should be integrated from the old site. If you find a link that doesn’t work or a problem or maybe even have a suggestion please as always just drop me a message! I love hearing from readers & I am going to be working on making this blog even more of a recourse spot for families dealing with autism.. All the old articles are still here, even your old links that you have ever shared are still live & work. I’m working to make this transition as smooth as can be but again, if you find something missing or a link broken feel free to drop me a line!