Growing Up Special

Thoughts, ramblings, and encouragement from a special need sibling to the world

Blessed July 1, 2011

A couple months ago, I posted this poem and mentioned that it was similar to one we had framed in our house and signed by Alyssa. Well, when I was home for Alyssa’s graduation, that poem held a place of honor among her awards and accomplishments. So here it is in the original. 🙂

Blessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech, for you help me to know that if I persevere, I can be understood.

Blessed are you who never bid me to “hurry up” or take my tasks from me and do them for me, for I often need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who stand beside me as I enter new and untried ventures, for my failures will be outweighed by the times I surprise myself and you.

Blessed are you who asked for my help, for my greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you who understand that it is difficult for me to put my thoughts into words.

Blessed are you who with a smile, encourage me to try once more.

Blessed are you who never remind me that today I asked the same question twice.

Blessed are you who respect me and love me just as I am.

 

Life Adventures June 24, 2011

Filed under: Life,Special Graduation — brittanyk1 @ 6:30 am
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Loving on Gramma after graduation. =)

 

Bad day? No excuse June 22, 2011

As Alyssa shops, she also greets all the people she knows. One individual we met while shopping was Mrs. Memmalink, the school counselor. She told us her favorite “Alyssa story.”

One morning, Alyssa came into school and you could tell from the moment she walked in the door that she was having a bad morning. She stomped in, glaring at everyone she passed.

As she walked by, Mrs. Memmalink said “Good morning, Alyssa!”

Alyssa turned and glared at her. Before stomping off, however, she said in a tone of disgust, “You look very LOVELY today.”

Mrs. Memmalink says it was the best reminder she’s had that no matter how bad a day we may be having, we can always take time to say something nice to others. 🙂

 

Peter Pan June 20, 2011

Filed under: Life,Quotes,Special Ramblings — brittanyk1 @ 6:30 am
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To LIVE would be an awfully big adventure.


Alyssa lives like that.  Every single moment of every single day is filled with pure magic.  For Alyssa, LIFE itself is an awfully big adventure.  And she inspires me to look at just living as an ‘awfully big adventure.’

 

96 Cents June 17, 2011

Another Alyssa story… a follow-up from last Saturday’s post on the dark after morning.

We were at the grocery store one Friday and Alyssa honed in on the movies. If you know Alyssa, you know she LOVES movies. If you don’t know Alyssa… well, it’s time you learned that she LOVES movies. 🙂 She’s addicted. She will carry around old VHS tapes, even though we have no way to play them, just because she loves them so much.

Well, she found a Beethoven DVD on sale and she was DETERMINED that she was going to get that video. However, we had to tell her no.

Alyssa does not take well to the answer ‘no’ when it comes to movies. So we started talking. I talked to her, then Momma talked to her, then I talked to her some more. Nothing was going to convince her to leave that movie. She started getting grumpy. Then she started getting mad. Then she started pushing and pulling and pinching. All in all, it was very quickly deteriorating into a full-blown, all-out tantrum in the grocery store.

(Random sidenote: if this had been the ‘regular’ grocery store in Granby, I wouldn’t have worried so much. Most people know Alyssa and they are understanding and probably won’t call the police or security or think we’re horrible people. Isn’t it awesome to have a place like that? Anyway… this happened to be an unfamiliar grocery store in Denver. As a result, I was kind of hoping we could get out without a tantrum).

Well, we were all buying candy bars and I had asked Alyssa several times if she wanted one. She always said no, she was getting a movie. But in a last ditch effort to avoid that tantrum, I told her all about how wonderful and yummy those candy bars were. I told her how awesome it would be if she could eat one. After a few minutes, she reluctantly laid down the movie and picked up a candy bar.

By the time we paid for it, she was beaming! She bounced outside and shouted “Mommy! Look what I got!!!”

My mom made a comment about me ‘giving in’ or ‘bribing.’ She was probably right. But when I saw how happy and cheerful everyone was and contrasted that with the alternative of a several hour kicking, screaming, all-out tantrum… I decided I was okay with that.

I also think that was the best spent 96 cents EVER.

 

Win Friends, Influence People June 15, 2011

Another “Alyssa story.”

Every time I went to the grocery store with Alyssa, I was introduced to more of Alyssa’s friends. Turns out, she knows most of the town. And when she found someone she didn’t know, this conversation ensued.

A: “Hi! My name is Alyssa Barden! I’m 21 and I’m gwaduating from high school. What is your name?”

Random store worker looks up from unloading onions.

“Um… my name is Paul.”

A: “HI PAUL! Can I shake your hand?”

Walks over to where he is and shakes his hand.

A: “It’s good to meet you.”

Continues shopping.

I think I need to take lessons from her on how to win friends and influence people.

 

Dark after morning… June 11, 2011

After the morning, comes the night.

Wait, that’s not how it goes? Oh well, it’s how life works sometimes.

After all the parties, celebrations, amazing time with family, and the crowning accomplishment of Alyssa’s life… there had to be some repercussions. 🙂 And there have been. It hasn’t been absolutely horrible and it’s pretty understandable. Alyssa was completely worn out from all the visitors and parties. (As you’ll see when I finally post some pictures, she looked pretty shell-shocked with all the busy-ness).

So on Tuesday morning (the day after all the company left and life finally got back to normal), Alyssa woke up on the wrong side of bed. We had to go to Denver for Alyssa’s doctor appointment that day. Problem: Alyssa refused to go. She was fine when we got in the car to head down to Denver. But once we got there, she wouldn’t budge any farther than a few feet from the car. The tantrum continued for several hours before she got over it.

On Wednesday, she was just generally cranky. The last couple of days have been better, with just a periodic meltdown.

Well, all that to say… you never know what the day will bring when you have a special needs person in your life! 🙂