Feeling Thankful, Part One

Ok, so I really have not been a prolific blogger as of late. I guess I could throw out some legitimate excuses…no one will blame a busy father of a 3-year-old with autism for not taking the time to write in his blog on a regular basis. Some days I do actually have a free moment or two, but just don’t feel like writing. Or other days the only things I can thing to write about are very depressing. Not that expressing some raw emotion is a bad thing, but I like to write some posts that at least have a measure of hope.

It’s so easy for me to get down in the dumps and start thinking that everything in my life is going down the tubes. People will say ‘You have so much to be thankful for!’ and depending on my mood I may be inclined to just roll my eyes. But you know, it is true. Even though every day brings some sort of unexpected challenge, I do have a lot to be thankful for.

Being that Thanksgiving is just a few days away, this seems like a good week to write some posts on what I am thankful for at the moment. I don’t know if Oprah is a faithful reader of this blog but she’d be happy to see that this week my blog will turn into an ‘attitude of gratitude’ journal or whatever she calls it.

Right now I am so thankful for the renewed interest my son has in me lately. Like most little guys his age (autism or typical) he has always favored his mommy. I know he loves me, but when push comes to shove, I’m usually the one that gets shoved out of the way. I would try to force my way in there to be part of his little world, and he’d let me be close by, but most days I could go somewhat ignored, especially if my wife is anywhere in the vicinity.

But for some reason these last couple of weeks, Josiah has taken quite a shine to me. Even with my wife in the same room, he’s coming up to me, grabbing my hand, and taking me on all his little adventures. It started innocently enough one day when I saw an exercise ball nearby and I picked him up and started bouncing him on it. He got such a big kick out of that and pretty much everyday he brings me down to the basement to play ‘bouncy’ as he calls it. I just love the look of sheer delight he gets on his face when we play together and for once I feel like I’m playing ‘correctly’ with him. He asks for something, I deliver. We both have fun. It seems so simple yet it has brought me new life.

Even more amazing than the bouncing is that Josiah now will also request for me to come into his room to sit on my lap in the rocking chair and sing some songs with him. Now this might not sound like a huge deal, but in our home this is pretty big stuff. His world pretty much revolves around songs, so if you get to be the singer it’s pretty huge. He’s always loved doing this with my wife but I can only remember a couple of times that I got the coveted position in the rocking chair and it was always when she wasn’t home for an evening.

I love the way he snuggles up to me on the chair and wiggles with delight when I sing his favorite songs. Right now the Christmas songs are pretty popular. I feel like a DJ spinning some tunes at a club. I start with a little ‘Jingle Bells’, or as Josiah calls it ‘Jingul Bulls’ and then move to a little ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas,’ ‘Deck the Halls,’ and maybe a little ‘Rudolph’ if time permits.

So for this holiday week I first give thanks for my son’s new fondness for me. I pray that it lasts because it has done my heart so much good. And it’s the most use that exercise ball has ever had in our house!

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