This week we had a first for our whole family. We laced up our shoes, stretched out our legs, and participated in The 5K Triangle Run/Walk for Autism! A little surprising being our first, but in years past, we either had challenges with scheduling or weather – it hasn’t worked out until now!
I had been looking forward to this day for quite some time and was surprised at how emotional I became as the race went on. Being happy and excited to show our support, and being grateful (beyond grateful) at the generosity and support of others for helping not only our family, but this community we are part of. With all this joy, there was a little piece of my heart that felt sadness. You see Addie, no one goes through life hoping that one day they would have a personal reason to walk in a charity race like this, but – such is life...
As many as 1 in 59 children may be diagnosed with autism in North Carolina. This is a rather large community Addie. Proceeds from the Triangle Run/Walk for Autism will go to fund local programs of the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC), this is the leading statewide resource organization serving the over 65,000 people in NC across the spectrum. The Autism Society of North Carolina has a pretty clear mission: providing support and promoting opportunities that enhance the lives of individuals within the autism spectrum and their families.
How do they do all this? Well…
• They improve lives through direct care services, supporting and encouraging as much independence as possible to achieve any goals and dreams autistic individuals have set forth.
• They support sometimes overwhelmed parents with community resources; whether it be finding services, or resolving school issues that may arise. To our older community it helps in seeking employment or housing, even planning for long-term care beyond parents or caretaker’s lives.
• Finally, they educate the community, providing training for doctors and teachers to increase the quality of care you receive and advocate on our behalf with state policy makers for the needs of our community.
We’ve walked to support various causes before, but these steps just felt different. This was personal, and I felt as if each step was clearing the path for your future just a little bit more.
Our life doesn’t get a lot of rest - daddy alone went from New Jersey to LA to Chicago to NC I think in a matter of 2 ½ days last week. Our home is filled with chairs, but it’s rare to see us sitting in them- always going here or there and everywhere. Even during the Detroit Lions games, we generally find daddy pacing the living room rather than sitting (that is until it’s time for him to retreat into a corner to sit in the fetal position, and suck his thumb and cry…).
Exhausted from our week, we still couldn’t think of any other place we’d rather be then here supporting you, supporting others, One Team, One Dream. Together.
I realized a little something during this walk, but to explain it, I have to back up a bit.
Many years ago a newly married mommy and daddy were expecting your big sister Clara.. As often as we could, we'd walk around the block, talking about what we thought life would be like once we had children.
Key word “thought.”
One day we found ourselves admiring our neighbors meticulously, beautiful garden and some celebratory balloons from a recent anniversary still attached to their mailbox. Now I'm embarrassed to say, but I don't remember the actual anniversary year that they were celebrating, but it was up there.
As we stood admiring, they noticed us and walked from the backyard over to talk for a minute. We congratulated them on their anniversary and praised them for such an exquisite garden.
They had replied those celebratory years had been just that, "We love to garden together. Always have, always will, until we can't anymore" then they went on to tell us that was the secret of their marriage!
A little more small talk and we were back on our way.
Of course, my OCD – must do this right now – pregnancy brain, decided we were going to find our “thing” like gardening, that they loved so much, and before we made it back home! Clearly our marriage depended on it!
Pretty funny right?!
Well, through process of elimination we realized that both daddy and I loved blueberry muffins, so that was going to be our “thing!” Making blueberry muffins together!
Yes! We did it! We have a “thing”! We’ll be happily married forever! Well, that was easy…
Addie, we've been married 12 years now and have yet to whip up some blueberry muffins together.
Here’s the thing baby girl, it was never a “thing” at all they were talking about. It was always about having time together.
I realized in this walk, hand in hand with your daddy – the absolute love of my life, THIS was our blueberry muffins! Being together, supporting each other and others. We were exhausted from our week, but we couldn’t think of any other place we’d rather be then right here.
So Addie, we did it, and participated in our first ever, but surely not to be our last, autism walk! Literally the last people to cross the finish line, but we finished. …and yes, I teared up.
I’m proud of you, of our family, of all our supporters, and our amazing autism community.
I think blueberry muffins are a very important ingredient in life.
Way to go Addie! We love you!