This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my kids. It’s just kinda goofy and fun and I know we all love each other and are getting along – at least for that one moment in time. It has been several years since this photo was taken. We no longer have the family dog (RIP Buddy), I now have a grandson who is the most adorable little kid in the world (yes, I am a bit biased), and my youngest kid, Jake is set to graduate high school at the end of this week. All of my kids (and my grandson) have been diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy, which is a muscle wasting disease, and can affect you in many different ways – no two people who have the disease will have the same exact symptoms and/or complications. We are new at this, having only been diagnosed within the last year.
Right now, I am living in a 3-bedroom apartment with my two sons, Asa who is 26, and Jake who is 18. My daughter Caitlin, aged 28 will be moving in with us soon. It will definitely be a full house, but I am actually kind of excited to have all three of my kids together again – hopefully I will still feel that way after the “honeymoon” period wears off and the kids get annoyed with each other.
Meanwhile, I am finishing up my work as a Special Education Paraeducator at an elementary school. I am sooo looking forward to being off for the summer! Our school district though is revamping the entire Special Education department and so I may be at a totally different school in a different program in the Fall. I don’t know why they wait until the very end of the school year to let you know these things. Must be a school requirement or something – ha!
My son Jake, has been in Special Ed almost his whole life – and when he graduates, he will still be a Special Ed kid, trying to find work in a General Ed world. Luckily he has an appointment later this month to meet with someone from DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation) who thinks that he would qualify for the program, which means he could get assistance in finding work – which would be wonderful!
My son Asa, also has some special needs – although he would not admit it. He has struggled throughout his life with behavioral and academic issues (thank you Myotonic Dystophy). It has been difficult to get work and to keep it. He is currently looking for employment and has had a few interviews, but no job offers as of yet.
My daughter Caitlin, will also be looking for work. She and her boyfriend are planning on moving over here to be closer to doctors to help her and her son Tyler as they navigate this thing called Myotonic Dystrophy. She has to get a job before they can make the move, so she is going to be living with me until their finances are stable and they can find a home.
My painted snake business has been doing well – which is wonderful as I am adding more people to my household, who currently are all unemployed. I am fortunately paid during the summer, even though I don’t have to go to work (Yay – school jobs!).
I am so interested to see what happens with everybody over the next few months. Where will I end up working? Will Jake be accepted by DVR and get the help he needs? Will Asa find a job that he enjoys? Will Caitlin get a steady income and find a place for her and her family to move into? It is like a good book. You have all these characters that you love, and the storyline goes up and down, weaves this way and that, and you are at the end of a chapter, just waiting to see what happens next. It will be so interesting to see what transpires and how we all end up where we end up. I can’t wait to turn the page and find out!