Guest Blogger Mary Claire Alexander: Hope for 2106
Hello. My name is Mary Claire Alexander Brass (yes, really) and I wanna go back. Problem is, I'm not sure where or to what or even why? Many days it's anywhere, everywhere, but here. And if I could go back what would I change? What road would I take? How would I make life different? Would I make it different? I think I'd definitely go back, but I'd do it all over. (Get out of my head Eddie Money…….)
Here's the thing-I have an amazing life. I have these kids, these phenomenal kids. Why are they phenomenal? What do they say or do that is so awesome? Well, nothing (really they say nothing. (Awkward silence)
Seriously, though, it's not what they say or don't say; it's who they are. They have the most positive impact on the people with whom they interact. I am not sure if I really know how they do it. Let's see, they break stuff ALL the time, require undivided attention, and make me question ever giving birth in the first place. Scratch that! I meant to say they are a gift. ;) And that is not sarcasm. Because I will be at the very end of my rope or like right now at the end of a very long Christmas break out of the blue someone writes me a note and it says, "I changed my career path because of Johnny,” or they will drop off superhero toys that their own child selflessly thought Johnny would enjoy.
Or someone will offer, "what would the world be like if we all had hearts like Elizabeth?"
Wow, aren't I the jerk! How embarrassing that I spend any time playing the "poor me" card. Because the blessing is almost always right there, but it just takes longer for some of us to get it. And it did take me a little bit of time, admittedly. When the diagnoses (and they are autism and a rare chromosomal disorder) first happened, I took a minute to spiral. But that minute had to pass because well, what option did I have? I'm the one. I'm the mom. It's me. And as overwhelming and sometimes ridiculous as that is, it is just the truth. So I decided to try and spend more time laughing than not, because if I didn't, I was crying and really, what's more fun? And it is a choice, people can argue that point until they are blue in the face, but the reality is - this is my life so how will I handle whatever comes my way? Hopefully with grace and integrity and a whole lot of laughter, but more often wine, a lot of wine. I mean, you have to laugh at the Christmas tree with no ornaments because John takes them all off and tears them to shreds, at the 17th thousand time of Itsy Bitsy spider because it's Elizabeth's favorite nursery rhyme 10 years running :/, at the knee in your lower back as your 11 year-old gets in between you and your spouse at 4 a.m., at the multiple IPADs in the toilet/shower/sink, at the "Groundhog Day" that is your life.
Because what am I if not for them? Who am I? No matter how hard it is, and it's freakin' hard sometimes, I'm better because of them. The world is kinder because of them. The days are longer because of them (sorry that took a turn). People think and appreciate more......because of them. Just because they exist people can learn from them-they can learn unconditional love, kindness, patience, and pure goodness. I am learning from them every day.
So in this New Year, let's take a breath, experience life with its ultimate highs and unbearable lows, and then-just get on with it-the very best way we can. Because honestly, if you are reading this-you got it. You certainly don't need me to tell you! No excuses. Do better, be better, laugh it off, and make the choice to be happy!
Happy New Year, go be the best you!
Mary Claire Brass
Mother of 3 typically untypical kids and married to Adam Brass (who probably will get sainted)
Jake, 13 – As typical as a teenager can be, that is, smart, handsome, funny, athletic
Johnny, 11 – Sweet, music lover, handsome, smart, autistic
Elizabeth, 10 – Fun-loving, social, sweet, adorable, loves nursery rhymes!
Visit my blog pretty please at: www.best-face-forward.org
Thank you—that was beautiful!