‘This time last year…’ is a phrase people often use. ‘This time last year we were on holidays’. ‘This time last year we bought a new car’. ‘This time last year was that hurricane that moved trampolines’. Well, for us this time last year was a weekend we will never forget. It is the one where our lives changed forever – in many ways.
Now I know that sounds dramatic but only now as I look back do I realise how many huge things happened.
This time last year I began the hardest journey of my life. 12 months ago we took Aidan for his first ever assessment. It was with a speech therapist and it is one day and one appointment I will never forget. Now, I don’t think I will ever forget any of Aidan’s appointments but this one especially because it was the first time a professional really showed us just how delayed he was. The assessment lasted all of about 10 minutes because he simply had no understanding of what she was asking, no attention span and honestly didn’t even know she was there. In the report that followed she wrote that he had no comprehension, poor attention span and basically she had no idea where he stood because he was totally unresponsive – all true but all extremely hard to swallow. We left the appointment and I cried. I cried for the future I was now so unsure of. I cried for the milestones not reached. I cried for Aidan. I cried because I didn’t know what else I was supposed to do. This time last year our lives changed forever.
This time last year we were in Galway. I had been invited up to the Connacht Hotel to stay for the weekend. It was the most stressful trip of my life! Two small kids, poo explosions in new clothes, screaming for a particular juice that we couldn’t find ANYWHERE and a 5-hour car trip. Sounds like the start of a perfect getaway right? Well we got there in the end and everything began to settle.. the calm AFTER the storm if you will. It was all turning into a pretty chilled evening and then Clayton popped the question. Yep, that one! In case you missed it I will put a picture in but he had shirts made for the boys saying ‘Will you marry Daddy?’. I don’t wear jewellery (yes, I know I’m weird) so it was a perfect alternative. All the stress of the day just disappeared and we were suddenly in this bubble – just the four of us. We had a great weekend and made some lovely memories as a family. This time last year our lives changed forever.
This past year has probably been the toughest we have faced as a family. We started the never-ending journey of special needs assessment, endless therapies and appointments, moved house and had so many other obstacles thrown our way. In the last year, our boys have grown closer than anyone could have predicted and it is truly magical.
This year has surpassed any expectation I could ever have had. Aidan is knocking it out of the park. He is making huge leaps in his speech and language and to think how far he has come in the past twelve months it is nothing short of amazing. He is surprising us every single day and there is not one word I will take for granted. This year our lives are still changing, and we love it!