I feel like I've regressed back to being a teenager. Never thought in a million years I'd ever live with a room mate again, and here I am... Not only am I living with a room mate, but I'm living with four children. Three boys (Dayton included), one awesome girl. Two of the four are on the spectrum. Dayton and an older, teenage version of Dayton.
I thought about living on my own, but knew that if I did, I would: a) spend more money on rent than I want to as I still want to do things with Dayton, living on our own would not give us much money to do that and with no child support coming in, every penny counts; and b) Dayton would seclude himself further and miss out on making social gains.
Living with a room mate that has a child on the autism spectrum has had its ups and downs. The up side is that I've had a taste of what co-parenting is all about, and wish Dayton's dad and I could tag team the way my room mate and I do. It's nice having two parents under one roof, even if we're both moms. And yes, while there are more children for me to co-parent than having Dayton alone, the children work together as a team in EVERYTHING. When the boys misbehave, they all misbehave. When they're good, they're all good together. So, disciplining one means I'm disciplining all as one. Same with my room mate. Raising little boys is not just a job. It's an adventure... with sound effects. And my room mate's oldest daughter... I LOVE HER!!! She's seventeen and more responsible then most adults I know. She's a blessing to share a home with, and helps with the other three kiddos, cleaning the home and she likes the same kinds of things I do. Now if I could just be her small, slender size...
On the down side, I don't have the privacy to walk around naked from the shower to my bedroom. Sometimes when I cry no one sees my tears. Sometimes when I'm happy no one sees me smile. But FART!! Just ONE time... And everybody in the house knows!
That's it for the down side.
For the first time in my life, I now know what it feels like to co-parent and I LIKE IT! I like taking the kids to school, picking them up after school and hearing about their day. I love sitting around the dinner table and having them tell me what they've learned. I like the serenity (I know, how do you achieve serenity with children, but you haven't lived my life the last few years) of everyone knowing that today we may have had a rough day, but tomorrow's another day. I love hearing laughter again. And when the meltdowns come, they don't take nearly as long to diffuse.
At the end of the day, I know everything's going to be all right. When things get rough, I just remember God's promise to take care of us, always. God loves the birds, and they don't starve, so he'll take care of Dayton and I too. As long as we have each other and God in our lives, we'll be fine.
Consider yourselves hugged,