over the past few years there has been a variation of this going through my head: "why the hell did this happen to us?" why why why why why?
two times this week, i have gotten on my knees, hugged Avery and said thank you. one of those times was tonight.
we did something tonight that is becoming kind of normal in our family. and it has likely been something normal to many of you for a while. we took the kids to a pizza place for dinner. nolan is registered for baseball here now and they had a 10% off night at our local round table. this place is a mini chuck e cheese. ok a mini mini chuck e cheese. but games and tickets and prizes and everything. we met our friend there with their two kids and it was great. sure avery screamed and there were upsets over tokens and prizes and we spent a fortune on the games- but it was great.
when we arrived there was literally only one other family there. soon after, nolan was asking for money and we realized we didnt have any cash to get tokens. so i left to get money and when I came back, as I approached the door i could hear avery from the sidewalk. uh oh.
i walk in and hurry to the back-red has her cornered with her lemonade and she is just pumped. yelling because she is pumped to be there. then red tells me "that kid over there came over and said hey I know her from school!" smiles.
the place started to fill up-a birthday party and tons of kids in the game room.
i see the kid red told me about and ask him if he is in Avery's mainstream 2nd grade class. he says no. so he knows her from the playground or just from campus. pretty cool.
we are sitting near the "game room" and notice a dad playing the basketball game. He is really into it. slamming baskets. so red asks him about it and he tells us he is trying to beat the high score and has been for the past 6 months. we kind of keep talking to him in passing and Nolan has started talking to the guys youngest daughter. then the basketball guy comes over again and we are talking about his attempts at the game when he says "so, do your kids go to Strandwood?" and I say yes! Avery is in 2nd grade and Nolan is in TK. He says "hey I know Avery! cant believe I didnt recognize her!" turns out they bring their dog to school at pick up and one day Avery really took to the dog. he said they even spoke to the teachers about bringing their dog to the SDC classes...
It was a cool moment. because a year ago we wouldnt have taken her to round table. because there is this whole community of people who know my daughter and care about her that i dont even know about. because avery is so sweet. because we have grown so so much. because there is hope. because this life is not what we expected but it is becoming what we needed.