Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Love on his Terms

It is hard to believe that it is been a couple of weeks since my last post. My beautiful daughter's sixth birthday was May 18. I also captured a lot of wonderful moments on video. Our imminent family move has captured a lot of my time and attention.

Interesting show on ABC News Nightline about Adults with Autism (watch video). It made me stop in my tracks. I never pictured David as an adult. I never pictured caring for David as an adult. It made me wonder - what will his relationships with friends, co workers be like? Will he have a girlfriend? Is he capable of having friends, a job, a girlfriend?

What I do know is that I love David unconditionally. We have a special bond. I do know that he can love, in his way, and on his terms.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's (& Father's) Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. May 14 is also my father's birthday (he would have been 62). So it is a bittersweet day for me.

Our Mother's Day went as follows:
1. Attended 9 am mass at St. James
2. Stopped at gas station (coffee and donuts for the OLeary gang)
3. Went to The Shore Line Trolley Museum. We bought our tickets and the kids ran to the trolley (all except JP who was cranky). Short 20 minute ride up and down the line (along with a tour). I really enjoyed myself simply watching Jaclyn & David get excited about the trolley.
4. Went to Pepe's pizza in New Haven. We sat, watched them make pizza, ate, and ran out.
5. Kids fell asleep on the way home
6. Dad fell asleep on couch when we arrived home
7. Mom fell asleep after Dad
8. At bedtime, I asked Jackie - "Did you have fun today?" Jackie replied, "Yes, I loved the donuts!"

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fun Ending to a Long Day

When I arrived home from work tonight, all 3 kids were playing in the basement. I roared (in my best lion voice). I hear David say "Run for your lives". Jackie says "It's a monster". JP just ran in circles. That was fun.

Jaclyn asked David and I to sit down. She played teacher and instructed us in Global Studies (passing around a Globe; asking us to name different countries on Abu's Globe). That was fun.

Next I played teacher (Mr. Page). I asked David and Jaclyn to write their name, draw the sun, the moon, a house, a picture of me, and something they get on their birthday (David drew a present and asked, "Dad, er, Mr. Page - can I draw a bow on my present"; Jaclyn drew Barbie)
That was fun.

Lastly JP pulled me upstairs by the finger (per our routine). Into my bed (per our routine). We laid down looking at each other and practiced our snoring (per our routine). We then stop, open our eyes and yell at each other "HELLO!". JP cackles and we repeat (per our routine). That was fun.

Being a Leader

One of the pressures I find with being a Dad (as well as a husband, friend, co-worker) is that others lean on you. In some sense, I want that. I am a fiercely passionate and loyal person. Building a relationship is built on "I will be there for you". Vice versa, I need to lean on others at one time or another.

I remember being a Dad for the 1st time and that overwhelming feeling of "WOW, now I really have to get my act together!". Currently, I sense that my children are watching how I respond to daily activities - whether I am joyful, angry, sad, peaceful or in control.

That is the hard part for me now - being a leader not just during the easy times, but at all times. Being a leader in word and action. I feel like I am failing a lot lately - I have work to do. I love my family. Rachel, Jaclyn, David, and JP - I accept the challenge of being a leader for our growing family.