It’s a new year, and I think I’m ready to take it on! After months of turmoil, things are settling back down into normalcy. (Well, we’re crossing our fingers!) My daughter was diagnosed with PANDAS1 (yes, that’s an old fashioned footnote and not a link!) and it put our family into a spin. In the most recent weeks, however, things seem good and, along with other things we have slowly come back to, I am ready to come back to The Inspired Classroom with a new look on life.
My friend, Susan Riley over at Education Closet reminded me of a an important life lesson in juggling work and family: every ball we juggle is made of rubber, except for family – that one is made of glass. And while you can drop the others from time to time (they will bounce back, after all), you can’t let your glass ball crash. Sometimes a crisis forces you to let the other balls bounce around for a while while you hold up the glass one. That’s what I had to do.
In the need to stop things in such short notice, I realized how much my family needs me and how much I enjoy being there for them. I’m not going to get into how much being a mother is the “best job in the world,” but sometimes it takes a crisis to realize what is truly important. Like, rushing to your son’s side when he wants you to see his latest Lego creation, instead of calling out, “Just a minute!” Or, saying sure to your daughter who wants to help you cook dinner even if it means you will have to actually pay attention to the cooking process instead of trying to check Twitter, type a few sentences and make sure you don’t burn the bacon.
This journey is not over, but we are over the largest of hurdles (let’s hope!) Thank you to all who have shown concern through Twitter, email, comments and in person. Your support and prayers have helped carry me through these tough times and my feeling that I deserted this website.
But in this time away, I’ve realized that life goes on around us even when we have to step away. (Those balls really do bounce!) It was a freeing realization to know I could stop short and take care of my family. Now that things are so much better, I am revitalized to take on things I have set aside.
So, a new year really is a new start in this household. Thanks to those of you who have read thus far and may be willing to continue the journey here at The Inspired Classroom.
Happy New Year!
1 What is PANDAS? PANDAS is a Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. I believe it affects WAY more children than we realize. It is a very controversial and new diagnosis and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next few years we see more and more about it. For Grace, as with many PANDAS kids, it came on quickly due to a case of strep. It hit hard as she tested positive with strep every month for four months in a row. Each time she went on antibiotics, her behaviors went down dramatically. She did not present with the typical soar throat and fever, but showed with sudden and extreme irritability, sensory issues, anxiety and OCD: things we had not experienced previously. Now, after treatment for 2 months thus far, we see and are able to enjoy our sweet girl again! For more information about PANDAS, go to PANDASnetwork.org.