I've been having the hardest time trying to come up with new things to write about for my online journal. Admittedly, part of this is recovering from vacation -- it's been difficult to adjust to the "real world" after spending a week exploring deserts and canyons. Part of it, however, is just due to the general laziness of summertime. A. says she's spending her summer "slacking off," which means there are not too many stories to share, and I pretty much want to spend all my free time lying on the couch, watching movies, and napping -- so, I guess I'm "slacking off," too.
I haven't really been keeping up with the Internet, lately, or even the world at large. I've been spending entirely too much time in my own head. I feel very changed by my trip out West, and I'm still trying to digest the significance of all that. As such, I can't really find other subjects to address, either -- so I'm stuck with a big case of writer's block, and no new entries to show for it -- or really short, annoying, whining ones where I just complain about how I can't think of anything to write about.
The older A. gets, the harder it seems for me to be able to write about her. First of all, I know she's going to read what I write, and we're hitting that age where her self-esteem is an especially fragile thing that I need to nurture. Furthermore, the older she gets, the more I think of her as simply my "teenage daughter" as opposed to "my autistic teenage daughter." And the more I learn and grow, the more I tend to see her unique gifts and challenges as unique to her, and the more reluctant I become to lump anything or anyone into a neat little label. That being said, I understand the purpose and the vital importance of these labels, to help the world understand, and to ensure that services and accommodations are met. On a personal level, however, I feel disconnected from the label somewhat. A.'s just A., and I know her, and I know what will help her, and I know what she needs help with. Our interactions have become much smoother, even if she does have a few overly dramatic teenage tendencies already.
One of the things Thomas and I were discussing was how we might work to challenge A. a little further. We'd really backed off a bit during her first year of Middle School -- mostly because I felt like that event was enough of a major transition in itself, and I didn't feel it would be the best time to start changing the status quo or pick new goals to push toward. The way that A. completely succeeded and thrived in Middle School this year was more than I could have dreamed for, and we want to make sure she keeps making good progress. One thing she's always struggled with is the way she talks to people -- recently, she's begun to sound rather rude when addressing people, and we figure it's time to start pushing her to use friendlier, more respectful language and tones of voice. Hopefully, that will curtail some of the teen angst, too.
So, if I seem quiet or more out-of-touch than usual, I apologize -- I'm just struggling for words and topics, right now. I'm hoping it passes, soon.