These days not many things excite me but this time of year gets me a bit giddy every time.
Two things happened today that made me realise that autumn (or fall depending where you are) was upon us...
The first was all the crunchy leaves that are starting to appear on the ground.
The second was all the jokes online about it being time for pumpkin spice lattes and so on.
Not only is autumn one of the most beautiful times of the year, it is also mild enough that hot drinks somehow taste even better and you can cover up with layers of jumpers and coats.
I remember both autumns so far with Amy... even though going out is hard and she often gets upset on walks... there is so much more to take in.
This year I can't wait to try and involve her as much as I can, now she is more aware and her vision is better (with glasses) I feel like we should really take advantage of the sensory pleasures that autumn brings.
I am thinking walks in the Upsee where she can hear the crunching with each step in unison we take.
I am thinking collecting leaves and making artwork when we get home (even if it is usually me that is excited and not her!)
I am thinking warm drinks for me and warm blankets for her.
Sometimes I even let her taste the cream on the latte as it is so sweet and yummy. She is 100% tube fed but we are allowed little tastes.. when she permits!
The other great thing (some don't find this great) is that the Christmas and Halloween items start to appear. It's so fun!
Trips to the garden centre become like a free trip to the illuminations; there is sparkle, colour and wonder everywhere.
They say as you get older the magic of that time of year fades away but having children rekindles that love and makes you want to pass on that magical feeling to the next generation.
Capturing Amy's attention and getting her excitedly involved in something is not easy and it is often quite unpredictable what she will enjoy.
Earlier this year we went to a massive indoor illuminations place - she hated it. BUT, they had this light show that went on every 20 minutes and she LOVED it.
Because it had lasers, and moving lights and music she was absolutely enthralled. I was actually very moved by how much this show unexpectedly amazed her. We stayed to watch the show again a second time and she was equally pleased by it.
My whole family were there and I could really feel a warm atmosphere and everyone was just so happy because she was.
This is what we want to achieve with this next few seasons!
You may have noticed that in a lot of my posts I complain about equipment, appointments, housing issues and so on... but when I get onto a subject about something I love it really does get me excited.
I really don't get that feeling often, I used to even get excited about a trip to the supermarket - these days you have to prize me out of the house or bribe me in some way.
I have become so antisocial, a bit of a recluse, and just so drained.
A lot of the hobbies I once had no longer interest me, and with the stress of everything I have gained a lot of weight.
Summer this year has upset me a bit.
Amy is now a size where she is getting difficult to carry for long periods of time and this means that a lot of summer activities are becoming a lot harder on our backs.
Trips to the park, going in the paddling pool, going swimming - things like this are becoming more challenging.
My thinking is that autumn will be the perfect time to properly embrace the great outdoors without being sticky hot and also unable to move the next day!
I guess I am trying to declare this time of year as special needs parent season!
No ice on pavements when pushing the wheelchair, no overheating when carrying around a park, able to wear more clothes to hide feed stains and unbrushed hair etc.!
I am seeing more and more now the different between Amy and her peers. Developmentally and so on.
Trips to the park now mean children her age asking why she isn't walking or what that tube is.
It's innocent curiosity and these children are so eager to learn and accept Amy and be her friend. As a parent I find it bittersweet.
Recently she dystonically hit a child at the park and I said "sorry, she didn't mean to do that" and the little girl responded "don't worry Amy. It's okay. Your muscles work differently to mine" and then she hugged her. It was the sweetest moment.
This time of year though, it makes me somehow want to be a better person. Weird isn't it? Do any of you feel the same?