I take this placemat out every year on Thanksgiving:
Sometimes you get discouraged because I am so small,
And always leave my fingerprints on the furniture and walls.
But every day I'm growing up and soon will be so tall,
All those little handprints will be so hard to recall.
So here's a special handprint just so you can say
This is how my fingers looked when I placed them here today.
Big Sis has grown so much since those early preschool days. She has learned to read the fine print. She has learned to advocate for herself. She has learned the art of debate. She has learned to ask questions until all her questions are answered. She's learned all of that while watching her brother tumble onto the spectrum.
So many things have happened since 2005. That was around the time that Ronan went silent. That was around the time that Ronan had some major regressions. That was around the time that I put two and two together about childhood vaccines and autism. That was around the time that I realized life was going to very different than I had imagined it would be. It was also around that same time that I knew it was going to be up to me to protect my family.
Protecting my family. I never thought that I'd have to go the lengths that I have to to protect my family, but I am so thankful that I finally know how to do that. I pray that others can learn to do that as well.