I should blog more often. It gives my wife something to read and it’s fun (or sometimes painful) to have something to look back at to remember what you’ve been through. Raising three kids, one of them severely autistic, and working full time and trying to run a charity makes everything fly by in a blur.
Speaking of flying by in a blur, today marks 11 months since I arrived in Pennsylvania. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year. In case you’ve never been to this site, here’s three quick links that explain the story:
- About Operation Jack
- Operation Jack Autism Foundation
- Why my family relocated from California to Colorado to Pennsylvania in roughly a year
OK, that out of the way, everybody I talk to, be it face-to-face, text, email, Facebook, Twitter, whatever — one question I get a lot is, “How are things in Pennsylvania?” For the amount of people who ask me that question, I have to imagine that those of you who have followed along off and on over the past four or five years might be asking the same question. I don’t blog as much as I used to, and we picked this state without even seeing it because we thought it would be the best situation in the lower 48 for our kids.
So, 11 months in (seven for my family — they didn’t get here until July), how are things?
We’re doing as well as reasonably possible.
I’d love to sit here and say life is great. And, well, I guess it is. It’s difficult. But I wouldn’t trade my path for anything, aside from Jack’s autism. But everything we hoped Pennsylvania would be when we chose it a year ago, sight unseen? So far, so good. It’s what we’d hoped it would be. Cost of living and the job are in place, although I got a job because we needed to move. We didn’t move because I got a job.
The services here are what we were told they would be. The collaboration has been what we were told it would be. Jack’s teacher is as awesome as we were told she would be. She cares about him, which isn’t something I can say about the folks at the school in Colorado. We love the neighborhood and the town we live in, we have nice neighbors we feel comfortable and there’s kids everywhere. We miss our neighbors in Colorado, but we did what we had to do for our kids and here we are.
That doesn’t mean that everything is fantastic, though. Jack still has serious separation issues from Tiffany, which I blame on what they went through in Colorado. He has meltdowns daily. There’s plenty of this:
He still has issues with his gut and self-injurious behaviors. Tiff just a great job pressing forward to constantly learn more about what he can and can’t handle, but there’s still a ways to go. It’s heartbreaking to see a 10-year-old suffer the way he does on a daily basis. But that would be the case no matter where lived. Everything we thought would be a positive about Pennsylvania has been a reality so far. And there’s still plenty of this:
And we just had something cool happen tonight:
The five of us still have plenty of challenges — more than our fair share in my opinion. But we are in the right spot. Pennsylvania is everything we’d hoped it would be. So about a year after we decided another relocation was in order, that’s how we’re doing — as well as reasonably possible.[subscribe2]