I think one word that sums up my thirties would be survival. During that decade my husband and I discovered that our son had autism and seizure disorder and our daughter had psuedoathrosis of the tibia. I felt as though I was treading water constantly; most of the time I felt that I was below the surface of that water. Just like Helen in the movie Incredibles (one that I think I’ve seen about 582 times thanks to my Pixar-loving son) collapses exhausted on the beach, my family would collapse every evening, spent from a day of just trying. So often individuals would encourage us to fight for our son and advocate for his needs, however, finding the right combination of therapy and assistance is not as simple as mama bear-ing it. We needed to know *what* he might need and *how* to make that happen, and we didn’t know; we felt helpless. It was a world that was completely new.
I loved the time I spent teaching middle schoolers each day. Those hours were my solace in all of the chaos around me. However, I knew that at some point I would have to stop teaching in order to provide childcare for my son each afternoon. This terrified me; I didn’t want to leave this delightful distraction of teaching. So I created a new distraction, and after six months of hard work, East Grove Studio existed. It was my plan to use East Grove Studio as a temporary transition into a world of full-time special needs childcare. (I chose to include an acorn in my logo as homage to my son. He LOVES acorns.)
East Grove Studio has turned into so much more. I have met friends and like-minded readers through this business. I have found something that my son and daughter can both help me do. Jack likes taking orders to the mailbox. Ingrid helps me make the little origami cranes I put in each order.
It isn’t a distraction or an escape. It has helped me grow closer to my family and look for the positives in the life I have instead of escaping.
Thank you for sharing your love of reading and the authors who create great works.