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Kristen is a home­maker, home­schooler, and a home­keeper. Her experience includes nineteen years of practice, raising three kids, a husband, and a dog. Writing about her life helps her stay sane. She believes that sharing stories helps others by providing opportunities to share advice (and helpful hints) about homeschooling, and raising kids on the autism spectrum, while supporting marriages and families that are striving to thrive.

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Shannon Enos is a wife, recovering Pinterest addict, and homeschooling mom of two young girls. Her hobbies include analyzing music with her husband, pretending she’s going to finish that crocheting project she started 4 years ago, and making lists of things she has already completed just so she can cross them off. Shannon values truth, education, the arts, open minds, humor, and “Nashville" binges on Hulu. She believes that learning happens everywhere, whether you’re paying attention or not.

 

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It's been a little wild this summer in my house! We have been busy doing I-don't-even-know-what.

I know my girls went to camp for a week. It was weird to be home with just Tommy (Mark was working a lot, so he and I were the proverbial 'ships passing in the night'). Tommy and I got down to business (after two days of non-stop chatter) and went to get information about (perhaps) going to Germanna, and maybe volunteering at the library. The Library trip resulted in one filled-out application, and 23 checked out books. Success! The Germanna info session was very well put together. It looks like it won't be a problem for him to take some classes in the fall while we wait for the possibility of some of the state-run transition programs to become available. He is at the top of the waiting list.

I learned, though (at Germanna), that he needed a valid, current, official, photo-ID. All students need to take entry placement tests for English and math. That, in itself, should be interesting, since he doesn’t test well. Also, Tommy doesn't drive (or make beds- too many steps). His high school ID wasn't official, or, technically, current. I have his social security card, a voter card, an insurance card, and a library card, and nothing with a picture on it, apparently. In a brief moment of genius, I remembered we had passports, but, guess what (?) they were, of course, expired. No ID, no test, no college. ~sigh~

Sooooo.... I told Tommy we had to go to the DMV.

"Isn't that the most miserable place on the planet?"

Hmmm.... Those words must have come out of my mouth at some point in the last ten years. So, yes, I told him, it is, so bring a book. A long book. It's always a very long wait.

"Can I get a motorcycle license while we're waiting forever?"

"Umm, no. Not until you can make a bed, and shower head to toe in the right order, my friend; motorcycle driving comes after car driving, which comes after bed making, and showering correctly. And it won't be forever- just a few hours. Maybe."

I'm thinking I said all of that out loud, in a huffy manner, probably with a snap to it. Tommy, though, just takes these type of things in stride because he is a black and white type of kid, and what I said made a little bit of sense to him, in his world.

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Let me tell you: it has been a long time since it has been just Tommy and me, alone. He talks. A lot. He paces. A lot. He flaps. A lot. He has a lot of conversations with himself. A lot. He has a lot of aha moments about the universe and time travel and swordsmen, and baby bats. He dreams about being great. He likes to be the guy who saves the day, then disappears into a time warp or worm hole and only those that really know him would know that he rescued humanity. It's pretty cool stuff, except when it's played continuously on a loop, on repeat, for a week, and the only witness to it all is me (and even then, it's still cool, it's just tiring to hear it all again. and again). By day three (believe me), the DMV was an awesome break to get us out of the house doing something. Anything. The DMV, people. Dad was home on day four, so that helped me. A lot.

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When I write, I am reminded that I have so many blessings where Tommy is concerned. We don't know what is happening next, but we are trying to keep moving forward, and that is pretty cool. It's faith. It's trusting in the unseen, but moving forward despite not being able to see.

On day five, when the girls returned, the volume of the house went back up about 30-45 decibels. The bickering resumed. Three siblings fell right back into their own language, their ongoing rivalries. It got chaotic and loud again, like they hadn't even been gone. The laundry was piled up, like, way up. It was beautiful. And Tommy had two other people to talk to, and interact with. Did I already mention the word beautiful?

It's funny how routines shape us, isn't it? It takes one little change to realize some pretty profound things about yourself, your life, your relationships... like the blessings that abound all around, and the beauty of an unusual child, and the importance of photo IDs. For real, though, relationships matter, and the time you spend building them with your kids is so important. One day, they will be 18, and you'll be struggling with what-do-we-do-next and that communication you've developed will be awesome, and meaningful, and important. It'll be hard and sweet at the same time, and you'll be so glad for it!
 

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