An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Silent Reflections…

Sitting here at 4:05 in the morning with David still wide awake and Joshua crashed out asleep on the couch.  It’s been another long night but a good one at least.  We even passed some of the time by trying out a new recipe.  Pumpkin Pie to be exact. : )

Nights like these are kind of rare but I actually enjoy them.  Outside of the lack of sleep part of course.  😉  My kids are regular “night owls” and keep me up an insane number of hours on a regular basis, but to have them be wide awake but yet calm enough to bond with and have quality time together is a definite rare treat. : )   Joshua wasn’t as calm as I would have hoped for but he was at least calm for him. lol  David however has been energetic as usual but tonight he also seems to be actually connecting with our world a bit more too and I will always love that. 🙂  Even if it comes at the cost of another lost night of sleep.  If you think about it, nights like this are going to cost my sleep one way or another.  Might as well have the added bonus of being able to bond tighter with my son while he forces me to stay awake right? : )

At the moment though, David has finally settled enough to be able to watch a movie so I let him pick one out himself.  His choice? A Christmas movie.  He always picks either trains or Christmas (or both 😉 ) lol  Sitting here working on the computer while he watches his show though can bring in it’s own delightful treasures too.  Listening to his child-like laughter at the simplest moment, glancing over and catching a look at his beautifully beaming smile as he listens to the story, watching him slowly start to relax as he settles into his chair, witnessing the pure beauty of seeing him finally be struggle and pain free… even if just for the moment…

Times like this are also great for helping me relax for a change.  And for me, relaxing usually equals reflective and/or thoughtful thinking.  I am usually so stressed out and tired.  Run down to the bone, and sometimes very marrow, of my being with a never ending and ever growing “to-do” list.  Fighting to stay on top of life while at the same time trying not to let life’s circumstances take over my every thought.

Having been abandoned and left alone to both provide for as well as care for my two children, I am regularly torn and conflicted by the struggle between needing to keep the home together both financially as well as emotionally.  To keep the bills paid, the house in order, the kids educated, the doctor appointments made and kept… and at the same time find a way to just be a “mom” too.  Getting into random tickle fights on the floor, playing peek-a-boo in the covers when the kids aren’t quite ready to face their day, lining those trains on the track with them, enjoying a movie with popcorn and treats, endulging with them in their favorite hobbies and endless new discoveries, holding them close and wiping away their sometimes seemingly endless tears as life continues to throw some harsh punches all while trying my hardest to not fall apart right there with them from the heartache of it all…

Burdens that heavy tend to steal one’s joy and peace if we’re not careful.  They tend to darken our insight and hamper our memories of the big picture.  Soon we find ourselves forgetting to just take that step back and make the time needed to nurture ourselves through tending to our soul, heart, and mind.  Remembering to take those extra few moments in the morning and throughout our days to not only remember God, but talk to Him, thank Him, and seek His guidance.  To call up our friends or write out those “thinking of you” cards we’ve been intending to mail out for months now.  To look up that extra information, read those books that have always caught our interest but are now just collecting dust, take those extra classes or spend that extra time on our favorite hobbies.

Yep this is the kind of stuff I think about on nights like these.  I appreciate the quiet reminders within my heart to take these steps back to reflect.  They help me reorganize my priorities when they’ve gotten off balance and they help me connect a little deeper again to the things that matter most to me.  My faith and my family.

Yeah, all that other stuff is still there and it still needs to be dealt with and taken care of, but nights like this help me remember it’s still just secondary stuff.  No matter how important it may seem or how pressing it may feel.  There’s a dose of freedom and peace that comes with this kind of reminder.  I pray I can hold on to it admist the chaos a little while longer this time around.



  1. It is good David has something he can enjoy!
    It is also positive to read that you too, have something to enjoy and offload your thoughts — your insightful blog, of course 🙂

    • Thank-you : ) This blog has definitely become a treasured place for me to think and write since I started it. : )

  2. Beautiful look into the life struggles you and many other parents with Children on the Autusm Spectrum face daily. Thank you for sharing the strength those struggles give you, the beauty you find both the hard times and the good times when you have a chance to sit and reflect. You and all the wonderful parents and children we have met since starting Perfect Fit Canines have inspired us to be better people. Thank you. Susan

    • You’re words are both humbling and much appreciated Susan. Thank-you very much : )

  3. anautismdad

    Has he watched The Polar Express? Trains and Christmas in one!

    • Yes he has actually. It’s a favorite over here 🙂 One of our favorite scenes is the hot chocolate song scene. My boys sometimes even get up and dance to that one with the waiters : )

    • Thanks for coming over by the way 🙂 It’s an honor to have you here : )

      • anautismdad

        The honour is mine, entirely. Your strength is inspiring. 🙂

      • Thank-you : )

  4. sherry

    Love this Cindi. Gave me tears to read it. Your a wonderful mom & friend. God Bless

    • thank-you : ) sorry it made you cry though


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