An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Trip to the park

David at parkThis afternoon the boys and I headed out to the local playground/park to play and get some fresh air and sunshine in.  (And to help burn off some of their energy I will admit 😉 ).  As we arrived, I noticed the place was crowded way more than usual and figured out it was because a few scout troops were holding meetings there.  Since my boys had already seen the park and dashed forward, eager to get their hands on the play equipment, I decided to brave the crowd.  One of the first things that happened though threw me off a bit.  It has happened plenty of times before, but for some reason it still stings a bit from time to time.  What happened?  Well, I noticed the other kids.

I noticed their fluent sentences and independent thoughts.  I saw their well developed balance and gross motor skills at work.  I heard them actually answering their mothers when called for and sharing jokes and laughs with their friends.  And for that matter I should add I noticed their friends.  I observed their running around and I took note of their awareness of basic safety rules and guidelines.  Things like “don’t run into the street” and “stay within sight”.  I also couldn’t help but notice how they always knew who their family was.  Not once did one of them accidentally start following the wrong mom or run off and/or try to leave with a brother or sister that wasn’t theirs.

Yep.  I noticed the other kids… and it stung.

I’m not mad or bitter or anything like that, but I would be lying if I tried to say times like this don’t make my heart hurt.  I am happy for those children and I am happy for those families, but there is a part of me that still wants the same for my kids and for my family.

Josh at parkThen something beautiful happened.  Joshua smiled at me.  All at once my perspective was put back in order and none of the other stuff mattered.  I was here with my two precious sons and they were healthy, happy, and having fun.  They may not be as developed or skilled as their peers, and they may have struggles that most of those we meet will never understand, but they still have their own achievements and accomplishments and I couldn’t be more proud of them. 🙂

I applaud their every achievement and celebrate their every milestone.  I enjoy their unbridled love of life.  I am touched by their tender and caring hearts.  I am humbled by their innocence and purity.  I am inspired by their courage and determination.  I am blessed with their unconditional love.

David and Joshua, you two are the most beautiful gifts God has ever blessed me with.  I am both honored and grateful to get to be your mom. 🙂



  1. this was very moving. 🙂

  2. This is so weird because my post today was about this exact thing…park and all. Hugs! I wish I had been there to cheer you up!

    • lol what are the chances of that? I will have to stop by and check yours out too. : )

  3. I remember crying at a dance recital because I had suddenly come to the realization that Bethany would never be independent enough to do that!

    • ((hugs)) it can sting pretty deeply at times

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