An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

30 Days of Gratitude

Yesterday, at the bottom of my post, I started my entries of Daily Thanks for a blogging idea I learned about last year for the month of November.  I will be posting something different that I am grateful for each day (or at least doing my best to as my health allows) for the month of Novemeber. 🙂

Here is Day 2:

DSCF0319I have a wonderful  teenager that helps me with the boys when he can.  He’s simply amazing with them, and is always so encouraging to me.  A true blessing to all three of us.  He truly has a heart for my boys too as well as the skills and personality needed to handle them when they are struggling or having a bad day.  I wish I could afford to pay him better (because I know he could use the money and he more than deserves it), but I am grateful that he is willing to work for what I can afford simply for the sake of helping us out.

He has been there for the boys and I in more ways than just babysitting too.  He has protected and helped David during overloads and meltdowns, guiding him to things and/or areas that would help him calm down and rest.  He has patiently sat through Joshua’s grumpiness and fits and helped bring back that adorable smile.  He was there when David started behaving unusually and was having what turned out to be the beginning of some frightful cluster seizures that landed him in the hospital last February.  He even surprised us with a visit at the hospital to play with the boys and read to them, giving them something to smile about and me a much needed chance to rest.  He has also been there to help out at some of our DogForDavid events and graciously did so without any pay as he knew I couldn’t afford it.

DSCF0362He has taken the time and effort to learn more about each child and their individual struggles and needs and he has shown respect for my rules and regulations when I leave him in charge.  He also has, on repeated occasions and without being prompted in the slightest, proven to have a character of complete honesty, responsibility, and honor in areas I have had many past sitters show the exact opposite in.  He has earned my highest and deepest respect because of that too. : )

My favorite thing about him though, since the very first time I met him, has always been that he sees my boys.  Where most I have met focus mainly on the Autism, the behavior issues, the meltdowns, the cognitive delays, and the other various issues and struggles my boys face, this young man chooses to see my children first and foremost.  To him, they are simply David and Joshua.  Two wonderful young boys with a passion for life that happen to have special needs and struggles.  To a mother, that’s the most precious gift someone can give. ^_^

DSCF0238Over the time we have known him, he has become so much more than just “hired help”.  He is a friend who has become appreciated and treasured by our whole family.  He’s even coming to David’s birthday party so that David will have someone to play with other than me and his brother.  He did the same for Joshua back in April. 🙂  The boys just absolutely adore him and I couldn’t be more grateful for the friendship, encouragement, and support that he has given the three of us.

Thank-you from the bottom of all three of our hearts! 🙂


*The pictures I am sharing here are from Joshua’s birthday party at the zoo and are being shared with permission. : )








  1. Love this! Something so simple really shows appreciation 🙂

    • thank-you : ) he has definitely been a huge blessing in our lives 🙂

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