This week I’m grateful for warmth.

Warmth, as in physical warmth (hasn’t the weather been glorious this week?). Warmth, as in emotional warmth (acceptance and understanding). And warmth, as in spiritual warmth (comfort in my own beliefs and convictions).

Whoa, that all sounds heavy, doesn’t it? But I am grateful to be where I am this week, as opposed to where I was this time last week. We had just received an Aspergers diagnosis for our daughter and, quite frankly, I was devastated. I couldn’t even write anything for this linkup as I didn’t feel grateful for anything. The whole family was sick with a virus and we were all really really low.

First, the physical warmth of the sun has cut through the doom and gloom and allowed us to spend some more time outside. As our air-conditioner was declared dead on Monday and our firewood stock was running low the warmer temperatures have been very welcome in our house! It has allowed me to get on top of the washing and helped us get over our various viruses. The kids have been happier and that has made me happier too.

Second, I have welcomed the warmth that has come from the certainty of the diagnosis. We have been wondering for so long about what we were dealing with and the diagnosis gives us a direction, a way forward. The warmth stems from my growing acceptance of it and my increasing understanding of how we can now help her.

Seeing the diagnosis in the written report was really hard. But it also released the practical part of me and now I am concentrating on making all the necessary appointments, filling out all the required paperwork and making sure we are doing all we can to best help her.

Third, I feel spiritually warm. And before you run away from a possible religious discussion, it is not about my religious beliefs (whatever they are, once I work that out I may write a post about it!). It is about my belief in myself, my belief in my convictions, in my intuition, in my gut instinct. For ages I was worried I was an over-anxious, over-concerned parent, seeing problems with my daughter that may not actually have existed.

It is debilitating to question your ability as a parent. Paralysing. You don’t want to make a wrong decision, so you don’t make any at all. You have concerns but you are too hesitant to voice them. You watch your child struggle and have absolutely no idea what to do about it.

I now know I wasn’t imagining things or seeing things that weren’t there. My gut instinct was right. And that has flooded me with the warmth of confidence, of purpose, of empowerment. I can now be the parent my kids need and not the one I think they need. That is indeed empowering.