I started this blog in October for a few reasons.
1. I had given up watching shows online and wanted to do something else to fill my time.
2. I knew I would need to raise funds for Dovi's schooling and thought a blog would be a good fundraising vehicle.
3. I was bursting to write about Dovi and didn't know where to begin.
4. I wanted to help other parents desperate for guidance and resources.
The blog has basically come full circle. I have told Dovi's story. All the ups, the downs, the positive experiences, the difficult ones. The story is, of course, far from over. Dovi is not even five years old yet. We don't know what his future holds, and it scares me often. There are days that pass quietly, with all his resources in place, and days where everything implodes and I simply don't cope. The fact that he is getting older, heavier, and more stubborn, and life with him will only get harder, not easier, is terrifying. Of course, we are not giving up hope that some day his behaviors will improve, his language will kick in, and life with Dovi will be easier - or at least tolerable - but for now, it is what it is. A life-changer. An ever-present monkeywrench. We love him for who he is, not for who he was or who he can be. Just for being precious, lovable, innocent - and the big challenge of our lives which may likely be the sole reason of our existence.
So let's analyze which of the four objectives of the blog have already been accomplished and which ones failed:
1. The blog has been a great outlet for me. But its excitement and attraction fizzled out because of what happened with #2, as you'll soon see. As an adult with ADHD, I ran out of patience to keep writing pretty soon. But I did tell all of Dovi's story. So yes, #1 - check.
2. Initially I raked in a little cash. But when Google inexplicably shut down my account, a lot of air left my tires, and I lost my enthusiasm. It's a massive pity, because the blog continues generating lots of hits. Donations also flowed in at first, but as I stopped 'begging', that stopped too. Then, we made the decision not to put Dovi into the insanely expensive school, and while the need for fundraising still exists, it's not as dire, and it didn't feel right to continue 'begging'. So objective #2 has basically failed, and become moot.
3. Even if only #3 was accomplished, the time poured into the blog has been worth it. Dovi's story has been told. My feelings were put down on 'paper'. I have a foundation from where to begin writing about Dovi for real; at some point, probably next year or the year later, I'll put together a mini series for one of the magazines, probably Binah. Stay tuned.
4. Check. Judging by the search terms leading people to this site, the need for a blog like this was huge. The most popular search terms are 'bed tents for autism', 'crib tents', and so forth. Lately, there's been an upswing in "little keeper sleeper" as well. There are all kinds of other search terms, many relating to autism, special needs, things from special needs strollers to sensory processing disorder, SSI, medicaid waiver - even surprisingly, aviva feiner and avraham yeshayahu feiner. This blog may be the only place people can get information on them :D and I'm proud to have transcribed the epic speech that changed my life. So yes, the blog has become a resource to the autism community, and if I have helped even one person - and I suspect I have helped dozens - it was worth it.
However, where does that leave me now?
For good reason - from my own personal experience and other people's experiences - writing a public blog about your child, your life, complete with pictures, is a bad idea. For many reasons. I won't go into them. I feel skittish about leaving the blog up for public view. And I'm definitely not going to continue writing about Dovi's life and progress in the present tense. So where does it leave the blog?
Here's what I'm going to do. From time to time - let's say, once a month - I'll update the blog. With new purchases, new experiences, new stories. If I have a profound story of Divine Providence, of course I'll want to tell it. If I come across a new resource, equipment, or solution, I'll want to share the wealth. I have a blog entry or two planned in my head to post later in the summer, IY"H. But for now, I have done Dovi's story justice, and I'm done.
In a week or so, I am going to password the blog. If anyone needs to read a back post, you know where to find me for access - firstname.lastname@example.org. When I have a new post, I'll un-password the site for a week, and then password it again. Eventually, the whole blog will come down, once I have saved the articles for future use/publication.
I'm here for now, but the blog won't be for much longer. And I'm letting you know that now, so you don't find yourself confused or lost, and you won't lose touch with me if you need me.
You readers and commenters have been great and I thank you for your support. At some point, it will be time to move on. But I'll give you a heads up before.
Thank you for being there for me and for swimming alongside me as I continue navigating the stormy seas.