Gosh, I almost missed my blog’s first anniversary!
Can’t blame me though; it’s been a month filled with anniversaries. My wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on the 1st (nope it’s no April Fool’s joke), and our eldest boy turned 11 on the 8th, inching closer to the potentially tremulous teenage years.
In the proverbial blink of an eye, a year has indeed come and gone. And since I started this blog in April 2019, what a year it has been. As I add yet another post now, I look back over the past 12 months and 5 days since my first, and realized that while I started this blog to chronicle my journey as a dad to an autistic kid, it’s morphed into so much more!
In the past year, my blog has covered topics that included parenting, education, employment, advocacy, and even book and film reviews. I’ve also been writing about my take on what’s been going on in these recent months with Covid-19.
It’s certainly been an eventful period for a newbie blogger’s humble foray, with no lack of materials and content to palpate and blog. The only thing stopping me when there were long gaps between entries was, well, just me and my inertia.
As the Gen Z kids would say, “my bad”!
Fortunately, biting the bullet by paying good money to take on some online writing courses at the end of 2019 has forced me to be more disciplined and diligent. These courses also made me want to pursue writing and blogging more seriously.
As such, since 2020 started, I’ve managed to upload at least one blog post every week. And I’m also continuing with my target to complete the first vomit draft of my book-length memoir on being a stay home dad by end of June 2020!
I hope to keep both these writing projects going, and by extension, my writing life flourishing.
Unfortunately, as I reflect on what I’ve written since taking on this personal blogging project, I’ve come to one conclusion: I’ve forgotten what drove me to create this blog in the first place: my son Caleb.
Viewing a local play online today was the proverbial kick in the hiney I needed to bring me back to him. You see, in recent weeks, internationally-renowned musicals like “The Phantom of the Opera” have been streamed online for free weekend viewing since no theatres have been allowed to open thanks to Mr Covid.
Here in Singapore, an established theatre company followed suit this weekend with a ‘re-showing’ of a play they adapted from the States and presented to local audiences four years ago. Called “Falling“, it depicts the struggles of a family living with an 18-year-old son with severe autism. Pangdemonium Productions has always staged high-quality plays and musicals here in Singapore, and this had been one we missed watching back in 2016. So I for one was glad to have the chance to watch it online today for free (Do catch it before the link expires at 1159 hrs on 26 April 2020, Singapore time).
The play reminded me that there’s still so much I needed to understand about the whole autism spectrum disorder, and how it affects the lives of those living with it. And more importantly and urgently, it reminded me how I must continue daily to intentionally intervene to help further Caleb’s growth and development.
While we have been so blessed that Caleb’s autism is far milder than Josh’s (the character in the play), how adaptable and independent Caleb can be when he turns 18 in less than 10 years from now, will likely rest on how his parents raise him.
There is no time to dawdle. There remains the need for me to ‘blog on’ with this unfinished journey I’m taking with him. And in doing so capture important learnings, make this one for the family archives, and share them with anyone out there like us.
So here’s to more future posts where I share and distill my life with Caleb, and chronicle his life and what he’s continuing to teach me daily.
Happy 1st anniversary!
It’s all because of you, Caleb.
And this is all for you, and your brother too.