My roots are in the Chautauqua movement. My maternal and paternal ancestors owned cottages in the Lakeside Chautauqua on Lake Erie. My early childhood was punctuated by summer visits; by age eight, I was a year around resident in the same. Summers found my community overrun with vacationers enjoying the culturally rich environment. Wikipedia sums it up well, “The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day.” I have written in the past about how access to such professionals influenced who I am today; it predestined me to be a life long learner.
We are celebrating Nathaniel’s sixth birthday this weekend. I’ve probably said it about each year, but it is unbelievable that he’s six. When you parent and love a child who has bore labels like “prognosis: poor,” “failure to thrive,” and “unadoptable,” every year is a milestone. When that child has survived multiple episodes of sepsis, respiratory failure, accidental trach decanulation, aspiration pneumonia, medical formula intolerance, and dehydration, every birthday is significant.
October is Augmentative Alternative (AAC) Awareness month. It is also the month annually that I have to resubscribe to the website building program I use to write and host this blog. The overlap strikes me as appropriate. My blog has slowly migrated into a site that focuses on Nathaniel and his need for communication; it is meaningful that I yearly recommit to sharing that journey during AAC awareness month.