I like fall, but I hate to see it come because it reminds me of what is next–winter. The cold hurts and the bad weather slows me down. After the first couple of hours or so of fairyland after a snow, I’m ready to move on.

Somewhere around the middle of fall, with a zillion leaves on the ground and that many more still on the tree, I had a moment of pure genius. Knowing that when the leaves were gone, it would be winter, I considered just shaking the nearest tree until all the leaves were off and then it would be done. That tree would stand there naked and we’d just go ahead and get it over with. No more waiting! Since it was coming anyway, I could just speed up the process and see the future for what it is. It was a bad idea and I did not even approach the tree in a threatening manner, much less shake it, but just the thought made me think of life with PWS.

If I had shaken all the leaves off of the tree so I could see what was in store, I would have missed lots of time with those beautiful gold, red, and yellow leaves right outside my window. Weeks of enjoyment would have been wasted because of my anxiety of the coming of the dreaded season of winter. What a waste that would have been!

Through this, I was reminded that we all get so anxious about the future of our children with PWS, that we sometimes fail to enjoy the beauty of the moment. Whether it’s the infant days, or the toddler time, the preschool period, or the school years, we probably spend too much time worrying about the future and lose the joy of the moment.

I’m going to commit myself right now to being very present with Erin in the present, and spend less time shaking the leaves off of the trees to see her future. Does this mean I stop working to help find a cure? Not on your life! It does mean that I park my anxiety and find joy in each and every day we spend together. Needless to say, this goes for all of our relationships, PWS or not. It just seems that we have a mental map, however inaccurate it eventually proves itself to be, of the future of the others in our lives and we don’t worry as much about them. We’re aware of potential problems, but it’s different than with our child w/PWS. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to adopt the same approach to all our relationships, would it?

We all have it within us to choose to enjoy our lives, or to choose to worry incessantly. As we all know, worrying doesn’t change anything, but it does drain the joy right out of a person. I’m going to do everything I can to plug that drain and not miss another beautiful moment with this precious child that I have been given. I suspect that by learning to do this, even the cold winter may be easier to handle.

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