We spend a lot of time as children wishing the days, hours and minutes away. We desperately want to be free of imposed timetables, schedules and events so we can begin to live the life of our dreams. Our naive and childish idea is that life will be filled with excitement, fun and adventure. Being a ‘grown up’ seems like the Holy Grail, the pinnacle of awesomeness! How amazing will it be when we can call our own shots, stay up as late as we like, go where we want, do what we want and become the ultimate master of our own destiny? As a child there is so much to look forward to. When we finally arrive in the land called ‘adulthood’ it may be everything we hoped for, but for most of us, for various reasons, we can find ourselves saying ‘This was not on the Brochure.’
When life doesn't go the way we expect, one of the best (and potentially hardest) things to do is to embrace what I like to call a 'new kind of normal'. It's amazing how we all have a pre-conceived idea about how we think our life is going to look. It may not even be spoken, however it exists in our minds-eye. Brad and I expected to become parents and then go on to participate in and enjoy all the usual activities that come with the titles of ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. When our first born son Cameron, was diagnosed with Autism, everything started to change in a very big way. It felt like an emotional, mental and physical storm that wasn't on the ‘forecast’ for our life and we weren't prepared for!
Illawarra parents launch app to support those on the autism spectrum
Helping families with autism: Brad and Jenn Ratcliffe with their boys Cameron and Coby who are loving the app their parents have developed. Picture: Greg Ellis.
If you love the feeling of holding a good book in your hands, 'This Was Not On the Brochure' is now available in paperback. Click on the button to order your copy.
Today I had the privilege of sharing my story and information about my book with some amazing people at Illawarra Working Mums Networking Group. It was amazing to experience the support and encouragement from everyone in attendance. Thanks to everyone who came along on this beautiful sunny Spring day and a special thanks to Jonni and Faye for giving me this opportunity.
This is a line from Billy Crystal in the movie City Slickers, where three city slickers take a vacation on a cattle drive across the southwest and Billy is made to help a pregnant cow give birth to a calf. This line, had a part to play in the idea for the name of my book 'This Was Not On the Brochure'. Brad would often quote this line in a Billy Crystal voice, as we went on the journey with our boys. It's a line many of us might think of when life hasn't turn out the way we thought.