Monday, June 24, 2013

circumstance + Perspective=happy

The California winds were in full effect today. It was the kind of day that felt like anything was possible, but instead of feeling like I needed to Carpe Diem the whole wide world, I just sat back content with my own sweet little slice.

Today I collected favorite (mom)ents in a little satchel that I will carry in my pocket to last throughout the week.

This morning we stayed in our jammies forever. When I was sufficiently caffeinated the whole family went for a walk. The warm air and loud and enveloping wind made it easy to walk and feel without needing to think a single thing. We encountered 2 amazing eagles on our trek, beautiful, strong and hovering. I just stopped to take in their size and beauty. I wish you had been there.

I like getting to know you too. This blog is a two way street. I rarely ever leave comments on blogs or with writers I felt a connection with. I think- look how many comments they already get- they don't care to hear from me. What can I say to express how I feel that they haven't heard? If they are a writer I think- I would leave a comment but I can't think of anything writery and unique. But you have changed me. I have gotten lost in your beautiful messages, notes and comments. I fold them up on a piece of paper and put them in my imaginary pocket for forever. Thank you for sharing your time and your heart and your stories with me. I assure you, I care deeply. I'm overflowing with grateful. Writing this blog has made me see just how big and tiny this sweetly beautiful world really is.


Finally after the waiting and screenings and evaluations and assessments and approval Greyson was 25 months old when we officially started early intervention services. It was almost 2 years ago exactly.

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It took forever to get the ball rolling which delayed things by a few months. I think it's funny that the very entity that says early intervention is so important has so many hoops to jump through.

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This was our first day of early intervention preschool. It was horrible. He hated it and so did I, neither one of us wanted to be there. We both cried. It got better. It always gets better friend- whatever it is.

At first I truly didn't think spectrum. We treated him as if it was autism, because clearly something was going on...but I thought speech delay or delayed development. After a few months into early intervention I think I knew-- but I took a vacation and stayed in a little cottage called Denial. It was a nice and necessary trip - but the thing about denial is that you can't stay there very long. Then I knew. I knew-knew, and went through the many stages of grief while I worked like crazy to figure out what I was supposed to do next.

We started intense at home Behavior therapy - and I was pissed that my life was harder than everyone else I knew. I was pissed about a lot. Fast forward 10 months to the realization of Parker also having autism. Sick numb unfair, please...just no. I can't.

And in dealing with that grief my heart broke wide open. I realized there is purpose to all of this pain and I believe God chose me for exactly this journey. And a beautiful thing happened when I realized that there is no hard scale. Is my life harder than someone with two typical kids?

Now I would NEVER say yes. Because the truth is- I don't know. What if they have two typical kids and lupus- and a loveless and painful marriage? What if they have no children, and are struggling with infertility but would do anything in the world to have two autistic kids? Is their life harder or mine?

I can't answer that. I don't know because there is no baseline for happy. There is no hard scale. Life is hard for everyone. We all struggle and we all thrive. And I don't want to focus on what I don't have because that doesn't make me happy. 

Happiness equals Circumstance +perspective. My circumstances weren't chosen but I choose my perspective daily. Circumstance we can't always change. Perspective is life's play doh and we can often mold it any which way we want.  Perspective can even be borrowed and shared. Many days I think perspective saves my life.


Today was Jack the dog's birthday. Jack is my very first born baby boy. Jack taught me that it is possible to love and communicate and understand someone that can't talk to me in words. Crazy how much that lesson serves me still. To celebrate Jack we took him to the dog park.

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The dogs were crazy about Parker. I had to hide him from them up on the table.

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Jack loves running so much he smiles.

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Greyson realized he could see his own reflection in Michael's glasses and he was enamored. Fascinated. He kept sticking out his tongue.

Afterwards we went to one of Greyson's favorite weekend hideouts. It's an old house on an historical stretch of land. There's a frog pond, a tractor and beautiful wild life.

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The boys and I could live in the house we love it so much. The winding stair case carries so many stories and so much history. I wish I could see back in time when people still lived there. The house has this amazing old house smell. It's comfortable and soothing and feels like a magical grandma's home that you love to go visit.

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Grey goes from room to room and just takes it all in.

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(You can read about the time Parker fell in this pond HERE!!!)

And now- screeeeeeeech... We are brought back to the harsh reality of Monday. My perspective is a little sucky on Monday- but I'm gonna try really extra hard. 

Hope your Monday treats you kind. Stop by Life with Greyson + Parker on Facebook and say hello. That makes me very happy. We can conquer our Monday together. 


  1. What a lovely Sunday. Happy Birthday to Jack.

    Perspective... maybe I need to be a little more deliberate about mine.

  2. Hey; I've stayed at that same cottage! Not bad short-term accommodations--you just can't stay there very long. I wonder if everyone has to stop there on their way to Acceptance? Alice

  3. I have 'found' you through Momastery and I am planning on sticking around. Your writing, your acceptance and grace with which you live your life are addictive to me. I love coming to a place where I find inspiration. I particularly like your equation for happiness today. Circumstance + perspective. I like that. I like it alot!!

    I have a close friend whose son was diagnosed with Asperger's over 25 years ago and fought a rather lonely battle as so many were so unaware as to what she was dealing with on a daily basis. If she had found 'someone like you' during those years, you would have been a lifeline. As I am sure that you are to many more than you will ever know...

    May this Monday bring a ray of perspective into your world to create a small piece of joy for you!

    P.S. Sunday's like the one you just lived are my favorite-days-in-the-world! Loving those mute little four-legged creatures is a gift. A gift that goes both ways.

    1. Edit to my P.S. please (it has been haunting me since I hit the publish button yesterday morning): Delete the word 'mute' and replace with 'nonverbal'. Two completely different meanings. I apologize for my error. I so agree with the essence of what you wrote about the lessons learned in loving, communicating and understanding someone that can't communicate with words. I love the way life teaches what we need to know ... and it often in hindsight that we appreciate the value of some of those tough lessons.

  4. Thank you for your thoughts about the "my life is harder" belief. I thought that for a long time. Maybe up until a few minutes ago. I have a great kiddo, a job, a home and a husband that I love like crazy. But I also have an ex-husband who seems hell-bent on making my life miserable. Enter never-ending insults, allegations in court, nasty letters to my boss, anti-harassment orders. But I'm learning (after years of practice and therapy) that I still get to have my own perspective. And that perspective can still be positive- even on a hard day. And that is a gift.

  5. I also clicked through from Momastery and so glad I did...your voice is so clear and true....keep writing and taking photos! You will strike a chord for lots of people-even us moms whose children have not had a devastating diagnosis or illness. Bookmarking you. I'd love to check you out on facebook but am still a holdout. Trying Google+.

  6. Chrissy, I love this post. I, too, am a Momastery carryover; and I will be sticking around as well. My two-year-old daughter, Keti, has Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, as well as other Specialties that make her life challenging and difficult. As you can imagine, this causes me worry, anguish, frustration, and panic as to whether she will ever overcome these challenges and live a "normal" life. Will she ever get into a classroom with typically developing children? Will she ever graduate from high school? Will she go to college? Will she marry? Those are all big picture questions, but what keeps me in perspective is who she is *now* and what she needs from me *now*. I spent time in the Denial cottage myself. But I didn't have time to stay there long. I had a baby girl who needed me to be present and proactive. She needed a lot of Early Intervention therapy from the time she was 11 months old. She is nonverbal, but I know even though she has never said "Mommy" or "I love you," she knows I'm her Mommy and I know with all certainty that she loves her Daddy and me with all of her heart. Keti is an irrepressibly happy child, except when she is told "No." Did I mention she is 2? :) Thank you for sharing your perspective and your beautiful boys. And Happy Birthday to your beloved Jack!

  7. circumstance+perspective=happy. Yup, that's my mantra of the day! Another great post!

  8. I love this post! Perspective, and putting things into it, are huge in my life. I have five kids. Two with Aspergers (boys ages 14, and 7), one with undiagnosed joint issues (11 year old girl), one with depression (13 year old boy), and a slightly scary five year old girl (she loves skulls and bones and dead things). And I have a very aggressive form of autoimmune arthritis which has had me anywhere from fairly normally functioning (which is rare) to completely disabled (thankfully, also rare). And we homeschool. And we love life, learning, each other, and everything that makes us unique and strong and weak and human. Each day for me is a practice in perspective in so many aspects of my life. I find blogging helps, a lot. (My blog is I love your blog, and your light, and your truth, and think your ability to find the good and positivitiy in things while still recognizing the struggle is admirable.

  9. I LOVE those pictures of 2 yr old Grey! We had the same shirt, but ours may have been 3.
    I love "there is no hard scale". Life gets hard for me, but in the scheme of things, my life is awesome. When I stop to think about that it makes me feel bad about thinking life is hard when it could be SO much harder. Sometimes it gives me perspective, sometimes it just makes it hard & guilty :(
    I am a commenter because the writers that move me do such an incredible service. I am such a fan of authenticity and those who live it and promote it. It would have been a life changer had I subscribed to it earlier. Not that my life needs changing (see above). Or maybe, I'm vain enough to think my $.02 matter to anyone but me ;)
    Love & happiness to you sweet mama. Jennifer

  10. I'm also a Momastery carry-over, and I also plan to stay. It's funny; I'm a teenager in high school, but most of the blogs I read are mommy-blogs. Momastry, Lisa Jo Baker, etc. And now you. But I one of my favorite parts of yours is the stories of your kids-- I know several people with aspbergers and one or two with Autism. They're some of the sweetest kids I've ever met. (:

  11. Your words are like therapy for me and your boys are wonderful!! Thanks for being you. :)


  12. Continuing to enjoy your blog. I have spent much of the weekend reading it!

    I'd love to hear more about Parker. Since I went back to the beginning and am reading forward in your blog from there, maybe I just haven't gotten to him that much yet. I'm somewhere in 2012! ;)

    Subscribed via my Reader! Come visit our blogs too!

  13. Hi, I have NEVER commmented on a blog before, but I feel compelled to do so today. Your writing and story and authenticity and vulnerability and boys are simply beautiful. Since reading your story on Momastery, I cannot get you and your family out of my head. Your perspective on life is refreshing and insightful and empowering. Thank you. I hope you keep writing and inviting us into your world. I look forward to following you. Your boys are lucky to have you as their mom and we are lucky to hear your story.

  14. I jumped to your site from Momastery last week, and ever since you have been permanently bookmarked on my browser. I smile here. I just can't help but see the pics of the boys with their full on eye gaze into the camera, and smile back. It is rare to have eye contact with Autistic individuals, so these pictures are so very amazing. I am very aware of that fact from working as a caregiver to many children with Autism. You wrote about that too in one of your posts. The pictures captivate what they don't/can't give naturally. But in those pictures, you can have that brief contact, forever.
    The picture of the dog trying to eat Parker's hair, and the look on his face, made me laugh and laugh, and feel. I felt so happy. I can almost hear his squeal deep within him, and that sound, even in my imagination, is so beautiful. Your children are beautiful, and you, their mom, are a treasure. To love so deeply and feel so intensely and to respond so humanly. You fill me with awe, and I adore you, even without knowing you. Thank you for writing and sharing!

  15. What a blessing it was to find your blog after reading your post on Momastery last night. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my own life...and for yours! Please know that what I read has moved my soul deeply and for that I am grateful. It is a privilege to pray for your family and to love from afar those two precious little boys. God certainly has shown His sovereign hand in appointing you as their mommy and your husband as their daddy. The pictures are also an incredible gift and serve to show how beautiful Greyson and Parker are on the outside as well. Thank you so much for sharing.

  16. Hi Chrissy-I have just started reading your blog and LOVE it! I am another momastery gal. Just wanted to say hi and thanks for sharing your beautiful family with us. I agree with you 100 percent-you definitely have a gift for writing and photography! So keep rocking at it girl! I live in Memphis, TN and am married with 2 beautiful daughters of my own. They are 10 and 12. I work full time as a graphic designer. I think I'm good at that and interior decorating. I'm not a very good cook either and a horrible singer (my kids won't allow me to sing which is just fine with me) I have a wonderful husband and feel so blessed to be head over heels for him after almost 18 years of marriage! But I'm not saying it's like that every moment-hills and valleys sister ;) Can't wait to read what you post next. Take care, karen

  17. Favorite line... "writer or unique" Awesome Chrissy.. Perspective the view from which you stand! I am proud to stand along side you on the top of Happiness Hill.. gazing upon the valleys, the landscape, the horizon, the puffy animal shaped clouds.. the rainbows..((and pots of gold if we dare to dream!)) New friend of mine.. you are a beauty!!

  18. **WRITERY..that Y at the end adds the right emphasis!! :) Joy

  19. Just saw your blog. My husband's cousin has a boy and a girl with autism. Her husband wrote a book. You might want to get it:

  20. I had a student in my fourth grade class several years ago who was on the spectrum. He didn't talk until he was well past his 5th birthday and by the time he made it to me he had years of stories to tell. We loved hearing Steven's perspective on the world and he and I ate many lunches together. Me behind my desk, Steven on an old wooden school desk right next to me. He made me laugh, he made me think, and he made me cry once. He looked me in the eye during one of the lunches and said..."You make me feel safe." They are, by far, the most powerful words a student ever said to me. God Bless Greyson and Parker and Jack and Mom and Dad. I'm sure you make both boys feel very, very safe.

  21. You write with such clarity the thoughts I often find rambling through my brain. Thank you! I am in love with your blog, your thoughts, your perspective. While we aren't dealing with autism (that we know of yet), our son has been diagnosed with SPD. Life is challenging. BUT, I'm learning we are made for challenging. And while we have bumps and bruises and fears and crying fits and struggles, there are also large amounts of laughter and joy and love and surprises. And it's all worth it. Your boys are so blessed to have a mama that "gets it"!

  22. Your boys are so adorable! I don't have stories to share as I have not experienced autism in my children but, as a mother, I can still identify with you - your joys, challenges and heartbreaks. We all experience them in different ways. You're correct when you say that every perspective is different and raising children - whether or not they have super powers - certainly brings out the heroes (or as mothers, heroines) in us giving us our own set of super powers.