Monday, July 22, 2013

good thoughts

Yesterday I awoke, my phone an explosion of text messages.

FRONT PAGE! Was the common thread. I can't believe how many friends not only read the paper, but do so early in the morning. It's such a grown up thing to do. I usually don't read the paper or watch the news. There, I said it. I'm like a 39-year old 3rd grader. If I need to know about the outside world I'll ask Michael, Google, or a non-3rd grade friend of mine. The news makes me cry or feel sick or angry or confused. I feel all those things more than enough already so I prefer happy, interesting or mindless things to refuel.

This morning I walked into physical therapy.

Was that your story in the paper? the sweet woman up front asked.

I replied yes and shyly smiled.

I knew it had to be that Chrissy Kelly, she said.

And then all the folks up front started talking about the article and I felt incredibly proud. Happy to be part of happy news. And suddenly I had a thought. Oh good, now they will understand why I carry my phone everywhere- they read that I have two boys with autism. When I do physical therapy the boys are in behavior therapy at our house. It's really hard for me to leave. What if they need me? What if something happens? What if I miss something good? What if the teacher's pen runs out of ink? I have extremely capable babysitters whom I trust, but remember the tightly wound thing I told you? I carry my phone with me from exercise to exercise and hold it while they are working on me.

Now chances are the folks here never once even noticed me holding my phone, but sometimes...okay all the time I create these scenarios in my mind. Of people thinking the worst of me. Look at that girl who can't put her phone down.

I'm tightly wound. I keep wanting to ask my Doctor for a Xanex precription but I'm afraid I'll like it too much. So for now, I stick to chocolate.

I don't care what people think of me.

I've probably said that a thousand times. I bet you have too. I think more often than not, we do care. And then just possibly we get mad at ourselves for caring. It's really hard to love yourself and to hope or even assume that people are thinking the best...they actually probably aren't thinking of us in the first place anyway.

I was pregnant with Greyson and living at the beach. Some nights by the time I got done with work, it was too dark to go for a walk. I started using our Wii Fit to get exercise. The first time I used it I created an Avatar- a little character in my likeness. I had to enter my weight and my weight loss goals. I was pregnant so weight loss was the last thing on my agenda. I had an eating disorder in my late teens and early twenties- so any extra focus on my weight was a BAD IDEA. I entered 1 lb because it wouldn't let me use 0.

Every few weeks I would go to use the Wii Fit. To start my session I had to step onto the Wii Fit board which also served as a scale. The cartoon me would step onto a stage and as the drum rolled my weight would appear. Ta da! And the cartoon me would do a little Awwww Shucks because I had gained weight and she had a very sad look on her face. A game show sound of Waaa waaa played and then they analyzed my actual percentage of weight GAIN and posted it on our 60 inch TV. I felt so angry- so pathetic- so fat. Grrrr. Fast forward a few weeks later- we sold the Wii Fit. Screw you Wii Fit. But the knowledge brought me to the uncomfortable realization that I sometimes care about what others say and think. Even the cartoon version of me.

I'm lost in the kitchen. There's no GPS device that can save me there. I think that's one of the reasons I loved Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City so much- she kept clothes in her oven. When you become a Mom or a wife, it is assumed that you should be able to add excellent cook to your resume. Me- not so much.

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Two weeks ago I was in the kitchen cutting the wrong way. With one swift slice of the knife, I cut a tiny bit of the tip of my thumb off. Just looking at the hanging flap of skin made me feel sick. For a few days I had to keep it bandaged and it was a pain and it hurt, and then I forgot about it. Today I looked down and noticed that somewhere between then and now it healed. It grew back. It's perfect. My body replaced my finger. That is brilliant. I figured if I can practically grow a new finger in two weeks time I can certainly heal my heart when it is hurting too. Often times in the middle of hurting I feel like I'll be hurting forever. Why is it so hard to remember that it always gets better? It grows back. Our body and our mind is so brilliant. We just have to forget about it for a little bit and let it work it's magic.

Today during Speech we were just on. It was like Christmas times two. Both boys were engaged and on fire.

This little nugget makes me laugh. He doesn't say many full words, so we are working on a few approximations- which is when he makes a noise that sounds like the word. Like maaaaahhh for more. Parker is fantastically quirky. He thinks that each sound has a gesture that goes with it.

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This is his gesture for O, as in Open. He puts his hand over his mouth.

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Michael stopped by for a minute to visit and Greyson said, Hi Dad as soon as he walked in the door. He's never once said Hi to anyone without us making him. Never Hi and a name. And then he said, I want Dad just a few minutes later. I just started to cry. Days like today make all the in between ones worth it. A million times worth it.

Greyson also said CAR perfectly for the first time today in his life. I cheered like it was the Super Bowl. And tonight I checked to make sure it was still in there...

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There is a part of me that utterly and completely envies Greyson.  Greyson just is. He is just happy when he is happy and he is mad when he's mad. He's hungry when he's hungry. When he is naked, he just feels good being naked, completely at peace with himself.  He doesn't care at all what other people think. He's Greyson to the core.

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It's crazy how much he teaches me and it's crazy how much sense life makes when I'm here chatting with you.

So much Love,



  1. Awesome! You're awesome, your kids are awesome! Warm and fuzzies all the way around! XO

  2. I'm cheering with you, doing the happy dance in my heart for all of the new words today. :)
    ~A faithful reader

  3. Chrissy, I feel your excitement w/ the small joys--which are really huge joys. I love reading your words. They speak to my heart. they make me say--ME TOO so much. I love it. I have a little girl w/ a rare brain disorder and horrible seizures. They told us she would only live a few weeks after her diagnosis..and if she did make it, she would never walk, talk or function. That is heart breaking. But, she has been a little miracle. Our life has been a rollercoaster ride, but it has been 3 years and we will take every single moment we can get. She is delayed in her speach as well. She would never say "mom". Always dad, which is great, but like you, my heart ached to hear her call out "mom". Then one day she had a horrible seizure. I rocked her and held her while she slept and recovered just waiting to see what would happen when she woke. It was the most amazing thing..She opened her eyes and said "mom!" and then all day she she would call out "mom". OH, I just loved it. I hope and pray your boys will continue to grow and develop and that you can have that joy of hearing Mom. YOu are amazing. I know our circumstances are drastically different, but you have a way of making me feel so connected. Thank you for sharing your life, story, and inspirational moments. I know you are changing the world.

    1. Oh, yeah, and I carry my phone everywhere. I am always on call. I teach a class in church and I carry it to the pulpit with me. I too think that people are judging my "phone addiction". Ha, ha.. We do what we have to do to survive right?

  4. You are changing the world. I have become a better human being because of your blog. Thank you for sharing and thank you to Greyson for teaching me how to "just be". What an amazing message your sons are sharing with the world.

  5. I, too, am a 35 year old 3rd grader - same reasons too! Love your words.

  6. I read your blog and so many words resonate with me. ..I hate the news for the reasons you describe, I care way too much what people think. Thank you for writing and sharing.. your blog makes me feel less alone. It uplifts snd inspires.. sharing your joy about greyson's words. Kelly

  7. He seem so much like my Knox, right down to the gorgeous blue eyes and shaggy hair. Love those boys!

  8. what an awesome blog and what a beautiful family!

  9. AMAZING!!! My struggles are so far from what you are experiencing but somehow your blog spoke straight to my heart. Your words have helped me greatly. Best of luck to you and your beautiful family.