Getting out of the house in the morning is its own special brand of torture. Ten minutes before we had to leave this morning, Greyson was still running around naked. Screaming every time I got near him with clothes. Parker still in jammies. How do I do this every time? I ask myself with a grrrr. I look up to see Greyson excitedly jumping and flapping at the liquid puddle on our hard wood floor. Liquids certainly have magical properties in Spectrumville, unseen by the typical eye.
GREYSON!!! Pee in toilet!!! Pee goes in toilet!!!
And after a spontaneous half assed mop job, I get both boys into the car. The clock reads 9am. The exact time we are supposed to actually be arriving at Behavior Therapy, still 20 minutes away. I finally arrive and drop off the boys, 11 minutes before I am to arrive at Physical Therapy. I notice Parker is without shoes. Opps. And then I drive with hands tightly clutching wheel towards Physical Therapy, so I can quickly go back to Behavior Therapy for each boys' monthly status meeting.
Boy, I bet you're busy- a nice gentleman said to me today. Yes, I sure am. But almost everyone is busy. We just are busy doing different busy things. Which is the truth. I'm not nearly as busy as my boys.
If only the mornings occurred in the afternoon instead...maybe I would have a chance.
When I learned it was called autism I instantly shattered into a million sharp pieces all over the ground. And as I would take in deep breaths and try to regroup, I would remember specific painful future memories, and it would cut me all over again. What if he never falls in love? Who will love him when I die? I know someone will take care of him, but who will love him this much? Will he ever call me Mom? Will he ever make a real friend? Will life always be this hard for him? And I cut my cuts open again and again on these thoughts as I walked over the slivers that must have been hiding in the corners. Shattered me and shattered dreams. After the glass shatters, no matter how much you sweep and mop and vacuum, there are always slivers left to cut.
And you heal, ever so unbearably slowly. And you move forward, and sometimes back. You stop hanging around with people who don't get it or care to get it. You reinvent yourself and your life. You learn more. You cope. You live. You breathe in color that in turn exhales into your stark world of black and white. And it's never alright, not in the sense of alright you had known in your past life. You just have to find a new and different alright.
Last weekend we went to a wedding. As the beautiful bride and groom entered the reception room, their names were announced... And for the first time ever, let's welcome- Mr& Mrs... And without thinking or realizing or rationalizing- I stepped on a hidden shard of glass I thought I had swept away. I started to cry. Stubborn tears, more forthcoming than a sneeze, no stopping them.
Greyson or Parker will never get married. They will never have this moment.
It's like you can actually feel your heart bleeding in these moments. And you may say to me- You don't know that! He can still accomplish anything! Or, His future will be bright and amazing - and all of those things can very well be true- but they can never overpower the force and the spontaneity of the shards of glass that get left behind.
Late last night I went downstairs to grab something from the kitchen. I kept all the lights off. When I first got down the stairs it was so dark I couldn't see a thing. I couldn't even see my hand waving across my face. I wasn't sure how I was going to make it back up the stairs and down the hall. And slowly, I began to make out shapes and outlines. And then even colors and shades. And my eyes got used to it. Our bodies and minds find a way to get used to it. Whatever it may be. We may always be in the dark. But only in the dark can you discover how beautiful the dark can be.
I think many of us reach crossroads in our lives. Some subtle, some out loud. I think we can go either way after that. These times, few of us remain in the middle. If your mother or father was an alcoholic- maybe you barely touch booze because you saw what it did and that scares you. Or maybe you became an alcoholic too, because its what you saw and what you know. Maybe you grew up in a family that never said, I love you. They never had real talks, everything was surface. And some people use that pain and the hope for something more, and explode love into their own family. They break that painful cycle because they saw what it could do and they believed in something more. But there are some people that stay right there. They say they don't know better, they only know what they were taught. They never change.
I don't know what makes someone make the hard decision to fully participate in life, complete with all its challenges, to do the hard work and make a change, and what makes some people keep doing exactly the same? Why do some people break the cycle and some don't? I really don't know.
But I see the importance of doing the hard work and making the right choices. Choices to be happy and healthy. And because of that, I won't let autism crush me. It's not about me- it's about my boys and about what I can do to make their life exceptional. Kids feel these things and know these things and then become these things. They are reflections of us.
I hope I teach them to make the best out of life.
I hope I teach them to get dirty and to explore.
I hope I teach them to make many, many mistakes. I hope I teach them that not trying again- after a mistake, is the only mistake they can make. I hope to teach them to keep trying, keep swimming, keep growing. Always.
I hope I teach them to clean up what they dirty, and to leave the World a better place.
They teach me to do what my heart says, without a fear of looking silly or being different.
And the truth is, I would take the autism away in a second, but I can't. Sometimes I get cut by a piece of glass that remained. When you love someone this much, how can you not?
But more often, I feel purpose and love and an honestly and kindness and truths about the world and about myself that I never knew existed before. I'd rather focus on that. I'd rather start to see in the dark.
I am on FACEBOOK. Come over in your jammies and say hi.
So beautiful. Praying for you today. Hope it is a beautiful day!ReplyDelete
Chrissy, thanks! You are making this world a better place just by keeping us all focused on the joy of what we each have to carry through this life even in the dark. Hope today is wonderful for you and the boys!ReplyDelete
Wow, this really hit home with me today. The shards of glass are SO painful and really do sometimes come when you least expect it. I try to keep mine hidden in a place deep down so I can try to be happy and stay positive, but boy do they have a way of creeping up on me. I honestly can’t think of those painful things on a daily basis otherwise I’d never be happy or make it through a day. I HAVE to try to stay positive to survive….even if it’s the hardest thing to do. Funny how simple, happy moments can crush you the most…. Like two people being introduced as Mr&Mrs…. I totally get that. I often think back to when I was introduced for the first time as Mr&Mrs…what a great time it was because it was a time when Autism was not intimately present in my life. I never in a million years would have thought that I would be parenting a boy with Autism just a few years later…wow, life sure does change fast. But at the end of the day, the love I have for both my boys is so tremendous and deep I could never imagine not having them in my life. They are what completes me. And like you so gracefully said… I won’t let Autism crush me either. It really IS about my boys, not me. And I will spend the rest of my life making sure that my son has everything he needs to succeed in life, even if that means doing lots of sacrificing on my end. Enjoy your weekend Chrissy, you deserve it. KReplyDelete
Beautiful, my friend. The whole kitten caboodle (meow). The words, the heart, the love, the pictures, the message - all beautiful.ReplyDelete
My love woke up at @ 2 this morning calling for me. He needed me to lay with him until he fell back asleep. So, I laid down on the 1/4 of the twin mattress he allotted. And I thought about what fills me up. Those moments with my son sure do - just being with him. Not playing or fighting, just the physical closeness of him. Your words stay with me - and keep me examining. Thanks for being you.
Love & happiness to you, sweet momma - Jen
Very very good read. Excellent choice of words and I could not agree more with the alcoholic comparison. My mother and father were addicts. There is not middle. I'm anti anti everything and my brothers they chose to follow the same cycle. I totally get it.ReplyDelete
I really connected with this post, Chrissy . . . I struggle with those tiny slivers of glass as well . . .ReplyDelete
Sending love today and also a thank you for the question in the previous post. I'm still thinking about that one and paying attention as I look. Thank you Chrissy.ReplyDelete
As a trauma survivor myself, I really appreciate your analogies for trauma... darkness, shards of glass. You are so brave to face it head-on and to dedicate your life to making the boys' lives great. thank you for sharing your path with us.ReplyDelete