Tuesday, October 22, 2013

roll with it

Monday was strong like bull.

Last week I got a call from Woman's World Magazine. They wanted to feature the Frank & Greyson story for their Everyday Hero section. I received an email from the photo department that literally had me rolling on the floor, laughing. 

First off, they let me know the shoot would not last longer than a couple of hour. I'm sorry, HOURS? Good luck with that. Greyson lets me shoot candid pictures all day long- but on purpose portraits are usually over in 15 minutes. And there's yelling. And sometimes crying, both parties. Do this, sit here, look this way, are not part of Greyson's photo repertoire. We are lucky when he keeps his pants on and doesn't run into the street.

Outfits should be season appropriate, something you would wear in December in the Northeast, because your story will run in the Christmas issue, the email stated. I believe the term, Sunday Best was also thrown around. She also gave me a short list of possible photos to shoot:
-Smiling portraits of Greyson and Frank at your home indoor and outdoor (maybe holding a toy garbage truck) Also if you would like to join in a few photos that would be great.
-If you would like to do the shoot when Frank is driving the garbage truck, then we could do portraits of Greyson and Frank standing by the truck. Also pictures of Greyson sitting in the truck chair with Frank looking on. Photos of  you holding Greyson and lifting him up to greet Frank in the truck.

I laughed as I read the list to Michael. Greyson, just sitting there, SMILING!?? Isn't that hilarious, babe?! I mean- I assume they know he has autism-it's a pretty big part of the story? They are probably going to have to chuck the list and just roll with it.

How about, ME holding Greyson up to the truck?! 

I can BARELY lift my hair dryer to my head since my shoulder surgery, so the thought of lifting Grey up ten feet into a truck is EXTRA hilarious and makes my shoulder hurt. And plus, lately he has been scared of the truck. Welcome to Autism. You just have to roll with it.

Here's the deal- 99.9% of the good, happy, joyful pictures I take of Greyson are completely on his own terms. And that's fine by me-because sometimes it's so good for him to be and do exactly what he wants to. It's up to me to write his storybook world, complete with love and heart and happiness and joy. Yes, he has autism. He always will. But he will ALSO have hope, joy, happiness and a beautiful Life. I promise the two can coincide.

Here we are over the weekend at PlayLand, which is a teeny, tiny amusement park here in Fresno California. Sunday was quiet, uncrowded and perfectly calm...It's amazing the things you don't take for granted when you love someone with Super Powers.We were practically the only people there on Sunday, which felt like a gift straight from God. Hey Chrissy, I rented Playland out for you today. Go enjoy. Love, God 

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Doodle enjoyed watching, but didn't want to ride any rides...except for the Merry Go Round. Everyone's happy is different.

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Utter flaptasticness. Once he saw this ride, he was hooked. 

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 photo IMG_2477_zps98e8c6c8.jpg This grin stayed the entire ride. 

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I usually tackle life on a day by day basis. This morning I woke up and remembered it was the day for our photo shoot. And Greyson's clothes from last Winter no longer fit. And he needs a hair cut like CRAZY. And we still had Speech Therapy and Behavior Therapy too.

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Parker during Behavior Therapy today. Dude will work for bubbles.

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Grey during Speech Therapy. I wuuuuhhh Tup taaay. (I want cupcake).

Ughhh...a hair cut. I usually dread it for days but I forgot to this time. Our hair cutting experiences usually range from kind of horrible to really horrible.  It's not something that I've done solo. I've either had Michael or a Behavior Therapist with me as a wingman.
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Here's our last haircut. Not fun for any of us. This picture doesn't do justice to how loud this scream gets.

I almost said, Screw it- no hair cut, a thousand times today. But I knew I could do it. I just needed to prove it to myself. 

While driving there I kept repeating:

I WILL NOT cry. 

Sometimes I say, I will not cry until I get to the car. But today- I said, no tears. PERIOD. And I just knew I could do it- And I did!!!! I did it all by myself, Friend!!!  Okay- myself, my beautiful and almost somewhat cooperative boys and our favorite stylist Maria helped too. 

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And the photoshoot was fantastic. Not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Lots of bribery...coconut icecream and sweedish fish did the trick. 

And by golly, I realized something today. I can roll. As much as I am a control freak, as much as I so desperately need my ducks in a row, I CAN ROLL too. And Tuesday, I give you permission to roll with it too.

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But now it will be easy because you have permission.



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  1. Ooooh I can so identify with this! I just booked a photo shoot for our family with an actual professional photographer. I literally typed that same line you did up there when I wrote her "Davis is not so good at 'look here, put your hand like that, smile this way' kind of shots." We are going to a local park where the photographer can chase him around. Probably will run a 5 miler that day, but hoping we'll get two or three good shots. I don't understand why the mag can't use YOUR photos!?!?! They all are 100% perfect. :-) I also can identify so much with your anxiety about handling the hard stuff alone. I have to do that a lot, too, and not only do I put myself down for being afraid to go it alone, I also beat myself up for not being strong for Davis when he doesn't feel strong himself. But what is that saying "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear." And also this: "There is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bear witness that a man has the greatest of courage- the courage to suffer." I love that. We are both anxious and afraid and yet we step forward and walk into it. We roll with fear ANYWAY. We are strong women, you and me. Sending love and wheels to you today (you know, so you can roll with it).

    1. Yes! Seriously, your photos are probably 10x more beautiful than anything the magazine could do. And I love this quote about courage - so true.

  2. Oh, that haircut photo! I know that well. My husband is on duty for the next haircut because I've done the last three. My husband says he'll just let him cry/scream and doesn't care what other people but I'm sorry, that's impossible. Glad everything went well for you! Will look forward to seeing your Sunday best in December. :)

  3. i just want to say how much i love your blog, i find it so inspiring and real, today's quote was perfect for me today: dont let the things you cant do interfere with your sense of the things you can do... am loathe to begin work today but you gotta do what you gotta do. much love to your little super heroes and yourself - you're a great mom!! and my best friend is from fresno (:

  4. Hi Friend :) Yesterday was hard. My love fell and needed stitches AGAIN. This is the 2nd time this year. The last time was at my mother's house, so we went together. She was calm and strong while I fell apart. This time, she was there again. But she did the falling apart. And the nurse (who happens to be family by marriage) Aunt Penny said maybe we should wait in the waiting room. And I saw my scared boy. He said No Mommy! I said, No Thank you, Aunt Penny. We did send Grandma out. And I was mad (I know, I'ma peach). I was mad that I HAD to hold it together while my son was screaming. I still cry thinking about it.But 4 stitches, that felt like 20, later, it was over. My beautiful brave boy thanked the doctor. I NEVER want to go through it again. I NEVER want him to go through it again.But I am so glad I was there holding his hand. I know I can do hard things - I just don't want to ;)
    Here's to a happier today.
    Love & happiness to you, sweet momma. Jennifer

  5. LOVE THIS! I've been trying to work lately on not letting fear/anxiety/stress in anticipation of an event (like - dinnertime without my husband, getting my daughter to school on time, etc.) creep in to my life. If the event itself is terrible, so be it. But I don't need to make the days/minutes/hours before that event terrible too.
    I think Greyson would have looked fab without a haircut. But you knew you could do it, so you did.
    Nice work!