Thursday, October 31, 2013

screw the books

LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON!!! STOP!!!! I am SO tired of you turning off the LIIIIGHTS!!!,  I yell a little louder and a lot angrier than necessary. Greyson's face scrunched up in sadness and confusion. My volume and anger scared him. He was just doing something he loves- turning off the lights. Real tears sprang forth and I instantly felt crushed. Let down by myself. 

He's 4. I'm his world. His constant. His mom and his buddy.
I instantly get down on my knees. I'm so sorry. I don't like you touching the lights but I shouldn't have told you that way. I love you.

I will do better tomorrow. Robot Mom never short circuits, but human Mom totally does. I forgive me. I wish the days ended like a TV show. Van Morrison blasts in the background, and the world falls into place just right. We forgive ourselves for our imperfections. For our impatient moments. We practice gratitude and abundance like it's a cottony cloud of hope for tomorrow.

My best parenting advice? Sometimes I think it's best to put the books away. The books on pregnancy and babies and nursing and sleep schedules and development and sleep. While you're at it- the books on autism and ADD and any kind of Super Powers- if you're reading them- feeling sad and scared and overwhelmed- it's okay to hide those for awhile too. There's plenty of time to become an expert on those things.

Goodnight Moon and I Love You Forever and any Shel Silverstein and The Giving Tree, anything Dr. Suess- read more of those. I think the best parenting books I've read are more for me, my heart, my soul, my perspective. Like Bloom, by Kelle Hampton. Kelle has a heart made of Unicorns, glitter, hope and the most unconditional of capital L love- and she encourages us to not simply accept the unexpected circumstances in Life, but to embrace as if we had picked them just for us.

I've yet to find barely anything in parenting that is one size fits all. People are not one size fits all. Autism is soooo not one size fits any. I think it's so much less about details and circumstance and so much more about perspective. It's so much more about doing what feels right- and if something feels really wrong- it's probably not a good idea. 

I overheard a Mom the other day, talking about her babies development. Scared to death she wasn't doing enough tummy time with her daughter. Scared she wasn't intellectually challenging her child. She started quoting some study cited in an article she read. I had to get up and move. I needed to stop myself from saying, It doesn't fricking matter!  None of it! That crazy stuff we get ourselves worked up over isn't real. The books can't tell you what kind of Mom to be. All that is hard wired into your heart and head. The books aren't the answer. You are the answer. And even if you do every single thing the book says, it's not foolproof. A lack of tummy time isn't going to stop your baby from growing a developing perfectly. It's not going to stop autism or guarantee success. At the end of the day- it doesn't matter. The babies won't remember many of the specifics, but they will remember a Mom who listened to her heart and felt like calm.

And books are like Google. You can find anything. Try it- Google Why is cows milk is bad for you? Then ask Google, Why is it important to drink milk? You can always find information to support a specific way of thinking. Find a few close friends that you trust. Friends who handle Life in a way you respect. Ask them. But most importantly- ask yourself. What feels right to you? 

I read the books with Grey. Not cuckoo banana style- but a few. I chucked them with Parker. I was so much more laid back and confident and happier too.

Friends, I can't believe it- but we may just be able to do this Halloween thing.

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He kept them on for five whole minutes.

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Halloween- I guess everything is about perspective. I think it's going to be a good one.

Today we had not one, but TWO one hour Speech Therapy sessions for Parker, and one for Grey. 

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It's funny, Parker thinks he goes to Speech to play, and because of that- he does. Sometimes I wanna be just like Parker. I like his outlook. I'm certain he didn't learn that from a book.

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Life...It's like a mosaics table. Each piece coming together in its own time, only when it fits. You can't shove a piece in if it isn't right. You can't put in stone number one hundred- if you haven't done the first 99. Simple moves can't really be predicted or planned. You just keep trying to see what fits where. The result is pretty amazing. 



  1. Your children are adorable!!! Love them everyday! Don't be too hard on are human! Do the best you can each day and then get up the next day and start again. I love reading your put life in a great perspective!!! Happy Halloween!!!

  2. Your boys are so stinkin' cute! Happy Halloween!

  3. Life, who'da thunk it? There is no script and no one certain way to create and mold new lives. You just have to love and care and trust that you're doing the right things every day. And if we make a mistake, we learn from them and move on. I love your openness and honesty. Brings a smile and a tear to my eye every time I read your posts. I wish you peace and strength. I truly believe that God only gives us what we can handle. Happy Halloween!

  4. I just want to load my family on a plane and get to California so you can take our pictures. I've never seen photos as beautiful as yours. And if you need a getaway, grab your camera and head to Atlanta!

  5. thank you for writing this- i agree that books about how to be or do ______ (whatever) the right way are completely overrated and only make you feel worse at the end of the day. it's nice to know i'm not the only one. i'm also REALLY excited just at the thought that you may get a little dress-up time out of your boys this halloween- good luck no matter what!

  6. Happy Halloween Friend! Are those his Clark Kent classes??
    I didn't do enough tummy time for little or make sure his head was facing different directions when he slept & he now has a flat spot :( Thankfully he has beautiful hair that more or less fills it in. The dr wanted me to put him him a helmet to squish it back, I said - No Thanks. I keep praying as he gets bigger it will round out...I am teaching him to wear hats :)
    I hate that whole loosing my temper thing with a 4 yr old too. Sucks. I am really really trying to find some calm so I can be more patient. Some days are better than others, but I will never quit trying. I can't see a time when I will have the patience of Job, but I'll keep keepin on.
    Thank you for sharing yourself & your family. They both fill me with happy. <3
    Love & happiness to you, sweet Momma. xoxox Jen

  7. Your pictures and your boys are just so gorgeous. I LOVE looking at them. I have been so impatient lately at bed time. I dont know why. I keep trying to quiet my voice. So hard some days and i keep beating myself up. Thank you for sharing so honestly. XOXO kristen

  8. I love the mental image of the day ending like a TV show. That would be great! I love a post Glennon did over at Momastery about bedtime being like a game of Whack-a-Mole. The part that really hit home was how absurd it is that this ritual that we want to be so loving and wonderful comes at the end of the day when our patience is shot and our nerves are frayed. So true. Carry on, Mama. You are enough.

  9. You're amazing---did you know that?? Books...highly over-rated at times, especially when it comes to how to...or be... I stick with the classic novels, and fiction ...I don't stress myself over 'those' books anymore. I just am... just like you are...You're a great mom...and a grat person, one who has 2 very special children who love you. You'e their world! Thanks for an interesting read all the time.