I woke up this morning to Parker's soft cries. I slowly opened my eyes and gave myself my daily pep talk. I'm so sorry- it's time to wake up. I know you're exhausted, but you can do this. I know it's hard- but you can get out of bed. I promise. You will feel so much better after coffee.
I grab my phone and with one eye open- start to read emails. I read a peculiar message on Facebook. A kind Friend on the other side of the globe kindly let me know that the link to the book, The Giving Tree I included wasn't a "family friendly" version.
I was so confused. It's The Giving Tree- a children's book. That's about as kid-friendly as it gets. I mean- sure, it's a little sad that the tree gives so much and the boy takes so much- but it's not inappropriate by any means. That's Life. That is most certainly love and being a Mom. It's one of my favorite books of all time. One that I would read to Greyson when he was a teeny tiny baby. I pull up the blog and double check the link...
You see, last night I was looking for a link to the story. I found a awesome totally old school animation of The Giving Tree on Youtube. I went to put the link on the blog- and at the last second saw the same animation- but in color. I liked the color so much better. That was the only difference... I thought...
So today I watched the video I posted in its entirety. You know- the one I said reminded me of Mom'ing? I said the Mom is clearly the tree? Oh my word.
It certainly ISN'T Family Friendly!!!! My mouth was open the entire time I watched. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't even finish the video until the end. I had to GET IT OFF THE BLOG, NOW!!! And my computer was freezing up. It took FOREVER to take it off.
And all day today- SERIOUSLY- all day I laughed about it. The fact that I posted a link. The fact that someone made this bizarre horrible version of a beautiful innocent children's book. The fact that people sat down with their own children and started to watch it!!!
Here is the CORRECT version... Triple checked by moi.
Now, if you are like me- you didn't watch the video yesterday. And now you are HIGHLY curious, and since you know it's bad you MUST see what in the heck I am talking about. I can't knowingly post the link again. I'll go to Hell.
However- I can't stop you from Googling- The Giving Tree animated motion.
WARNINGS AND SPOILER ALERTS: No children allowed. F bombs and much more. And the boy cusses out the tree and murders it.
I can't stop laughing. LAUGHING IS MY FAVORITE. And I am lucky that Life with Greyson + Parker is a small and cozy little joint. We have old distressed wood floors and character. Comfy couches. Endless cups of coffee and Norah Jonesy music in the background. Everyone is invited and everyone belongs. Different is good. Y'all know me well enough to know that I would NEVER post something like that on purpose. I'm also not beyond finding it INSANELY hilarious either though. But you trust that I am good and that means everything to me. Thank you for that.
Both boys do 20 hours of Behavior Therapy a week. It was a tough decision to make initially- but if I had a crystal ball to see in the future- I wouldn't have thought twice about it. SLOW is not a bad word in my home. My boys are extremely slow learners. Sometimes it's so hard for me to understand because I am a fast learner- but I'm also a fast forgetter. My boys force me to slow down. They help me notice details I never would have in my typical hurried pace.
Behavior Therapy first started to grow roots in the 1960's. It is now widely accepted as effective treatment for autism. It doesn't cure or take the autism away, but it helps many kids with Super Powers learn how to function. Positive reinforcement is given so good behaviors are more likely to be repeated and negative behaviors are redirected. These teaching techniques are used in structured situations like in a classroom- or in real life situations like at the dinner table or the park. Luckily a lot of it looks like play. The possibilities of what must be taught- but what can be taught is mind blowing. Skills that typical children pick up naturally. Things like following a point, pointing to show needs or interests, learning to listen, making eye contact, and following simple directions like, come here or sit down. Commands such as those are taught over and over and over again- details and data kept on each interaction. Each boy has a binder with this information in it that is as big as they are.
They do Behavior Therapy outside of the house two mornings a week now. Today when I picked them up, we went slow.
Today was the first day that felt like Fall. And although I am a self proclaimed Spring and Summer lover, it felt like crisp, cool magic.
Sometimes it breaks my heart that the boys have to do so much therapy- but it also motivates me to make sure I fill their days with joy too. I rock at playing.
This picture is my favorite picture ever. Eye contact is hard for the boys and most children with autism. There are many theories and speculations as to why- but no one really knows the answer. It makes it difficult for them to look at the camera. Sometimes it makes me feel sad when they don't look at me. Like a ghost. I so desperately need them to look at me and hear me and be with me.
They may not look at me, but they must know how much I love them. Sometimes so big it hurts.
And this afternoon during therapy our angel Gage came over for play therapy with Grey. Parker still naps so he doesn't have therapy in the afternoons. We need to do play dates one on one so Greyson can learn how to interact with other children. I used to assume Grey learned this stuff when I would have play dates with other Moms and their children- but he stays in his own little bubble. During Behavior therapy we can carve out structured interactions and play.
We are building Garbage City.
Gage is so excited about it- that I'm even excited now. I just wish I was craftier. I think that's one of the things I love most about Parenting- the chance to be a kid again too.
For this Wednesday- let's both go slow. Let's take our time and notice the details. Happy hump day.