Wednesday, December 11, 2013

everything is bullshit

Monday morning I saw our Priest from Church at Starbucks. He was in a large group of people who clearly knew how to do morning. They were showered and dressed and laughing and coffeeing like grown ups. I thought about approaching him and giving him a sticker for this blog, but I wasn't so sure. I looked down onto my unshowered self; donning black stretch yoga pants and over sized hoodie. I have a little chat with me. Are you sure you want to give him a blog sticker? Not everything you write is Priest friendly. But then bossy me went up to him and just gave him one anyway. 

Later that day I told Michael about my exchange-and with wide eyes I said -I wrote the F word in yesterday's post about Parker - should I take that out in case he does read the blog? You know I don't ever do that, but they were especially F worthy feelings and I wanted to be real. 

Without hesitating Michael replies, No- you can not censor yourself based on what you think one person will think of you. Then you will have to constantly censor yourself for each person's feedback and your writing will be a watered down version of your writing.

So, if you are here Father Eric- welcome. And I usually don't cuss on this blog- except the other day- (assuming crap and damn and hell are not real cuss words). Oh- but I am going to curse again today again-but not intentionally. You'll understand in a bit. Thank you, or- I mean- I am sorry.

Greyson is a babbler. I always imagined nonverbal children were silent, but that is not always the case. Greyson is LOUD. He is constantly making noises. Ticking and tocking, clicking and yelling. Talking in what sounds like a foreign language. He attempts to repeat sounds and words we ask him to say- but many get lost in the transition from brain to mouth. Sometimes he gets stuck on a sound or word and he then thinks it can work for whatever it is he wants. For awhile it was more. Then open. Then purple. He uses his catch word for everything. 

(Handing me a bag of unopened chips). What should I do? I ask. Purple, Greyson says. 
(Pointing to a box of juice) What do you want? Purple- he replies. Everything was purple for awhile. I was glad when that went away.

Until now... Now it's bullshit. It started in speech a couple weeks ago. He was playing with colored stacking buckets. Which bucket do you want? Teacher Amy would ask. 

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Green bucket or blue bucket? 
Deen. bullshit.

Would you like the yellow bucket or the blue one?
Wuh woa bullshit

And third grader me tried not to giggle. Because it sounds exactly like it. And for the past week, everything is bullshit. Chocolate is bullshit. Chips is bullshit...and many many other items. And if Greyson doesn't get what he wants- he starts to yell the word- really loud. Which is funny, and terrible all at once. Welcome to the world of autism. And when he says it in public, I look around to see who is within earshot, so I can smile and shrug innocently.

I think maybe- it's supposed to be the new weekly theme in my life. He's secretly telling me, Lighten up, lady- it's all BS anyway. It makes me think of some of the most perfect words ever sang by The Indigo Girls- And the best thing you've ever done for me is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all. (Closer to Fine)

For the past couple of days- a few times-that feeling genuinely washes over me- and I smile in relief with the perspective. It's only Life after all. There are many things that are serious, but sometimes it's easy to mislabel small things as difficult and confusing. We start to lump all the things in together and just about everything is impossible. Everything is hard. Everything is stressful. Sometimes I realize- it's really just a big amusement ride- Life. We can get on and worry. Has this thing been services recently? Is this belt locked? What if i get my pants dirty? Should I be on another ride doing something else? Why am I on this ride? What does it mean? Did other people pick this ride or a different one? What is the purpose of riding this ride? 

Or we can just get on the ride and enjoy. Just let go. Relax. Feel the breeze on our cheeks and ignite in the thrill of the ride. I really notice it this time of the year. The tug from frenzy and the gentle pull from relax and enjoy. Let's let relax and enjoy win a little more.

I read this today and it resonated deep within. 

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A small ember called out from the inside of me- please, notice me.

And here's the thing about embers- they create heat, as much heat as the initial fire. They can continue to radiate a substantial amount of heat long after the fire has been put out, and they can rekindle a fire that is thought to be completely extinguished. Embers are often used for cooking because embers radiate a more constant form of heat, as opposed to an open fire which is constantly changing along with the heat it radiates. 

Embers should never be ignored. I remember the initial moments of realizing Parker had autism. I knew it would bring struggle and a life- yet again- unexpected. I knew I couldn't control it. But I also realized it was up to me to create goodness in my life- goodness that otherwise never would have existed had it not been for the spark of sadness. Goodness I could control.

Somehow between then and now, I forgot all about that ember until tonight. I let life get in the way of capital L life. I don't know if I am supposed to seek out that goodness- or if it is supposed to find me. I get so bogged down with the day to day-  I convince myself I can not leave the boys- even for one night. I forget to dare and I forget to dream. I am ready now though. Ready to get outside of that zone of comfort that I let stiffle me. I am aware. Sometimes we think we've lost it. Our spark, our fire, our flame. Our light, our looks, our wit, our fun, our smarts, our positive outlook. I promise you- there's still an ember inside- hotter than the original fire, waiting to ignite again. It just needs a little belief, a little space and a little oxygen. Consider this your breath of air.

I finally got a chance to try and jump like Grey does. Completely and with every ember of my soul. 

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Think I did it right because I peed a little. I tried not to think the jump, and instead just feel it.

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Jump therapy- it's good for the soul and the senses. 

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Parker prefers to watch, and of course smile. He can't jump yet.  He would squeal anytime we would jump into the foam pit.

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And I discovered- the thing that I love so much about jumping is that there is this moment- right at the top of the jump - at its highest point, when you can't tell if it's fear or exhilaration flooding through you. That feeling is every feeling swirled into one. It is its own little universe, free of constraint or time. I want to live in that place more. I want to blow air onto that ember. 


  1. Today I was watching a NatGeo video about tornado chasers. One of them, after a particularly close brush, described feeling numb. In an instant, I knew exactly what he meant. It comes after that adrenaline rush, after the top of the jump. I have felt that, loved it. Ever since my son's diagnosis in May, I've been on hold, right before I hit the top of the jump. I'm frozen, but beginning to thaw. Once I get out of this geographic place I am, I may hit the apex. Again, thank you for posting. You always hit it just right:)

  2. I love this post. Everything was red in our house for quite a long time. Any color related question or remark the answer was red. lol

  3. This is too funny. I always promised to be excited for any words my son says because its such a blessing to just hear his voice. Now he likes to sing country music songs as loud as possible and I have to remind myself of that promise in order to not tell home to STOP SINGING. Often when I have those thought I too think maybe its me that needs to start singing. Don't we all need a little more fun and a little less serious. Sounds like Greyson has found a great way to remind us all.

  4. Last year, in Kindergarten, the little boy I spend my day with would use, "Shut the F* up!" repeatedly. That was good times. I finally was unable to quell my nervous/ 3rd grade giggle one day on the playground. He looked up at me in awe and never said it again. Thanks for your words, I appreciate them, in their uncensored honesty.

  5. You are good stuff mama. Love your words, swear words and all :) - Erica

  6. Love everything about this post. The fact that you did give your Priest the blog sticker, Michael's reply to your question, Closer to Fine, your family jumping pictures. It is only life after all. I am trying to take it all a little less seriously and find that ember inside. Thanks you for sharing. xoxo Kristen at

  7. Love how you love your boys ! So much love for them.....such a good mom !

  8. Your last 3 sentences - yes, me too.

  9. I love all your pictures, but the one of you and Grey (which I assume you didn't actually take, now that I think about it) may be my all-time favorite. The two of you in each other's arms in action is just pure mom/son joy. Love it!

  10. Surely just the fact the he got stuck on such awesome words as "purple" and "bullshit" says a lot about his awesome personality just waiting to express itself verablly. I pray the day when he can tell you more and use a whole bunch of words in between the bullshit and purple is very soon. It's bound to be completely stellar and worth the wait.