Wednesday, December 4, 2013

many things-

I realized why I enjoy watching Greyson jump so exceptionally much. 

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His body is absolutely free. Weightless. Perfect. He loses himself deep inside the jumping. He goes into a thousand different directions all at once. No one tells him he is jumping wrong. No one tells him to go higher or faster or less or more. Every single time he jumps- it is just right exactly the way it is. 

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He doesn't tense or stiff or try and manipulate his body in the slightest. It's his own little dance. Greyson doesn't care about looking ridiculous or losing control. He just jumps. He lets go to gravity, willingly and completely. 

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An arm will fly towards the heavens, while another one flaps out of control on his side. The whole dance- so uncoordinated it's beautiful.

My jumping is constrained. It's a controlled attempt at perfect. I make sure to not look ridiculous. I am in control. Controlled. I never close my eyes, I never feel the jump. I never get lost in it. I've never jumped with every ounce of my soul.

My 4 year old son with autism taught me that I have been jumping wrong all of my life. And I can't wait to try it the right's going to take some getting used to, but I will try. 

We can't do anything unless we at least try.

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Today marked the reminder of Trash Truck Wednesday. A weekly holiday at our house. 

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It began at 8am. Thirty- fricking -five degrees out. And when I noticed that there were two trucks outside of our house at once- Trash and Recycle- I felt like I was watching a unicorn fly. Two Unicorns actually. Today was a lucky day. Our Friend, Frank (he picks up the green waste) came later in the afternoon. 

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I've come to peace with the fact that there is no one way for anything. I think sometimes our biggest down fall is not having the ability to see other ways as an option. I get stuck in my way of thinking. Sometimes I think things absolutely have to be done my way- especially when it comes to the boys. Trial and error and patience and time has taught me that is just not the case. I frequently need reminders to be open minded when Moming.

Motherhood introduced me to this world of beautiful and brilliant shades of gray. Black and white parenting is not for me. I realized this methodology of thinking gray can really be applied to anything. Religion- God. Marriage. Parenting. Living a good life. There's no one right way- just the way that works for you. 

And it's hard sometimes. Really really hard- to do the right thing. It's hard to know what the right thing even is. Sometimes there are too many ways and too many choices. I long for simple. There are many paths we can travel. Some end up being wrong. Sometimes we need to know that doing it wrong is exactly where we need to be on the way to doing it right.

I am a Mom. Not because I gave birth to two children, although that helps me fits the dictionary's definition. I am a Mom because it's my vocation. It's a daily choice to show up and do the hard work. Sometimes it's incredibly hard. Sometimes it's mind numbing and boring and I don't know how I can do it for another hour or day or year. And sometimes it is beautiful and fulfilling and sacred. But you can't pick and choose your mom moments- you just show up for all of them. It's the daily choices that make us a Mother. It's wiping noses and making lunches and teaching and patience and night time and baths and knowing when to help and when to step away. It's saying no over and over again sometimes, even when we wish it could be yes.  It's knowing when to teach and when to just sit quietly and learn. It's making mistakes and being okay with it. It's letting go of guilt. It's knowing we CAN'T do it all. It's supporting other Parents. Being a Mom is much less glamorous than the overwhelming and momentous moment of birth or the signing of the adoption papers. It's the real part and everything that happens after. It's a prayer in patience and love and honor and gratitude. There is absolutely no one way to Mom. Just what works for you.

I also deeply believe that there is no one way to be religious- although I suspect it's really just a blend of kindness and grace. Today I read about Pope Francis. He seems like an amazing man- and is breathing modern life into a world that sometimes refuses to budge from a past deeply rooted in tradition. He sneaks out at night to break bread with the homeless. He has invited hundreds of homeless people over for dinner at the Vatican. He lives with other priests and bishops in a guest home- instead of living in the spacious and fancy Vatican apartment allotted to him. Pope Francis doesn't have to do any of this. I imagine it's what his heart tells him to do though. His teachings are more in line with what my heart tells me I feel about Religion- a topic I am still wading through and figuring out. I dont' think Religion is controlled and strict and punishing. I don't think there is only one way. I want to be more like the Pope and apply some of his principles in ways that make sense to my life. 

I am a Catholic, a subset of Christianity.  Not because I was Baptized or received the sacraments of First Communion and Reconciliation and Confirmation. Not because I went to Catholic School most of my Life. I am Christian because I try to choose kind. I try to make good choices. I try to take care of others. I work to not judge or lie or use my words to be unkind. My friend Wendy said, I've always thought the best way to help people understand and follow God is through your example... 

I don't often do those daily things- like nose wiping and baths when it comes to my Religion. I don't read the Bible and it's been awhile since I've even been to Church.  I want to be a better Catholic in ways that work for me. I am proud of my Catholic roots and I want them to grow deeper within my own family. It's easy to look out into the Universe and be discouraged by the state of the world or religion - but it is hard to look inside and ask What can I do to make a change? The other day while running errands I went and bought a Catholic Bible. A little step. We didn't own one. Reading the Bible is hard for me. I need it broken down into devotionals or something bite sized. I'm making a list of things I want to do to grow stronger in my Religion.

At the end of the day, I don't think the Bible or attending Church is the one way to be a good Religious person though. If I want to find God in a walk through Woodward park or in my first sip of coffee, I am okay with that. And if you want to find him at Church- I'm cool with that too. 

It was funny, after I went Bible shopping I was feeling all holy and spiritual and Religious. And then I went boot shopping. My life is an empire of opposites colliding. Bibles and boots, baby.

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But at least my feet look cute while I am trying to read the Bible. Win.

Which leads me to the holidays. I want to tell you- the way you are doing Holidays for your family --it is exactly right. Your combination is perfect. I read articles- We need to buy LESS toys! We need more Jesus! We need to focus on the right things- we are all broken! And I wonder -how they know what we are doing within our own home? Whether it's celebrating Advent or making a ginger bread house. Going to church or staying home. Visiting Santa and making sugar cookies. Elf on the shelf or not. Setting up a nativity scene. Buying a gift for Toys for Tots or treating yourself to new boots. Don't let anyone else make you feel like you should be doing your holidays any differently.

I just want their eyes to light up. I want them to feel joy and love not only from me, but by this village of ours. From God. Something about this holiday season- which we call Christmas (but honor the heck out of whatever you do or do not celebrate)- it feels like sugar coated magic. It hit me the other night when we were driving at a little decorated street in Fresno called, Candy Cane Lane. 

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The ways the lights reflected in the boys eyes took my breath away. I watched their eyes as much as the lights. It felt like Christmas. A calm, frenzy-free moment that reminded me that we are going to be okay. It reminded me that this feeling means we are doing something right. My boys will probably never get Santa, but they get Love. The can experience joy and magic. They can have wishes.  They can have eyes reflected with wonder and light. And for now, that's more than enough for me.

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What would you write on this list? 

So much love,


  1. Great Post Chrissy! By the way...don't give up on your littles about knowing Santa and getting all there is to get about Christmas. I know I had become ok with mine not getting it. It just was what it was...(and as I'm typing this eyes are watering and here come the tears)...but tonight I had a box of stuff in the basement I had not brought up yet. I haven't finished decorating our enormous tree yet (why did I get a 12 foot tree?) and as I'm sitting at the table, my 8 yr old little guy with Autism comes over to me carrying the gold star we put on the top or our tree and handed it to me and said "put on the tree". My husband looked at me and I looked at him and we were both in awe...Oh my gosh...he wants to put the star on the tree. So, we asked him again what he wanted ...just to be sure we were hearing this correctly...and he said "put on the tree while pointing over to the tree. We were stunned. He's always liked the lights, but we've never noticed him interested in the tree or ornaments or the like. Nor did we even think he understood anything about it. I know that feeling you feel when you just want them to get it so badly. I have been there, and am still on many occassions. Our son was non-verbal until he was about 5 years old. I never even imagined he'd get stuff like this back then. Keep hoping girl...I will hope with you!!! Hugs! ~ Shelly H. (from St. Louis)

  2. I didn't tell you when I saw you tonight, but I'd secretly been hoping to run into you for months. But then I got all tongue tied and gushy. I was afraid to jump freely... What i really wanted to do was shout "that's Chrissy, that's Chrissy!!!" And run over and give you a big hug. Except I don't hug. I don't jump freely. But I do appreciate every word you write and every gorgeous picture you post. I often feel they are the words in my own heart and mind. You do jump freely. Each post is a freely jumping Chrissy. Please don't stop.

    1. Thank you so much. It was so nice to meet you and your lady. This comment made my eyes tear- it is gorgeous. Thank you my Friend.