Sunday, May 4, 2014

an ocean full of hope

Scientists say gravitational attraction of the sun and moon on the oceans creates the tide. I believe that each week also creates its own tide. The tide of the week is unsurprising, consistent and comforting. Stifling.

Monday it's low and angry. Without perfect rhythm and difficult to dive into. Tuesday is high and brings with it more predictable patterns. Wednesday is efficient, lasts longer and has strength in its stride. Thursday is tired, bored yet hopeful. Friday is ready to breathe new life, yet exhausted. Saturday, brings energy and rejuvenation. Sunday is melancholy and bitter sweet.

This is true every single week for the mom me. I think back to girl ocean me. The college me. The working me. I realize it has remained consistent all along, only the details have changed. Sometimes everything changes and stays completely the same. It's what I love and hate most about life, depending on when you ask.

Hope was all around weekend.

I tried to ignore her a few times, but she kept coming back. Last week was absolutely one of those weeks, which I'm discovering are all weeks for every single one of us after you hit-like twelve years old. So maybe we should switch the meaning of "one of those weeks" to mean ridiculously easy because that isn't the norm.

But then came Hope, first in the form of this little baby egg on my doorstep...

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Which reminded me that not only is everything possible, but also that everything amazing first starts out teeny-weeny-itty-bitty.

About a month ago we noticed we had a little swallow bird nesting way up high in our doorway.

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Michael said, there's a bunch of bird poop on our doorstep. I looked up and a bird made a mud nest-so when the bird isn't in it, I'm going to hose it down.

NOOO!!!!! You can't do that. You can't just take away their home. It looks like it took awhile to build. You need to ask Google what to do, I said, offering my go-to solution for EVERYTHING.

Google told Michael, "Swallows are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the state of California. Under this law, during nesting season completed nests cannot be knocked down or touched."

I love it when Google has my back.

And just like that, I loved this bird. She curiously and protectively poked her head out every time we entered our home. Hi little momma! I would call out to her. It's okay, love. You are safe here. I talked to her every time I walked in the front door and she was in her nest. And I'm so excited for my little friend now that her babies are here. I hope she is better at being a new momma than I was. Luckily she doesn't have to learn how to swaddle.

Saturday night we met Friends at a place called Gazebo Gardens for local food, music and beer. It's an eclectic garden during the week, but turns into a night out on the weekends. There was a whole row of amazing food trucks.

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And a train that went by a few times every hour. Greyson is sometimes sensitive to loud things, which is common for kids with autism- it's called a Sensory Processing Disorder. He doesn't let it stop him from loving the train though.

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Parker would not stay still. An exasperating fact that wasn't nearly as impossible once I had a beer.  photo _MG_2049_zpsd89b6c69.jpg

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Parker would NOT stay in one spot. Notice the lady bug that flew into his hair? Let's call her Hope.

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Luckily the amazing food finally got him to sit still for a moment. He loved it.

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So did our Friend, Rich.

So much of parenting looks nothing like I expected, but I experienced a moment...

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When I looked around the table at our Friends and all of our children and all of the food and beer and chaos and fun, and it looked exactly like I might have wished for once upon a time.

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Remember beautiful baby Sawyer?

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And look! Parker's stunt double- Liam, aka Noodle, aka Sawyer's big brother.

And one of my favorite parts...

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As the sun began to set and the sky got dark, I realized all the paths were lit by little tiny little white light bulbs. That's what I call the powerfully hopeful and teeny tiny little milestones that happen to my boys. The moments that together actually create the brightest of lights. There goes Hope again. 

Go get your Monday, my Friend. And so this week when things get hard- which they always do, before they get easy again- which they also always do- Don't you worry. It's just the tide. It will change soon.


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  1. I can't believe you captured the moment when a ladybug landed in your son's hair - that is priceless. I also don't think any little boy with autism has let anything stop him from enjoying a train, do you? ;) By the way, our son did a Therapeutic Listening program through his OT for a couple of years that made a world of difference in his auditory sensitivity.

  2. Love this. Love the concepts and how you've presented them. I love how you incorporate your wonderful words, pictures, and even a few new terms related to autism. Yet the focus is not autism, it is life. Beautiful.

  3. I'm pretty sure I'll never read your blog without shedding a tear. And a love that. I love that I will have a ladybug and a baby bird/nest/egg and little white lights in my head all week. fave line:~And so this week when things get hard- which they always do, before they get easy again- which they also always do- Don't you worry. It's just the tide. It will change soon.~Love you C xo

  4. Thanks for this Monday post Chrissy - I like the tide analogy. Glad you had a nice time out even though Parker kept you moving. I saw a hopeful segment about Autism on my TiVo'd CBS Sunday Morning show yesterday. I realize different things help different people so this won't be a thing that helps everyone but it was amazing to see/hear what it did for the boy they highlighted. They also showed research they are doing looking for what works for each person. The research looked hopeful too. People are searching for keys and finding them in unexpected places. "Hope is a thing with feathers"
    P.S. Congrats to your bird mama :-)

  5. Lisa from Tennessee/OhioMay 5, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    I just love you, and your boys and your friends, and your friends children.... oh, and Michael too. :-) Here's to a calm week, with waters gently lapping at the shore.

  6. And another beautiful post, my friend.
    Tiny it.

  7. Thank you! Love these pictures and your words. Nights out with friends, beer and messes are the best!

  8. My husband removed a nest from the eaves of Grady's art studio and Grady was devastated. Just last week I found a poem by Gary Young that was so beautiful. Here it is:

    "The swallows hide their children in the dark, in frail mud cups beneath the roof. They fly from the house and come back. They make loops in the treacherous air, then return. They live here, too, and they're not afraid."

    Grady added…they're not afraid unless they live at the top of Johns Street (our street). We are plotting a way to bring the swallows back to the eaves of his art studio.

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

  9. Chrissy: Another comment from me on this post! Yesterday (Monday) was a crummy day. My hair was on fire trying to get everyone out the door in the morning, then at dinner time, everyone asked for huge portions that they proceeded to dump all over themselves and my freshly drycleaned pants, while yelling and not eating one bite. Play-doh was all over the just-scrubbed floors. I was cranky and frustrated, and did a lot of deep breathing to just make it to bedtime.
    Today? My 5-year old daughter woke up belting out every song from "Frozen," while my son sat quietly and listened. Big girl got dressed on her own, and everyone ate breakfast happily. In short, it was a totally different day.
    The big switch made me think of this post. The tide came in, and the tide went out. And now, I'm just riding the wave!

  10. been busy moving and working and lifing, and finally got a chance to read some of your blog posts. i always love hearing your perspective on life; you always give me a new way to think about things. thanks. susan from pa