Friday, June 20, 2014

closer to fine

These are some of the incredibly important lessons I have been intent on teaching my boys lately:
  • If you can't do it perfectly, don't bother trying
  • Be ashamed if you try something and aren't instantly amazing at it
  • Be more ashamed if you have been doing it for awhile and still aren't perfect
  • If something bothers you, think about it over over again. Not for resolution- but to simply to obsess
  • Doing your best is not good enough. You must also be THE BEST. But you will never be the best at all the things so you are often NOT good enough 

I don't tell them these things in words. Of course not! Why would I be so mean and terrible and cruel? Oh no- I tell them these things with my own personal behavior. And I didn't even realize I was doing it until recently. 

I decided I wanted to raise $100,000 for charity in the month of June. I was excited, childlike and hopeful. While writing about it I felt the kind of alive you don't often get to feel- the kind where everything in the world feels possible. And I thought about it (a lot) and finally wrote about it HERE

And then after my words were out there, I applied reason. Hmmm, about 10,000 people read this blog...and if half of you all give $10 that would amount to about $50,000... I quickly realized there was no way we would make it to $100,000. I felt so incredibly stupid. I wanted to take it back. I wanted to change the total to something doable- like $5,000 or $10,000. I perseverated over it for DAYS. And then my voice of reason said- But what if you try your best still and you just raise what you raise? How about you just do that? I then told me-- you will still look like an ass. And I had this painful epiphany. I knew there HAD to be a lesson in all of it because I was taking this shame so deeply and personally. 

And I watched Greyson and Parker work so incredibly hard to navigate the world like they have to do...and I realized --this is it. This is the real part of Life. The stuff it's really about.

 photo _MG_5729_zps04c0dded.jpg
Grey working on "Expressive actions". His Teacher will hold a card and say, "What are they doing?" and he is learning to recognize the action. ie- cutting, waving, running. He has to give a verbal response. He will learn to simply memorize the action and correct verbal response and then learn to apply it to real world settings. Other children pick this kind of stuff up naturally from their environment, and children with autism learn it in a highly structured setting like this.

 photo _MG_5746_zpsca30c7c6.jpg
Doodle- woken up from him nap so he could have a late afternoon session of Behavior Therapy. I was heart-broken and proud of him all swirled into one. He carries a card and a pen with him everywhere lately. I don't know why but I love it. And PS- we got your card Aunt Lisa! Thank you!! Love you!

 photo _MG_5784_zpsc6b36c2f.jpg
You guys, he has the best attitude ever. 

And I watch them every day and they inspire me. I realized- Your children will never meet the typical standards for perfection, and it doesn't matter one bit. Perfection is not the answer for you either, sweet girl. You must show them that all the things you say to them- also apply to you. You must live the example for these precious boys. You must treat yourself the way you want them to treat themselves too. Don't poison them into thinking that perfection is the only way. 

And there's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line. {Indigo Girls- Closer to Fine}

It's been SO hard, but I'm more open to opportunities to fail. Not to fail on purpose but to fail while trying my best. Which isn't even failure in the first place. And it is hard and weird like most change is. But important and beautiful work too.

 photo image_zps769c1515.jpg

And here's the deal. I can cry and whine into my latte about what a crap Mom I am, but that just completely reinforces the pattern I want to make extinct. So, what do I do? I take a deep breath in and give gratitude that I had the perspective to see all of this. 

The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine. {Indigo Girls- Closer to Fine}

I offer gratitude to the universe for opening my eyes to this truth so I can change it. I offer myself a kind hug and think about the new messages I want to send out. Things like...

  • Approach each new situation with curiosity and compassion.
  • Let go of any bad feelings attached to you. RELEASE THEM.
  • It's not about your ego. It's about the good, curious, tender place inside that is good and open and willing and kind. When you beat yourself up- it's another form of narcissism.
  • Have fun during the during because the during is always the longest part.
  • The things that are painfully hard and burning and uncomfortable? They are there to teach us, to make us better. They simply want to be acknowledged. They want to be our Teacher. If we ignore then they grow.
  • And finally, and most importantly, if you forget about any one of these lessons- it's OK. Life is about capturing what is important to us, and sometimes the things we capture fly away. Just be willing to capture it again and again and again. It's important and it's worth it. So are you.

I'm so proud of us and our willingness to live this life as good as we possibly can. In case I haven't told you lately- I love you. I really do. And guess how much we've raised, Friends? $18,009.38!!!  The world still needs your money and every single cent helps. I truly believe that. Please KEEP donating to any charity of your choosing. All you have to do is tell me about it. Or if you would like- we would be honored if you donated to our Autism Speaks Page HERE.

So much Love and Gratitude,



  1. You are FULL of wisdom my dear! Love this post...thank you for sharing!!

  2. "Well darkness has a call that's insatiable and lightness has a call that's hard to hear." You're wrapping yourself in the light and it's so inspiring and beautiful.

  3. Hi Chrissy, I donated $25.00 to Autism Speaks (Canada) with the following dedication:
    "Donated to help Chrissy ( with her goal to reach $100,000 in donations for her son's 5th birthday."
    Thank you so much for your powerful words and gentle teaching as you learn. I run a daycare and your words resonate with me for oh-so-very-many-reasons. There are so very many ways that children are our teachers if we open our eyes and learn through them. Your insight is always insightful and is all about 'the little stuff' that makes such a very big difference.
    Thank you!

  4. Please add $200 to your total, thanks for helping me help! - $100 to local hospital fundraiser, and $100 to an education fund for disadvantaged kids. Love your attitude!!!

  5. $18,000, that is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! :) Love when people come together to do good. How awesome!

  6. I forgot the Autism Speaks page puts a "From" in front of the name so what I wanted to read as,
    "Honoring Frank :-) " says "From Honoring Frank :-) " but you get the idea.

    Frank, you are a force for good in the world and I wanted to honor YOU and Grey and what you mean to him and his family by donating to a charity of your choosing. When Chrissy asked you, you told her it was their Autism Speaks Page - of course you would say that! So I just wanted to write about it here for those who missed it. We need more Franks! Celebrating you too Frank! :-)
    (And if anyone reading is new and doesn't know who Frank is, please start with the "People are Good" post which you can find a link to over on side bar.)

  7. Lisa from Tennessee/OhioJune 21, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Chrissy, I donated $10 to your autism speaks page. I didn't see the place for the dedication. :-( But to you and your family and your changing the world one blog post at a time! Much love to you all! And having a huge goal, you never know what can happen!

  8. Hi Chrissy! I donated another $200 and am hoping to add the final $100 (to bring the total to $500 for Greyson's 5th birthday) before the end of June! Congratulations on the total so far..that is awesome! Keep smiling and doing good... Changing the world for the better! Much love, Deb xoxo