Every so often I realize I have been deeply neglecting myself. Not in the- oh I never take time for me, today I volunteer at Grey's school and made home grown organic pie for the boys and barely had time to clean- super mom malarkey. No- much bigger and deeper than that. It's like my head goes from color to black and white. Everything is so hard. I still shop or go out with a friend or do "things" just for me but I still feel empty. Like someone took my favorite things and sucked out the joy from them. That's how you know you are not ok- when your favorite things don't even feel amazing anymore.
I am filled with gratitude that I am NOT in that place right now. Wednesdays are so boring they can be exhausting. I'd rather be on the go than tethered to the home all day.
This moment wasn't boring at all. In fact, I held my breath while they sat so close. They don't play or interact much at all- so when they do, I notice. I feel amazed.
I used to feel sad all the time because they didn't have the type of brotherly bond I had expected and hoped for. And then one day about 6 months ago I was picking them both up from therapy. Parker didn't want to leave so he sat on the sidewalk crying and wouldn't get up. "Bye Parker. I'm leaving." I told him as I turned to walk to the car. "Puh-kerr", Greyson said. And he went and stood by Parker and wouldn't leave without him. It was then I realized that they have a brotherly bond deeper than blood and bigger than anything I can see with my eyes. I don't have the same super powers as they do to be able to experience it- but I realized that day- it's there.
Parker has Behavior Therapy at the house from 9:20-11:40 while Grey is in school.
Parker is working on toy imitation, expressive actions, attention during circle time (they count how long he can sit and how many times he has to be redirected) and requesting using three words, "I want ____." . We lunch and then get Grey from school.
Totally too cool for school
Today we went a few minutes early to bring Grey's Teachers Starbucks. I wanted to do a little something for Teacher Appreciation Week and I am not very Pinteresty. These ladies are awesome, patient, kind and deserve to have people bring them treats all day long- not just this week. If you don't have time to do or make anything for Teacher Appreciation Week- give your kid's Teacher something they would probably like even more than a thing. Write them a quick note telling them how much they mean to you and your family. Teachers are as important as Doctors yet paid a million times LESS. Luckily we can help by paying them in words.
Grey then has therapy from 1:45-4:15. By 4:30 I am so tired from nothing and from talking to no one. Like barely keep my eyes open tired. But it's emotionally tired because no amount of sleep can fill that hole. Michael travels frequently for work and when he is gone I get a sitter for myself for a few hours so I can catch up on me. This evening I forced a walk, a task that sounded awful, but it filled that tired so much I almost overflowed confetti. Sleep fixes physical tired. Energy fixes emotional exhaustion.
I am grateful that today the things are lining up, and the things that aren't are just fine exactly the way they are. I think that when I attempt to mask discomfort by taking care of my body - it never works because what I need to be doing is taking care of my soul. CS Lewis so wisely said, You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body. Ever since I read that I have been focusing on pampering my soul. So this evening I found myself walking through cotton candy skies, smelling gardenias, hearing the faint cheers from a High school nearby, while birds chirp and sing. I hear the crunch of gravel on the street and I take a deep breath in and remember that this- yes, this is what it feels like to be alive. This is what it is supposed to feel like, I am certain. It's not perfect. It's not free from dirt and sadness and crap. It's real, but it's good. All at the same time.
You see my friend, I am a feeler, fixer, finer. (Dude, I should totally trademark that.) I feel things BIG. So big. I cry- sometimes daily, and often from joy. I feel like wounded people bleed. I've never ever been able to keep my feelings inside. They swell and overflow. I learned the only remedy is to get them out. Share them. Feel them. Run them. Sweat them. Cry them. Try not to eat them. Don't be afraid to feel.
This picture has made me feel all day. It's one of the most hauntingly beautiful pictures I've ever felt. It makes me want to know everything. I was searching for a picture of children playing violins for Grey's communication program on his ipad. His Teacher told me that he loves to watch the strings practice in the cafeteria, and I wanted him to be able to ask for that if he wanted. And this image showed up when I Googled and I just stopped breathing. This child, Diego, is crying at the funeral of his mentor and teacher who helped him escape poverty and violence through music. The most incredible thing- is that even though Diego is clearly in so much pain- he is still creating something beautiful to share with others. In fact- his ability to feel made his music even more beautiful I'm sure.
Then I am a fixer. Is there a problem? I will take care of it. I will fix it! I love new tasks and fresh spreadsheets and check lists. Sometimes I love fixing in slow and small ways. But often in big OCD, Type A ways. About a month ago I adopted a new way of thinking. One good thing, that's all you need to do today. One good thing to nourish your mind or body or soul. The next thing you know I am now walking outside, doing yoga, going to church regularly, taking vitamins, eating less candy and more vegetables. Slowly, one by one I adopted new things to fill my body and soul. Heck- this week I even had a dentist AND gynecologist appointment- so you can see I am taking care of myself from
And here's the thing, when my soul is good, I am good. A good that I know I could never fake. Tonight on my walk I saw a bitty girl on a bitty bike. So precious. She was going slower than I walk which is pretty darn slow. She hollered out to me, "I am riding my bike!" I felt - exhilaration. "Yes you are going SO FAST!" I exclaimed. Her Mom looked up and me and we both smiled so big. Void was any jealousy, any pain about what my boys can (and cannot) do. There was only joy. Oh Momma, I thought. Isn't that just DIVINE?! Look at those gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, motor plans, core stability, balance, and well-established vestibular and proprioceptive system! Add to that expressive language, all while riding her bike! Isn't development a MIRACLE?!!! Of course I didn't say that, because mostly I would have frightened this momma into thinking I was a big weirdo and she probably doesn't realize any of details because she never had to. And that's ok. That doesn't make me better, it just means our story is different. I was suddenly so grateful for the recognition that every single little step is magic. And guess what- one day my boys will be able to ride a bike and that is a joy I can already feel!!! I am still glowing from yesterday which was Parker's first accident free day since beginning potty training 7 weeks ago. A downright miracle!!!!!!I don't want this newness to wear off, because it is coloring my world gold.
And lastly, I am a finer. I need to get to the place of fine before I can exhale. Where I can say, I'm fine, because I know that particular battle has been won or processed or made fine. I often can't rest or relax before I hit fine. And quite often, life doesn't get fine that quickly or easily and we are forced to rest in the painful in between. And like many of us, sometimes I rush the fine. "I'm fine" I say with a smile, like a big fat liar because I don't want to complain or feel weak. I try to fine myself into fine. But fine can not and should not be faked for the people who really know us. And we should never try to fake it to ourselves.
Maybe you are a feeler, fixer, finer too. Sometimes it feels like a burden, but really, sometimes I'm certain it's just the work of our soul. And that can never be wrong.
Big Fat Hugs,