Life with my boys have made me so much more aware.
Aware of attitude. How important it is. How poor some people's is and how that ruins everything, not only for themselves but for the people around them. And some people's attitude is just- electric, contagious, bold in its imperfection. They make you want to be more and do more and feel more. They remind me I AM STRONG. We are made strong and fierce and for this exact purpose we are living right now.
Aware of struggle. It's made me aware that everyone has not just one, but some. Most people didn't have a perfect upbringing with perfect parents. Most people don't have the life they created, back when they still drew with crayons. Most people struggle with money and relationships and intrapersonal demons and work and obligations versus soul food. Some with addiction, depression, disease, abuse, and so many painful circumstance. Most people feel guilty and anxious and sad over life's circumstances. And some people have huge, Can I ever get over this? kind of struggle. And the only thing that helps is not their circumstances getting better. No, that can't always be the case for so many, because life isn't a sweet little movie. It's not even time that makes it better. Time can't take away the pain from losing a spouse or a parent or a child. Time shouldn't take it away because that pain also defines love. Important things that are no longer with us ache- and it should- because that what love is. A pledge that says, Without you I am not ok. But you learn to live with this pain. Walk around with it. Wake up and breath out and in anyway because you have to. Learn to act ok and sometimes even feel ok. Time may not make the pain better, but it may make you better at learning to live with it's sharpness in your pocket. The common thread to those who live successfully with pain seems to be a possession of attitude, honesty, humor, Grace and love. This gorgeous concoction of all of that- no skimping on the ingredients- the good stuff. The Whole Foods of attributes.
Aware of people who believe in big things. I am drawn to them. Their light powers me like solar panels. Some of them work with my boys. They think about my boys at night and on the weekend and send me texts that say something like, "I saw this at Target and I know Greyson would love it." Or, "I have an idea on how we can keep Parker more aware of his safety and surroundings on outings". I admire people who work with the beautiful souls with Special Needs.
Greyson's awesome school aids at school, aka- his Teachers. They love my little nose picker and that makes me happy and lucky all at once.
If I didn't know what I know now, I would have NEVER thought about working in Special Needs. I would have assumed I didn't have anything to give, or that it would be too hard or not really rewarding. I was talking with a couple of Grey's amazing aids at school today. One told me that she calls the students her "babies I didn't give birth to" and I get it. I love that.
Aware of Passion. The thing about passion is it can't be hidden or faked. It's like falling in love- you think about it all the time. It feels like some kind of drug. That's how I feel about working with my boys. I couldn't sleep the other night- I was so excited about making some teaching tools for them. I had to stop myself from getting up and laminating in the middle of the night. Passion doesn't leave you alone. It taps on your shoulder and tells you things that scare you at first. That's how I feel about writing. It took me a long time to own it. I loved it, but I felt too stupid to tell people that. What if I sucked? What if you laughed at me? But I am realizing that you must do your passion for you, and never for approval. Because if your passion is writing or painting or whatever- it is beautiful because of the love you pour into it. No one else gets to tell you it isn't beautiful or worth it. Passion should feel a little like you are teetering on the edge of something scary. That's how you know it's worth it.
Aware of People who believe in big things and DO SOMETHING. Oh man, this one is SO inspiring and so intimidating. Just today I was thinking- HOW CAN I CHANGE the WORLD? Like BIG?! I tried to THINK of a way, when usually that kind of bigness finds you and can't be forced.
So then I just prayed to God- God, if I come across the big thing I am supposed to do- will you make it REAL obvious please? I can be pretty dense. You know that already though, because you made me that way. So, make sure I know it when I see it please- and then I'll do it. Amen.
I love to read tragic stories in which someone uses their pain and ends up making the world better off for it. People who refuse to accept status quo, yet also refuse to complain and do nothing. People who write laws and lobby congress and start their own business or write a book or make an abrupt career change- that is the good stuff life is made up of.
Aware of just how much I have to be thankful for. I have the best job in the world. It doesn't pay crap, but I can leave my house in practically my pajamas most days. And I can eat candy if I want. And on Thursdays I sometimes get to take a nap. I have resources galore to help my boys. Some in my very own brain, some in other- smarter than me people's brains.
Grateful that so much therapy looks like play.
And SO SO grateful for Team Greyson + Parker. These awesome souls work with my boys 5 days a week doing Behavior Therapy- ABA. They get excited when it finally CLICKS after a hard lesson with my boys. They bring passion and energy to the table. They are making a huge difference in SO many lives. They are also getting hit and kicked and sometimes bitten and yelled at- And they show up again the next day to do it all over again. It's pretty remarkable to witness the impact they have made on the past 4 years of our lives.
I love my house- it has grape vines out front and citrus fruit out back. I can't get over how happy that makes me. I have a husband that travels and works hard so I can stay at home with my boys. I have two dogs I am crazy about. (Well, one I tolerate and one I am crazy about, but shhh- don't repeat that). I don't have cancer, I can walk and talk and hear and drive and best of all- LAUGH.
Laugh like today- when I notice a cabinet open and a Parker missing.
Most importantly, I can feel and I can share how I feel. Because when I keep it inside, it physically hurts. Please, don't keep it inside. You don't have to write a bunch of flowery crap to get it out if that isn't your thing. Just share your feelings, with a good friend, with God, with me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'm always here.
Some of these lessons humble me. Some scare me. Some inspire me. Most importantly, they make me FEEL all the FEELS, and that is so much of what life is about. They make me want to DO. They make me want to write my own epic tale. They also make me think about how I want to be loved. Exactly the way I am, no but ifs.
I want to be loved as is, no returns allowed or even wanted.
I practice loving my boys that way, complete in all their glory. And wishing someone was different, feels like a big but if. I no longer think, "If only they would talk one day." Now I realize I don't need them to talk. I just need them to communicate.
Communication looks like so many things. It may be using a communication device. It can be eye contact and arms wrapped around my neck hugs.
Communication is this little hop that means, I'm excited and happy, all swirled into one.
It's when Parker pulls me to the swing and places me behind it, and opens up my hands so I can push him and then smiles this HUGENORMOUS smile because I got it (and didn't try to make him say a word at this moment because sometimes I just need to let him communicate his way. It's crazy how kids that can't talk learn how to use their body and the world to tell you what they want. I'll be damned if it isn't GORGEOUS.
My boys have made me so much more aware, and I just wanted to share that gift of awareness with you. There's plenty to go around.