Thursday, August 11, 2016

Little Light Bulbs

We turn Summer over to shake out the very last, most precious golden drops of it. The circle of life makes us dizzy at times. We are born and we die. We Summer and we 'Back to School'. We "it's so fricking hot," and, "I'm over the cold." And each season and milestone and moment shocks us; we can't believe it's already here. This ride goes so fast, sometimes it's hard to pay attention to the view.

So we are left somewhere in the middle. The center of annoyance and obligation and purpose and carpe dieming. Hello World, so glad to meet you.

We took a trip back to our old home of Hermosa Beach in Southern California. Because it is Summer and we could, so we needed to. My heart truly aches to say goodbye to Summer. Goodbye to our boys' therapy aids and our routine. Goodbye to Grey eating lunch at home with me every single day. Goodbye to pool baths and staying up too late. Last school year was just awful, like a bad Lifetime made for TV movie, and I just wasn't ready to even begin to think about sending him back again. I hoped the ocean's tide could infuse me with the strength I would need to make it through this year.

There were only three things on our agenda:

1. Visit with my friend Wendy

2. Go to the beach and Pier

 photo _MG_3998_zpsmi20epfq.jpg

3. Swim in the hotel pool.

 photo _MG_3660_zpsalrayift.jpg

The boys would be ok if we never left the hotel. Between the hot tub and pool, the elevator, and a big machines that only makes ice- what more is there to want from the world?

 photo _MG_3681_zpssvcicyp6.jpg

We are finally at a place where we can travel and stay a couple of nights in a hotel with the boys. For so long it was impossible. Not impossible- hard- literally not possible. And the few times we've done it, I'm pretty sure we've had hotel management called on us every time.

This time was a dream. Perfection. Pinch me.

 photo _MG_3741_zpsihwuol6v.jpg

Grey was most comfortable keeping his distance from the water. He loves the sand, but he's been scared of the water ever since last year when we took him to Surfer's Healing- and just kind of threw him on a surf board without giving him any warning.

 photo _MG_3882_zpswep3r9wv.jpg

I wanted him to love the ocean again so SO bad. I wanted to yell at him, "LOVE THE WATER DAMNIT!!!!! RIGHT NOW!!! " My heart ached for us to love the same thing at the same time.

Instead, I made him put his toes in every so often while he screamed at me, and I would then let him go back to solitude and sand.

 photo _MG_3765_zpsu32lwpth.jpg

 photo _MG_3891_zps6i1egb8o.jpg

 photo _MG_3753_zpswxoffsoh.jpg
Parker, on the other hand, could live outside. Anywhere and everywhere outside all the time. And if water is involved? Yes please!

 photo _MG_3775_zpsh8d3cbq4.jpg

 photo _MG_3771_zpsxnl4ve1u.jpg
And he and the Ocean are the very best of friends. He would squeal and roll in the waves and cover every centimeter of himself in sand.

 photo _MG_3795_zpsgfntlp9i.jpg

 photo _MG_3992_zpsvpzinxfd.jpg
Grey enjoyed the Ocean from afar.

 photo _MG_4082_zpsll4yhbts.jpg

And we all enjoyed walking around the pier until the sun set deep, deep, deep into the Ocean and it was night. 

 photo _MG_4165_zpstws3eqve.jpg

The pier walkway sparkled like diamonds with white twinkle lights overhead. Holy cow beautiful.

By day two, my ache had gone away. So what he didn't like the Ocean? Maybe one day he will again. And he's so happy in the sand- I will just be happy that he's happy, I decided, and this time- I actually meant it. Not to mention- feeling sad that Grey didn't like the Ocean did not allow me to focus on how happy I was that Parker did.

 photo _MG_4252_zps8rbdoyw0.jpg

And that truly makes me happy. I played my heart out with Parker. The water was warm and we were sandy and soaking wet, and most of all happy. And while Michael was taking a couple of pictures of Parker and me, I suddenly saw something out of the corner of my eye...

 photo _MG_4257_zpstj0f2ovp.jpg
I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. I was dying laughing when I saw this picture and my expression.

 photo _MG_4282_zpsxj5tcgfl.jpg
Here was my Grey, playing tag with the Ocean. All on his own. Squealing and flapping in delight.

 photo _MG_4263_zpshaxk0so2.jpg

 photo _MG_4385_zpsmxbzceit.jpg
As time went on, he got braver and bolder.

 photo _MG_4373_zpss38kv1v2.jpg

 photo _MG_4347_zps516wqfuo.jpg

And then he just got on in there. It was the best day ever. It still kind of feels like a dream. Little Lights bulbs, that's what I call these moments. Those tiny little moments when something small just finally clicks. When I learned it was autism, I wanted that one big fix, one big switch I could flip on- to cure them, or fix it or make it stop. But there is no such thing. 

Instead what we have is Little Light Bulbs. And although they are not the biggest or brightest of all lights, together, they will light our way. 

And on the way home I realized- together we will make it through this back to school transition and the upcoming school year. We can and we will make it through anything life has to offer us. Grey is invincible. And maybe, just maybe- so am I. And something tells me if these words have found you- 




  1. I'm aching too, desperately clinging to these last days of summer. My boys, Moise and Kruz, they've been so happy, so quiet, so peaceful here at home with me and I know that the start of the school year will bring ickyness. I had one goal for the summer for Kruz, to kick the walker aside and have him walk without it. We didn't make the goal and I'm trying not to be sad. Someday I will turn around, like you did in the ocean, and he'll be walking all on his own. Let's focus on happy this school year. The sad happens all by itself so we don't need to focus on that.

  2. Oh Friend! This morning I woke up to an empty house. Husband had gone to work and son had a spendover at Grandma's. And I thought, well this is the last time in a very long time I will wake up on a work day to an empty house. I was even 8 minutes early for work :) I love my family, but I crave the stillness.
    Next week, school starts. And it is back to time constraints, and meetings, and Mom I'm outta clean underwear - And Why didn't you tell me last night!?!? conversations. And I get overwhelmed. And start feeling that I.Can't.Possibly. Balls are gonna drop, people are gonnna be let down.
    So. I am trying to collect myself. Trying to carpe the diem. Summer seems so beautiful and easy. Fall seems so chaotic and scheduled.
    Life is forever tries. So, I'm gonna keep at it. You help me remember what is important, so I'm gonna keep checking in here.
    My motto has been She believed she could - So she did. I feel like that has been the story of my life. Thank you for helping me stay focused on my beliefs.
    Love & happiness to you, sweet Momma xoxoxo Miracle

  3. So Wonderful. Go Greyson! Love those little surprises!

  4. I LOVE this! We just went to Lake Michigan and this is so similar to what we experienced!

  5. Beautiful! Thank you for your words and keep writing your book!!

  6. Hi Chrissy
    I've never commented before. Your blog has helped me to appreciate my son with Autism more. You have beautiful boys. Greyson often makes me cry. The 5th photo from the top makes me cry. I don't know why.I guess I sense that so much is going on in his beautiful mind and it makes me feel emotional.
    So much love to your family!

  7. What a wonderful post! So glad you had such a great vacation!

  8. Hi Chrissy,
    I just found your blog and am already so inspired by you. My 10 year old daughter was just diagnosed with Austism this summer after two hellish school years and her being hospitalized. It has been a roller coaster and I feel like I am completely breaking. She starts grade 5 one week to today and I am absolutely terrified to go through another school year, she's just so unstable right now. Your post was beautiful and had me in tears at the end. Very powerful. Very touching. Thank you.

  9. Hi Chrissy,

    This lit a sad mamma's heart today.

    Thank you so much.