Sunday, May 12, 2024

not the end

Do you know what this week is?

It's a great week to be alive. And right now is a great time to take in a big gulp of air and feel grateful you have lungs and you can breathe. Take your open palm and place it on the left side of your chest right now. NO CHEATING! Feel your precious heart beating. Today is also a day to wiggle your fingers in amazement of their perfect design. Look at those suckers! They are pretty brilliant contraptions. They can help us write, and eat, and wave and hold hands and flip people off if they piss you off when you're driving (KIDDING!). They even help some people speak.


This week let's make a plan to look around and notice the abundance. Abundance- one of the best words. It means overflowing with more than enough.  Enough to share even. Share your abundance with others. Even a smile is abundance if someone else doesn't have one.



Life is gift. And one that we often turn into a chore. A burden. Mundane scrolling nothingness. We stress and complain over things that feel so important, but often don't matter at all. But really, life is a freaking miracle. So this week we will remember, just how lucky we are to be alive. (I'm so glad you're on earth with me, friend).

Do you remember being a kid towards the end of the school year? You  count down the days with eager anticipation. You think of all the goodness summer holds: skin tanned brown like a coconut, sleeping in, running down your slip and slide so many times you rub off the grass, hoping that someone with a pool will invite you over, hearing the ice cream man bell,drinking water straight from the cool, metallic tasting hose, staying out past dark to catch lightning bugs. 

Greyson is finishing his Freshman year of High School, and Parker is finishing 6th grade- his first year of Middle School. It was so fast. We’ve found our routine and it feels safer and more cozy than I ever could have imagined. I’m not quite ready for this chapter to end. The countdown to Summer has begun.

For once in my entire life, I am not dying for Summer. In fact, typing this out made my throat tight and my heart beat even faster. Transitions are never easy, but especially when something good is ending. It’s something hard for kids with autism too, and is referred to as, “transitioning to non-preferred activities.” I don’t know exactly what comes next, and that is a place the world takes me to a lot. A place where this “Control Enthusiast” (who wants to be a freak?!) is not in control of.  Perhaps that means there are lessons out there I am still meant to learn.

(SIGH)

Some endings are good. Like when you finish a project that’s been consuming all of your time. When the 9 months is up and it’s time to meet your baby. Or when you finally get your braces off. 

But some endings are so hard. Especially when the middle of that ending was so dang good. If my life had a theme, this weeks would be “endings”. It seems that endings is the theme for so many right now. 

Next week is also our last Special Olympic swim practice and I want to tantrum on the floor like a toddler refusing to go to bed. I can't explain the ordinary magic that became our Sunday afternoons. Parents of kids with Special Needs often say this was a club they never wanted to join. But guess what?  Being a parent in this pocket of life is a club I am so incredibly honored to be a part of. There is so much comfort in being with people who get you and your unique family. People who understand the normalness and the weirdness. People who can offer advice. People who know when to not offer advice. People who don't bat an eye when your now teenage son thinks the main pool area is the perfect place to take off his wet trunks. 


You can't help but fall in love with the swimmers. MY FACE HURTS FROM SMILING as I think about them. They are beautiful and smart and funny and stronger than any person who doesn't have Special Needs. They work so hard to navigate life in a world who doesn't always get them or truly SEE them for all they are. They inspired me weekly and I already feel lost without it. 


Last week there was a young man who was setting on the edge of the pool, hesitant to get in. I bent down to encourage him. "You can do it bud! The water will feel warmer once you are in and moving around." He pointed to me, and then into the water. "You are supposed to get in, not me!" I told him. 

He pointed to me, and then to the water again, a little more definitively. "HA! I can't get in" I told him. He smiled slyly and repeated the gesture a third time. I didn't have it in me to deny him, so I just slid into the water with my clothes on. And it was one of my favorite swim practices ever. My friend Angie snapped this picture of me and Parker after I finished swimming with my new buddy.

If you are going through transition and change, I SEE YOU with my whole heart. It's sad. It's hard. It's scary. If life was a Choose Your Own Adventure (and it actually is) what do we choose next? It’s almost time to turn the page. Change is hard because we know what we are leaving behind, and that makes us sad. We don't know yet what lies ahead, and that makes us scared. But every new beginning is how the awesome middles start, and let's just believe that is where we are headed to now- another awesome middle.

Life is freaking miracle. We got this.

So Much Love,

Chrissy



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