Thursday, March 31, 2011

It Creeps Up On You

Have you ever had one of those days, when you just need to step back, turn away, and gather yourself together?

I don't mean just the every day stressful, run-of-the-mill frustrations that occur with kids and appointments and work issues.  I mean one of those days that you simply seem to 'turn off'?  I don't seem to have any control over it, either.  It's like I have an internal switch that's been flipped.  I can't even bring myself to care.

Stress.  There's another whole issue.  So why is it that I chose to give up chocolate for Lent?  I found myself reaching for the M&M's much too often, whenever I was feeling upset. I wanted to give up something meaningful to prove to myself that I CAN control my life.  The first few days were tough, but I find that I can now say no to any chocolate without any hesitation.  It feels good.  As an added bonus, I've lost 6 pounds :)  Overall, I'd say it's been a pretty good learning experience.

Here I sit, in a bubble of "I just don't care, today", amidst phone calls and emails about my kids that I need to handle.  Not the best place to be, but I guess this past month has finally caught up to me, and my mind decided that it's had enough and is taking a mini vacation.  Great... I just wish my body could go with it!  I'm also trying to figure out when I'll have time to squeeze in a massage.  I got a gift certificate and can't wait to use it.  The problem is, I'm too busy!  Now there's a catch-22 situation for you.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March Madness

March has been a very long month, this year.  Abigail has had ongoing health issues for the past 6 weeks.  She was hospitalized for 7 days, and spent an additional 2 days overnight in the Pediatric Emergency Department.  On top of that, a stomach bug has been passing through the family.  First Abbie (thus her second visit to the E.D. for dehydration), then me, then David, and now Cassidy is recovering.

Please, oh, please let March end and usher in a peaceful and healthy April with no "April Fools" joking about it.  I mean it, now.  No more sickness!

I've decided to make my New Years resolutions.  Yes, I know.  I'm a little late... well, ok... a LOT late... but better late than never, right?  Here goes...

1.  Be kinder to myself by taking better care of my body. 
2.  Accept that there are some people who will disapprove of me no matter what I do or say, and this is not my fault, nor am I responsible for their feelings.
3.  I work to the best of my ability, and often much more than I should.  I need to learn to say "no" to those that would make me feel inadequate.
4.  De-cluttering would soothe my soul.  We have SO much stuff that's unneeded.  Anyone care to come and browse?  I'm going to pick a weekend and drag out things unwanted and unused. 
5.  Visit the library more often, both to borrow books... and to return them on time :)  

Ok, those are pretty much the basics. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Preteen Philosophy

My kids are a never-ending source of inspiration for me.  Jakob, especially, always makes me think.  Just when we're going along in our every day pattern of life (you know... time to wake up; time to get dressed; time to brush your teeth; time to pack your lunch; time to get on the bus; time to come home; time for dinner; time for showers; time for homework; time for bed; whew!  another day...)  Jakob comes up to me and just soothes my soul.

He's quite a little philosopher and is fond of asking me questions like "Mom, if a fly is on a plane, is it really flying?" and "Mom, is a moving conveyor belt redundant?".  Jakob has a great sense of humor.  I think that it's sometimes his saving grace, socially speaking.  Many children with Autism just can't recognize or identify social cues properly.  What to us might be obvious (for instance, someone is upset or uncomfortable with a topic) just sort of slides by their perception.  This can create a rather large rift and set them apart from their class mates.

Everywhere we go, however, kids will come up and get right in front of Jakob, since they want to know they have his attention, and give a wave and a "hi, Jake!".  He rarely knows their names.  Think of the absent-minded professor.  He can give a dissertation on string theory but he can't remember to comb his hair or tie his shoes each day, much less remember names of individuals.  Teachers and his counselor have told me that his sense of humor has gone a long way toward "humanizing" him to his classmates.  When he has a meltdown, he'll often come back to apologize and makes a joke about it.  He knows how to use some light sarcasm for joking around, too.  He understands word play and uses it to great advantage.  This gets his classmates chuckling and sort of gives them a connection to Jakob.

I could write books about it, but suffice to say... I like my kid.  I love him, yes, I adore him as I adore all of my children; but I really like him, too.  He's smart, he's funny, he's caring, he's respectful... he's a great kid.  I just wish other people could get to know him so that they could see beyond the one meltdown he has the first time they meet him.  He's quirky, he can be exasperating, he can be utterly exhausting, and he's just a joy to know.

I enjoy our little philosophical conversations.  One of my all-time favorites is "in the forest of perspective, things are just a matter of opinion".  Jakob, you light my life :)