Sunday, February 21, 2010

Freedom Park

Funny thing...yesterday was Saturday and the weather was beautiful. Finally, a day to head out and enjoy some sunshine. Michele was working so I took Greyson to Freedom Park. I tried calling an old friend of his to meet us there but we had no luck. He has been dying to see his buddy but we have not been able to catch up with them. I am starting to wonder if we ever will. I fear I have offended them in some way although they claim I have not. I can only hope that is true and that if there is something wrong they will talk with me about it. But enough on that. I was not able to make contact with them and we headed out to the park regardless of not knowing who or what we may encounter. I took his bicycle, which he is still reluctantly learning to ride, his soccer ball, his water gun and his super hero mask that he made himself. Once we got there he had his mask on his forehead and water gun in hand and he started looking for his friend or for someone he knew. Mainly spending time looking his friend he hasn't seen in a while. When he had no luck he was frustrated and wanted to leave. I explained that maybe they would come later on and that we needed to play and have fun. Even though tons of kids were there it may have well been deserted in his mind. He walked in circles, as he often does when he is out of sorts, in his own little world. The whole thing is heartbreaking to watch for me. Those moments make me sad. He doesn't have the courage to approach another child and even with my offering help doesn't want to. He is embarrassed and inconsolable. I try another tactic and ask him to walk with me around the lake to see the ducks and people over there. He comes with me, holding my hand the whole way and exclaiming. "I am scared! These people scare me. I do not know them." I keep reassuring him that he is safe with me as he continues to express his fears. Too many people, too many strangers, too much of everything. He, at some point, becomes brave enough to put his super hero mask on and we continue on. I stop to take a photograph and a woman walks past him and says, "I love your mask buddy!" He freaks and quickly runs off with me chasing behind him and telling him to stop. He was embarrassed at the complement, his usual reaction, so he was retreating to Lord only knows where with me following close behind. I struggle with things like our day in the park. My gut tells me to support him and make him stay and see there is nothing to fear but I can't help but feel sad seeing the anxiety that holds him hostage at times. The other kids are running playing, riding their bikes, throwing balls and having a blast on this warm day that has finally graced us with it's presence while mine is wishing he was in the safe confinements of his home. He struggles with throwing/catching balls, riding his bicycle, aand making friends with strangers, so he feels the urge to retreat to his safe place. Home, inside, watching TV, playing video games, building LEGOS. Well we cannot allow that to win all the time. Unfortunately I feel somehow that I am being cruel to him in the process of forcing his hand at the "norm". Forcing him to look his biggest fears in the face. It's sad, but it is our goal to equip him with the tools he needs to survive. That being said I had him play some on the playground. He spent it walking in a circle on the playground equipment with his hero mask on while others played around him staring at times. I finally got him to try his bicycle. We have a new handle on the back so I can help keep him upright while he learns about balance. As he is getting bigger, the balance is really a struggle so thank goodness for that handle. He rode with his mask & helmet on which brought even more stares. I had to laugh a little inside, at least I did until I heard another kid exclaim to his mom, "That's weird!" Great...Here's a boy who is 9 yrs of age yet he looks older. He is 4'8" tall and weighs over 100lbs and his actions are that of a boy much younger most of the time. So...in the eyes of some, I am sure it is weird. In our eyes, it's Greyson, our wonderful son just being himself. I do mean it when we say we wouldn't change a thing but I also know there are times when we both wish things were easier for his sake and ours. But it is what it is and it is "our normal". So, today is another beautiful day and guess what? All of us are headed out to the park as a family. One weird happy family! Hats off to the weirdos of the world with all their quirky eccentric ways! Who do you guys think keeps the world colorful anyway? Peace.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Saints win....All of them! Hooray for the "Fleur de Lis"

Last night was Super Bowl 44 and Michele and I decided to head out to our friends house for some supa bowl partaaaaa fun. My new teacher pal Trista watched Gman for us while we went to enjoy our friends. Well...immediately Greyson was kicking us out of the house. I was concerned that she was coming due to him being funny about those things at times. Especially when he has never stayed with her before. He knew her from our school so that helped...obviously. hahahaaaaa We left and he ended up doing great with her. Once we got home he claimed she should be a mom and that he wanted her to be his mom. Michele and I asked...which one of us are you planning on trading? He exclaimed, "Neither one. I'll just have 3 moms!" He's sooo funny. He loves Trista already adding her to the list with Ms Heidi. Ms Heidi has his heart because she has known him since birth. All 10lbs. 4ozs. of him! He is a special guy and we wouldn't trade him for nothing! We were glad to get home last night to find that he had once again found a friend. :) It was sweet and he cried a little when she was gone. He had not gotten to play wii with her and he soooo wanted to. It was sweet and I assured him he would probably see her again. Thanks Trista...you now have an adopted son..."D'mar Jr." Eccentric...quirky...and full of energy along with a plethora of LEGO knowledge. hahahaaaa So there you have it...last night, super bowl 44...ALL of the Saints won!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Busting ass at Karate...one foot in the grave

Let me start with Thursday evening. I took Greyson to Karate class and thought I would take along my Nikon D80 to take some pics. I just got it for Christmas and I am quite rusty in the area of photography...especially digital. I was once very proficient at taking photos with my 35mm back in the day but have forgotten all of my tricks from then. I am now learning the art of digital photography...lighting...f stops...apetures...ISO's...blah blah blah. I want to learn the art of taking some photos with out the use of the flash at times so I was playing with that while I was there. Well...things were fine and I was snapping away having a grand and frustrating time. I'll figure it out eventually. hahahaaaa The class ended and I took off my shoes and headed over to where Greyson was sitting and preparing himself to leave. As I got within 2ft. of him I rolled my left ankle on the edge of the mat, sending me falling to the floor. Slammed my right knee into the hardwoods so hard I thought I might faint, and dropped my D80 onto the floor as well. Ahhhhhhhhh...my camera! that was the first thought I had...then I realized, my knee felt like two layers of skin had been peeled away from the knee cap under my pants. (Don't panic...it hadn't...but it did feel like it.) My lower back was feeling tight...my left foot was hurting and on and on. Then I felt it...Greyson staring and looking like he might burst into tears. I said, "I'm OK honey. Mommy's just getting old." There it was, across my lips before I could take it back. Like something happening in slow motion and you can do nothing to stop it. He looked horrified. I then freaked and said," I'm just kidding honey. Mommy was joking...I'm not getting old. I'm only 48." hahahaaaa ONLY 48!!!!! Whatever! Needless to say he balled the entire 15 minute ride home thinking I was gonna die anytime now. He was horrified I would be gone from him soon. It was soooo sad. What the hell was I thinking. It never fails...I'll be rolling along pretty good. No stupid statements to him that are earth shattering and then BOOM! I stick the ol' foot right into my giant mouth. Poor guy...and poor me. Poor me because I had to act like I was fine the rest of the night. But....I laid on the heating pad most of the night...my knee was swollen and I am now sporting a bruise the size of a tennis ball on my kneecap that is UGGGGGGLY! None of which I have mentioned to or showed him in fear of him thinking I may die soon. I should get a freaking academy award for this performance. Good Lord. So...that being said...henceforth I shall be known as Princess Grace. Things at the castle are fine thank you!
Now...moving forward...It is Saturday. One of Greyson's good friends was having a birthday today. they used to be very close because they attended school together. They do not see each other as much anymore but they are still very good friends. So....we headed off to the party. I was apprehensive because it was a skating party. For those of you who do not know, Greyson isn't very athletic or coordinated. It just comes with the territory. So...we decided to head out and see what happened. He freaked at first. The rink is dark, loud music, flashing lights, lots of people...etc.... All the things he has anxiety about in one place. Go figure. He took about 30 to 45 minutes to calm down but he wouldn't talk to anyone...not even me. I let him have his time and finally he told me he was scared and nervous to skate. He was scared he would fall. I promised I would hold onto him and showed him some other moms out there with kids. So...he agreed, reluctantly, and off we went to get his skates. I got them on him and we headed to the rink. He did not take his eyes off of his feet and was petrified. He was rolling along little by little scared to death but he did it. Campbell was very sweet. He skated up and told Greyson it was OK and that he was doing great. Greyson was his usual self. Embarrassed and frustrated and scared because he couldn't do what his friends were doing. But he tried. He had a hold of my hands soooo tightly that I was loosing feeling in my fingers and they were purple. I had to stop a couple of times to calm him and get him to focus on me. He finally with encouragement made it all the way around once. At that point he was ready to stop. He needs stability under his feet and those skates didn't offer that. We got them off while he screamed, "Thank God! Thank God that's over!" :) After that he sat on the bleachers with me for a while watching Campbell an the others skate around. he cried a little because he said he was bored and he didn't like skating. I explained that Campbell does like it and it's his birthday so he got to pick. I offered to take him home and he cried some more saying he wanted to come so Campbell would be happy. He opted to stay and we hung out some more. A little later Campbell and his friends came out of the rink and played outside of it in their skates. Greyson loved that because he chased them in his shoes while they skated around. He got plenty of exercise doing that and then finished it off with pizza and cake. He had fun but realized that for now...skating is not his forte'. So....we are back home...he is sporting a towel (super hero cap), bandanna (super hero mask) and a stick (super hero weapon) while Michele and I watch our shows that were DVR'd last week. Another weekend of fun and excitement. Tomorrow...Superbowl! Geaux Saints!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reassurance from Mr. Mike...

We saw Mr Mike yesterday, Greyson's play therapist. Sometimes I think he is as much or more help to me. I have grown to love him like part of our family almost. We have been seeing him for at least 2 years now and he is wonderful. Greyson always leaves in a better place. I had been concerned about Greyson's increasing awareness of his differences and his feeling like a baby. Greyson has also said he is tired of all his appointments...OT weekly, Mr Mike every other week but had been weekly for the past year and a half, and his karate twice a week. It seems Greyosn has been comparing his world and what he has to do to some of his peers. I wasn't sure what the best decision was as far as possibly taking a break from OT or Mr Mike but my gut was saying don't do it! I know Greyosn has to grow tired of it and I don;t want to overwhelm him to a point of it having a negative effect, but so far all of his appointments have had only positive outcomes. I know he has a hard time with it but once he is there, at any of them, he loves it. Mr Mike reassured me that my gut was the right decision. Greyson has to learn that even when some things are hard, like karate, they are worth sticking it out and reaching your goal. He will benefit greatly from his goal of black belt, mentally, physically, and emotionally. As far as OT...it's a no brainer. He needs that work too. They work on core strength, fine motor coordination and strength, sensory issues, social awareness and skills, and on and on. I cannot allow that to go to the wayside unless the therapy at some point isn't adding value. as for now...they are all adding value to his world. I am also looking into adding swimming back into the mix. He loves it and he totally transforms into a calm soul when floating in the water. The peace that is there for him just fills the room. It's amazing and has almost made me cry watching him...floating for minutes on end, effortlessly, just floating, still and calm. No noises...no irritations...no craziness. Peace to you sweet boy....Peace. YMCA...here I come!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mr Greyson...sweet mamma's boy

Today was a snow day at school so I let Greyson have the day to do whatever he chose. We watched movies, The Incredibles and Bolt and then he played some on wii and on his computer. He is sooo funny to me. He couldn't wait to spend the day with me so I stayed on the sofa with him watching movies etc. Then just before momom got home he had a mini meltdown saying he didn't get to watch enough movies with me. He so wants to do his own thing but then once he chooses to do his thing he panics that he made the wrong choice and gets upset that he didn't spend more time with me or whatever. Poor guy....he just can't always make up his mind and it torments him to no end. I have been reading a new book about Aspergers that has been helpful and interesting to me. It talks about the one thing that has seemed most prevalent to me with him lately. The fact that emotionally these children are at minimum approx 3 years behind their peers. I totally see that. His biggest struggles lately at school involve that. He can't handle certain situations as well as his peers. He will hide in the closet and cry over the least little thing or run down to my class upset. It could be as simple as someone sitting where he wanted to sit. I worry because he makes statements saying he is a 5 year old. Ironically that's about right as far as how he handles any adversity or change. I think he is becoming increasingly more aware of his differences and I worry that it may take a toll as he becomes older. Thank goodness we do have a wonderful therapist that we see every other week for just these moments. He seems so vulnerable to me at times but I do not want to hinder him learning how to function in the real world in any way. He has to learn to adapt to our world and at times it is painful to us both. That's the only way he will be able to be self sufficient once he grows up though. He claims his friends think he acts like a baby, he sometimes says he doesn't have any friends and given the situation, I am sure he doesn't have alot. It's not like they know about him or could even understand if they did. The few that do know still don't always understand why their friend is acting strangely or different than them. Each year will bring new challenges but we are up for it. We love him dearly and hope we are up for the challenge of assisting him in his growth. Protecting him from things isn't always the best way to show him love. I hope we can recognize clearly the moments that we need to just let it be, let him learn, and let him grow. I miss the little boy that I could protect and keep from harms way. With each year there is a little more letting go. All parents deal with it but when you add a special needs in the mix it ups the stakes. It's a test for you and a test for them. It's about growth and unconditional love. It's about listening, learning, growing, and remaining steadfast. Be the change because nothing will mirror you better than your child. At times, it's not pretty but it's always a beautiful thing if you are striving to be the best you that you can be.

Prop 8 declared Unconstitutional! ...Hooray! It's about time!!!!

Keith Olbermann on Proposition 8 Issue