Sunday, December 18, 2011

Always Believe...

Well here we are just before Christmas and Greyson is starting to get more and more excited.  He might be 11 years old but he still is a believer.  He is starting to get a little curious as to how the whole thing is even possible but he is still a firm believer.  I prefer it that way.  I think the magic of believing helps keep him innocent and childlike and that should be cherished for as long as possible.  At least that's my belief.  He has really been coming out of his shell more and more through the years and this year he sang in the school informance.  That was big for him because even though he has a beautiful voice he normally chooses to be shy about it.  He was even grabbing that mic when it was his turn to sing.  We hope to get him into NWSA for middle and high school.  It is an arts magnet here in Charlotte that focuses on the arts.  No athletics...just arts at this school.  Visual arts, theater, music & dance.  He will be trying out for chorus and visual arts.  He has alot of strengths in the arts areas so hopefully he can show that.  We shall see.  Getting his portfolio together is proving to be quite the challenge but somehow I hope to prevail. The school is very specific as to what they want and expect so now I have to convince Mr Literal (black & white).  "why would I want to draw something from a worm's eye view mom?  I have a human's eye view!"  UGH!!!! Yes...yes...I know but they want you to imagine what it would look like from a worm's eye view and show them.  "Why would I want to do that? I have a human's eye view." On and on and on it goes...when it will end...nobody knows. Good thing I have patience at least one day a week.  Things are great, but he is having some anxiety about going to a new school next year.  He has grown quite attached to CCS and his team of teachers that assist him.  He has been very concerned to know whether the new school will have a teacher like his current teacher who understands him.  I hope they will but she does understand him so well.  She has a nephew with Autism so she understands where Greyson is coming from most all of the time and handles him brilliantly. She can get him to do most anything.  I can only hope for more wonderful teachers like her.  He has had some great teachers at CCS thank goodness so I hope we can continue the trend as we move forward.  For now...we will prepare for Christmas and Santa, and embrace the innocence that is still left in him.  We are sure it will not be there much longer. Always believe big man...always believe! Believe in the magic of things you can't explain and best of all, always believe in yourself!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In Time...

I just finished a project for my 2D class at school.  It is a series of paintings, all the same images, using 6 different color schemes. I had to choose an idiom to conceptualize so I chose "hold your horses".  Mainly because that is something I am confronted with daily and probably have been my entire life.  You know, waiting patiently and/or allowing things to happen within their own time. Slowing down some and not being so hasty, in life and decisions in general.  I chose this one because after Greyson came along it seemed his presence, and who he is, was was going to be a lesson in this to me. Don't get me wrong, all children are a test of our patience, but who he is brought it to another level for me. For me there is a fine line there between what separates calm, peaceful and chaotic.  It's a balance, a give and take.  A battle if you will between the ego, control, trust and letting go. Greyson is approaching a crossroads and will be headed into 6th grade next year.  Middle school...ugh! We have some really good options for him and are hoping he gets into NWSA.  He excels in those areas and it would be wonderful for him we are thinking.  However, we know school work is not something he is fond of and next year will really "up the Annie".   Personally I worry that I should have a stronger hand in forcing him to do more school work but he loathes it.  I feel I have failed him in that area.  Everything is a battle on either side of that fine line.  Everything comes back to that fine line. When to push for more and when to back off. He normally comes through in his own time on things, but I do still worry. I have moments of wishing it were easier with him at times.  Funny how we look at others, compare ours to theirs even though we shouldn't.  We do it with a lot of things even though deep down we know its ludicrous. 
I couldn't help but think while I was painting...Life, it's kinda like art. We do what we have to do, what works for us, not really caring what others think. Yet we have that little voice that also cares what others think. We go through life having to balance the two.  That fine line...as an artist I have something to say and a way of saying it. Part of me could care less what anyone thinks while part of me wants people to recognize and get it.  To feel and see the emotion I am expressing within the image and to love and embrace it.  I feel that way with our son...I get him. Part of me doesn't care if no one else does, yet I so want the people who encounter him to see what I see.  Not just the eccentricities he may display but to see deep within his soul and to know the amazing boy in there. It's a fine line isn't it? A balancing act. Everything, In time...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Greyson quotes worth remembering...

Yesterday after checking the mail and finding no new LEGO ebay buys from momom..."I am SO cheesed off right now!" 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"what is"

It has been too long once again. I must find the time to update this more often because time slips by much to quickly.  Greyson has started his 5th grade year at CCS.  This is bittersweet for me since I know he isn't far from entering "middle school", a time which may prove to be overwhelming and is for most children with autism.  We shall see.  For now we are concentrating on what is.  What is is that he has made great strides since he was diagnosed in 2008.  He graduated form OT in August after about 3 years of it once a week working on fine motor, motor coordination, core body strength, sensory issues and social skills.  He is doing great and we are so proud of him.  He still has issues with avoiding work when it is something new or something he preserves as too much or too hard.  He will shut down or runaway from it but he is doing much better.  I think he will probably always do this to some degree but once he realizes he has something he is good to go.  He shows you what he knows in his own time and that's fine by me.  He has much better control of himself although he does still on occasion have a meltdown and it's never pretty.  I have come to realize through all of this that this tree is one that the apple fell very close to.  Now that I am back in school I see it even more.  What a challenge it is but I am very excited for the opportunity.  All the newness has actually turned out to be good for our family and especially for Greyson.  He needed to learn more independence and with me being gone from his school now he cannot run to me when things get really rough.  He has to find ways of dealing with it and thanks to his teacher he has been pretty good thus far. He seems to be proud that he and I are going to school at the same time.  I found that out thanks to our wonderful play therapist.  Greyson is a master at hiding how he feels and what he is thinking.  He is NOT the talker when it comes to those types of conversations.  But mention Star Wars or LEGOS and look out...better yet...buckle up for safety!  We hope to get him into Northwest School of the Arts next year. He has an eye for art and drawing and we hope to focus on these strengths so he can continue to feel successful at school.  We have some other schools that seem like they may be good fits as well but any new place will be a challenge at first.  It's just nature of the beast.  Open Houses here we come...that's where I start to have slight worry.  I know what new places and new environments will bring for him and for us.  For now I have to remain focused on "what is"...and "what is" is that we have an awesome boy who loves to draw, loves to build with LEGOS, loves Star Wars, loves Stop motion and wants to learn more about it. "What is" is that I am back in school hoping to bring myself into a place to make a difference for him, our family and the world. "What is" is a house full of love, laughs, hugs, tears, some unnecessary yelling at times, compassion, doubt, a touch of fear, understanding, sacrifice, some selfishness, and all that stuff families are made of.  "what is" is that I couldn't be happier, or in a better place other than where I am right now and I love that.  Thank you once again to you all who are a part of our lives in some way or another.  You help make everything alright. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

drifting & swimming

Greyson has had a wonderful summer thus far and so have we.  we haven't been able to hit the beach unfortunately but we have done some other fun things. We visited Ohio already to see cousins and grandma and that was fun.  He has been spending some time with me at the pool while I work too.  he complains about going but usually once he is there all is good.  He loves the water even if he doesn't want to admit it always.  We hit the spray ground the other day too and got to see some friends form school so we are trying to stay busy. He is really enjoying the movie Cars2 right now so we have been looking for fun racing things to do.  This past Sunday we took him to see the Xtreme Drifting competition at Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord.  That turned out to be really fun for him. Although the heat had us outta there pretty early. He wore his head set for noise protection so he was fine.   We saw some races and some drifting competitions and then left to go to the movies.  He is keeping us one our toes and laughing as usual too.  The other morning while on our way to Ohio we stopped at Bob Evans for breakfast.  He cracked us up by blurting out, "You gotta party really hard to open up the mind eye!"  He had drawn a "third eye" on his forehead with the Bob Evans blue crayon...NICE! He heard it on some show he watches on CN. Everyday is an adventure at our house...even if some do end with me on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  The fun just keeps on comin'. with no end in site.  Gotta love that! Hugs everybody, until next time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer is here!

Summer is finally here and along with it the challenge of getting Greyson out of the house.  I am working at a swimming pool so on those days he can go with me to work and swim until I get off.  Not only is it great exercise for him but it helps me get him out and about and into the sun. Good ol' vitamin D! He loves the solitude of the water and the peaceful feeling it brings to him.  He could float for hours or stay under even longer if he could breath under there. The days I don't work are challenging.  If I suggest fun things he wants nothing to do with any of it.  I think I am going to have to take the route of just go for it and do it.  Otherwise he will opt for the familiar every time.  Sitting in front of the TV, playing LEGO or his video games all day long.  We are at least reading a book called 'The Last Dragon' and so far it is very good.  He says he isn't enjoying it but I know different.  I can tell he is curious to see what happens next.  So...I read on hoping to spark his interest in reading for himself.  Right now he is not a big fan.  I never was either until later in life.  Never felt like I was very good at it and I think he pretty much feels the same way.  For now...I will continue to read to him.  Eventually something will trigger him wanting to read and learn things for himself.  I plan on going to the Edventure museum sometime this summer, along with Latta Plantation, Raptor Center, the spray grounds around our area, the parks and where ever else I can find some fun for little to no money.  I want him to learn the joys of going places and doing things unplanned.  We both could use lessons in that.  I am getting better but he still has a ways to go.  He likes his familiarity and anything else can rock his world.  I want to push him some, but not over the edge if you know what I mean.  That's never fun! hahahahahaa  Any of our peeps that want to meet up this summer for some park time, spray ground, or anything else exciting give me a buzz.  We would love to have some company in our adventures this summer where ever they may lead.  Happy summer everyone.   

Saturday, May 7, 2011

On being a mom...anyone can be a mother

Funny how life works.  There was a time in my life when I would have thought it would be a cold day in hell before I would give birth.  (Funny thing...it snowed the night Greyson was born. Not that it's hell here but...at times...)
That said, things change.  Thanks to a most wonderful partner of about 14 years. When I met Michele I knew I wanted to be with her for the long haul if you will.  so off we set on our adventure together. Approximatley 2 years later we started talking about trying to have a child together and that we did.  Greyson was born on November 20th, 2000 weighing in at a whopping 10lbs. 4 ozs.  C-sections are a wonderful thing in some cases...this was one of them. I can walk upright & somewhat normal today thanks to that moment.  Not to sound all cheesy, but what a blessing both Greyson and Michele are to me.  Being a mom to Greyson has offered me so much that words will never do the experience justice.  I just pray I am offering him as much as he has offered, and continues to offer, me on a daily basis.  The gifts being a mom have brought to me are imeasurable.  Most importantly, Greyson has been teaching me so much. Listening is way more important than just hearing.  And, as I said in the prior post, some of the most important things in life are to be experienced, not heard.  I continue to struggle with this but I do know it to be true. with him around, I will not fail.  I will not fail in finding the best in him and in myself. On top of that, I could not ask for a more supportive and helpful partner in our quest to assist this little guy on his life journey and ours. I think we make a hell of a team and complement each other well in our efforts to guide, love, and support Greyson.  I made Michele a card today.  To honor her as a mother, partner, and friend.  You see, anyone can be a mother, but it takes someone really special and nurturing to become a mom.  Biology doesn't make a mom...unconditional love, selflessness and dedication does.  She may not have given birth to Greyson, but she shows him daily how much she loves him.  thank you Boog for being the best mom our son could have.  I love you dearly..."to the whole wide world". You are gift enough on such a special day. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I have a voice...MUTE!

Greyson's school had a talent show recently so he had been busy picking out a song to lip sing.  I wish he would really sing because he has a beautiful voice.  I know he does but he is too embarrassed too share it.  So....he went on his mission of picking the song determined to lip sing.  Well, a funny thing happened.  He had to practice before the actual day of the show and all he had for music was his ipod.  So, he had his ear buds in and, at the encouragement of his teacher, sang along with the song he wanted to sing during practice while turned away form his classmates.  His teacher, along with his classmates, was stunned by his voice.  They were so excited and taken back at how beautiful it was.  We were all hoping to talk him into really singing for all of the school, staff & parents on talent show day.  The big day came and he was having no part of it.  That's just way too many folks for his comfort level so he opted out.  He wouldn't even hold the mic so that we might hear some of his sweet voice.  instead he stood up there and lip sang his song.  I was sooo proud of him just even getting up there.  That is always a huge thing just to be able to do that.    The entire performance really made me think.  Think of how ironic the whole thing was.  There is always a story there, a song, a voice.  We may not hear it like we expect to hear it, but it is there.  You just have to listen with more than your ears.  You have to listen with all of your senses.  With your soul, and with your heart.  I heard him loud and clear that day.  How often are we not listening?  We hear plenty, but we rarely listen.  Especially to those who communicate differently than we do.  They have a voice, they have an intelligence and a sensitivity beyond anything we can imagine.  It may not fall in the parameters of what we are used to but we set those parameters.   I think it is time we expand them.  They have plenty to tell us and we need to be listening.
Greyson's song was his tribute to a friend he had his first year there. His second grade year.  He really misses her and her friendship.  I think she helped him alot that year.   She was kind to him and helpful to him and he has NEVER forgotten her.  He feels things on such a deep level it is scary sometimes.  Especially for a child his age.  His song was beautiful and so is his voice.  I hope one day he will find the courage to share it with others, but if not maybe they will still hear it, sense it, feel it.  He is a sensitive and beautiful soul and we are proud to have been given time with this rare and special gift of a boy we call Greyson. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our "not so little" Tin Man

One of Greyson very special teachers left CCS Friday.  She got a full time position finally so I cannot blame her for leaving but it was bitter sweet.  She was a blessing to us during his 2nd grade year last year because she really took a shine to him.  She assisted him and went out of her way to make sure he kept his self esteem while he was learning new things.  He really loved her and so did I. Ever since he has been at CCS he has had alot of great teachers from his EC team to his OT & Speech therapist to his regular teachers, but Mrs. Lee was especially good to him. I went into the cafe' Friday before I was leaving to check on him at lunch.  He was sitting there with some peers eating and not talking at all.  The cafe' was extremely chaotic while Mrs. Lee handed out pizza she and her husband had bought for the whole school.  A very sweet gesture from a wonderful woman and teacher on her departure.  The kids were crazy and Greyson wasn't enjoying being in all that chaos.  He didn't complain though.  I think he has learned to go off somewhere away from it all even when he is sitting smack in the middle of it.  He looked dazed while he crammed his cheeseburger into his mouth.  I asked him if he knew that Mrs. Lee was leaving and his head went down immediately.  He had not known.  I knew right then I needed to stay with him because he was going to be upset.  I explained why she was leaving and he just stared into space.  I asked if he wanted me to stay with him and he shook his head yes. Still no talking. I stayed and later asked if he just wanted to head home with me after lunch. He finished eating and even had a piece of pepperoni pizza that Mrs. Lee brought. After that was finished he walked over to give her a hug.  I couldn't look because she was crying and so was he.  She and I had cried already in early lunch so I just turned away this time and waited from across the room. It was a very sad day and he was pitiful.  We gathered his things and headed home.  Once we got into the car I asked if he was ok and he shook his head yes.  I asked him what she said to him.  He said she told him about the Wizard of Oz and that she told him what Dorthy told the Tin Man.  She hugs and kisses him and says, "I think I'll miss you most of all."  After Greyson told me this, he turned to stare out of the window silently while we headed off home.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brave G-man-Blue Bear saves the day

Thursday afternoon Greyson was complaining of pain in his groin area as we left school.  Once we got home it seemed to get worse.  Bad enough that i called the doctor to get him an appointment.  They could not see him until Monday and told me to call again in the morning if it got any worse.  Well...of course, it got worse.  Much worse.  I gave him some Tylenol and put ice on the area and waited.  He was very upset and walking funny so Michele and I even debated going to the ER.  Instead we waited it out until morning.  The next morning I just drove on up to the doctor's office with Greyson and his beloved Blue Bear.  They checked him out and were concerned enough that they wanted him to see a pediatric urologist.  Poor guy was scared to death and I was putting up the "everything will be fine" front for him.  Inside I was very worried too after reading about his pain on webMD.  Out of the things it could be none were things you would wish on anyone, much less a 10 year old boy.  I know reading those things can scare the life out of you but I had to see what could be causing his pain.  We have no men in the house to ask these man questions to so...webMD bring it on. So, after waiting a while they scheduled him for an ultrasound to check him out. I took him to Target, "the circle store" for a surprise and coloring book and we headed off to the hospital.  He was being very brave but every so often admitted to me he was scared.  We had Blue Bear there in my bag but he was putting on the "big boy" front and left him in there until no one was around. I was scared too but I lied.  Lies are not always bad and in this case they are warranted. I watched as the finished the ultrasound and hoped everything was ok.  The results were reported to his doctor right away so they could schedule us with the pediatric urologist.  After the scan he and I headed home to wait.  Finally the specialist called and asked us to come on into the office so they could check Greyson out.  Blue Bear rode with us there too. Thank goodness the specialist said he thought the issue would go away on it's own.  He explained to me what he thought it was and luckily it was none of the things that could have been very bad.  He wanted him to take it easy for a while though.  Whew...poor guy was scared to death they were gonna take blood or give him a shot.  I lobbied his doctor for some anxiety meds and topical cream just in case.  That would have put him over the edge.  Thank goodness yesterday there was no invasive procedures and he came away pretty much fine.  He is still hurting some so we will keep an eye on him.  Overall things are pretty good considering it could have been something much worse.  Hooray for good news, Blue Bear and a brave brave boy.  We love you G-man.  You scared me and momom half to death but you'll never know it. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stop! You're embarrassing me!

It's Friday! Greyson's entire school headed to Imaginon to see a wonderful African dance & drumming show called Dejembe Fire.  Our class gets there just before the show is to start.  Greyson's class was already there and awaiting the show.  They led our class in and to my demise the only section left was one in the very front left of the theater.  Great!  So we sit down...our K-1 class of rowdy little folks and wait.  I myself am already a little nervous.  First, I am sitting right on the freakin' end of the row and second, these shows always grab folks out of the crowd for some good ol' fashion participation and fun.  I think, well...maybe I will be safe.  You see, Greyson cannot stand for me to do anything remotely embarrassing.  He freaks, and sometimes will even cry if he feels it is bad enough.  Usually it isn't even anything that warrants his reaction but everything to him deserves over reaction.  So the show starts and there is mad drumming, dancing, and all kinds of interaction.  Then it happens.  The lady exclaims that she heard Charlotte had the BEST dancers around.  That's when it hit me, right in the gut.  That horrible feeling that something is about to go terribly wrong.  And yes...things did go South fast.  They say the expert pickers of "talented dancers" would be headed out into the audience and if you are tapped you were to come onto the stage.  GREAT! I all but rolled into a ball...became part of the theater chair and still I was chosen, of course, to go up and shake my groove thang. UGH!  I went up and prayed my son would not scream and melt down from somewhere in the blackness of the crowd.  I along with at least 10 others, did our dance moves as we were taught.  Then to top of the embarrassment to Greyson, I was chosen again to solo a part of the dance with our instructor. She claimed she noticed one of the ladies who must really spice it up in the kitchen when cooking and wanted her to show off her moves. Lovely! I am sure I looked like I was doing the white woman's overbite the entire time.  (So Grace! How are things at the palace?  Fine! Thank you for asking!) I hear Greyson was crying and hiding under his coat.  I had managed to humiliate him to the "nth" degree whether I meant to or not.  Poor guy!  He somehow survived it and did not freak too badly. Years ago it would have been much worse.  Probably him running down and yanking me off stage while screaming the whole time.  So today was a lesson in being a good sport, participation, and living through something we thought was horrible that turned out to be not quite as bad as we all thought.  The lesson will continue of course but it was s step forward none the less.  I need a full time gig but I don't think those folks at Dejembe Fire will be hiring me anytime soon.  My inner African  has just been ready to bust out!  Today was the big day...Sorry Greyson!  Mommy loves you "to the whole wide world" regardless of what you think. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

It is that big day for some...Valentine's day.  Greyson did not have school today but we did have a student,parent & teacher conference.  It went well and I think he is plugging along in school as he always has.  Soaking up things as he goes and not always letting on to what he has in that brain of his.  His teacher went over his MAPS scores which are supposed to act as a gauge for where he is and how well he progressing.  I am not sure those things are accurate as far as he is concerned so I do not put much weight in it.  Never the less they have to have something to gauge where the children are throughout the year.  So...I listened and went on my merry way once we were through.  He needs some work in spelling because he still continues to spell phonetically.  It makes his written work quite the interesting read for sure.  You must be on your toes when reading anything he has put down on paper.  He had a poem that cracked me up.  Having the NO filter mouth he had written about batman and all of his awesome qualities.  Then he ended it with Batman's enemies are CRAP! hahahahahahaaa  The teacher laughed but she had to alter it for our family friendly atmosphere at school when she hung it up...saying they were "nothing", or something along those lines. Greyson was not pleased with her having to do this she said. hahahahahaaa I can hear him screaming now, "For the love of God Pete!"  His favorite explicative.  He showed me some of his work while we were there but didn't explain much about any of it in true Greyson fashion.  I had to pull from him any information I wanted on any given item.  It's like pulling teeth.  Ugh.  He also enjoyed throwing each item at me after finding them in his cubby hole.  What fun...afterwards we got him some lunch and headed to the park for a day of fun with his pal Umberto.  He had a great time.  I had to offer a few social prompts to him but overall he did great.  I am still trying to help him understand the whole it can't always be his way, or what he wants to do.  He has to remember the give & take.   He does much better but still falls into the "let me tell you what we are gonna do" if we are not careful.  Tonight we shall celebrate.  Celebrate that our little family truly loves each other..."to the whole wide world" as Greyson says.  I couldn't be luckier to have such a wonderful partner and son.  I am proud to call them family. Today, and everyday, I celebrate our love.  I'm so glad, you're my family!..."If your in my heart, you're in my family...if I'm in your heart, I'm in your family"  So that said...extended family and friends...that goes for all of you too.  You know who you are! Happy Valentine's and thank you for the love you provide daily. <3

Saturday, January 22, 2011

LEGO catalog melt down

Fridays are supposed to be great days.  Being the last day of school and/or work.  The start of a weekend where we do what we want to do when we want to do it.  Well, yesterday wasn't that great in Greyson's eyes.  He had a pretty good day until it happened.  His LEGO catalog, which he takes to school to look at and read, was missing at the end of the day.  Needless to say his organization skills are lacking and even the things he cherishes most aren't kept up with as they should be.  All that aside he did pretty good handling the stiuation.  Not great, but I have seen much worse. He looked for it in every possible place he could remember having it ,while I waited patiently.  His teacher tried to help but none of us could find it.  It was practically shredded anyway due to it being looked through time an time again. So, once he finally realized he had exhausted all the places it could be he started to ball.  We looked one last time in his cubby beside his teachers desk but it was not there. At that point he crawled under his teachers desk, pulled her chair into the space to cover himself and cried.  I sat there with him so no one would aggravate or pick on him while he had his moment.  We talked and he cried.  He finally came out and we looked a little more, he cried a little more, and finally I was able to head him out the door to get in the car and go home.  He was so sad.  I offered several solutions but nothing could replace that particular catalog.  He managed to pull himself together finally, with the help of a M&M's vanilla frosty, and we headed on home. 
Another day and another lesson.  I didn't even mention it to him but hopefully he gets it.  Hopefully he can rally back but his past few days have been hard ones.  Not extremely bad, but bad in relation to how he has been lately.  Today is a new day and he is a happy camper playing LEGO Star Wars on his Wii.  Have fun Gman...it's Saturday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A boy torn by lessons

Greyson had a bad day today.  It started out ok at OT although he did get a little upset at the end when his therapist wanted to try the bicycle.  He is soooo afraid he is going to crash on the bike.  He has always been so unstable because his core body strength was lacking along with his balance.  He has worked very hard at building those muscles up but still has left over fears of the instability of riding the bicycle itself.  Other than that his OT day went well. He has a new buddy there who has Aspergers as well so I see some play dates in our future.  :)
After OT we stopped for our Thursday ritual of a snack and some Gatorade for our ride back to school.  It's quit a trek to Mooresville for OT but those people are worth every mile and then some.  I love them to no end and don't mind telling anyone.  Especially those that may need their services.  I sing their praises to all.  Once we got to school Greyson seemed pretty good.  Later in the day though I saw his teacher and found out he had had a bad day.  Nothing horrible, just some what out of sorts kinda day.  He had some trouble on the play ground.  It seems he feels he doesn't have many friends.  He does have a few friends, but he is going through some struggles with them.  You see, he realizes that these friends don't always make good choices and sometimes they don't do the right thing.  This in itself kills him because he is the rule follower and freaks when the rules are not being followed.  If he is clear on the rules, he is following them neurotically.  So, he struggles between telling the teacher when something isn't right and hanging with "the guys".  I wanted to cry today on the way home watching his face telling me about it.  He also has some girl friends but he said they do their own thing.  I said, "well, did you ask to join in or to play with them?"  He told me he did not so I told him that it is ok to ask to play with them if that is what he wants to do.  He just looked so lost and out of sorts.  The play ground thing must have eaten at him for the remainder of the day because his teacher said he got into some trouble in music, which he LOVES.  He was put out in the hall and she spoke with him.  Once he got himself back together he went back in only to end up back in her room a short time later.  She asked him what was wrong and he claimed he was just having a bad day.  He didn't know what to do to make it better so he just spent the remainder of his music time with her.  That is best once he reaches that point.  He was at a place where he just couldn't seem to reel himself back and she got it.  She wasn't mad, she just got it and let him be with himself.  Hooray for her love and patience with him.  Hooray for a school that embraces and works with these children who could so easily end up as casualties elsewhere.  We know all too well what can happen if you find yourself somewhere that doesn't have the patience or resources to help. It's not pretty and a child's self esteem is a fragile thing.
After school was out Greyson and I stopped and got him a frosty and talked as we rode home.  he asked if I knew about his day.  I said I did.  I assured him that I knew he was hurting and torn between hanging out with his friends and doing what is right.  You see he doesn't want to hang out when he knows they are doing things or talking about things they shouldn't be. But he still wants them to be his friend.  Finding friends has been hard enough so this adds a whole new level of frustration to his world.  He constantly talks of how he doesn't understand why some of the others don't follow the rules and how he thinks that isn't very kind to his teacher. I told him to only worry about himself and things will be fine as long as he is making sure he is doing what he is supposed to do. I told him momom and I love him and love that he is so honest.  His following the rules and doing what's right makes our hearts smile and makes us proud to call him our son.  Between you and me, he isn't golden but he is a wonderful guy with a huge tender heart.  He may not always show it but it is enormous.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and is very intense when it comes to his emotions.  His intensity is to the point of scaring us sometimes with how deeply he thinks about certain things.  I really worry about him because of this.  I worry he could become to lost in his emotions.  I also know that the depth of our sorrows is equal or proportionate to the depth of our love and joys.  We just hope his love and his joys in this world far outweigh the sorrows.  Today he fought the battle, the battle of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, however you choose to put it.  I believe he chose wisely although he also found out the truth.  The truth that there is always a price no matter the choice.  We all question the price at times.  We all question life and its silly way of keeping us on our toes, ensuring we are learning all the time.  Here's to life and it's lessons.  Be present to it.  It's beautiful, this journey we all are on.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dancin' into another year

Here we are moving well into the new year and each day I see more and more the independence Greyson in asserting.  I am thrilled but, at the same time, slightly miss my little boy.  It's funny to watch this transition into manhood.  He bounces back and forth from, "I got this" to "Help me, I need you!"  Each moment for learning and gaining the confidence and self assurance he needs to make his way in this ever changing world of ours.  Stepping forward, stepping back.  Like a dance twirling, moving and dipping with the highs and lows that life brings.  Sometimes graceful, sometimes disastrous. Either way, it's all part of the plan, part of our journey.  As the song says, "I hope you dance."  Well my sweet man, here's to you, keep on dancin' like no one is watchin'.

I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
 And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome 2011

Here it is, 2011.  Another year gone by and Greyson is doing well.  I sometimes forget just how well he is doing because of those moments when we are having challenges.  Being with him day to day I still find myself thinking at times that I wish things were easier for him.  Then I always find something that snaps me back into the reality of how great he really is.  I did alot of reading during Christmas finishing two books that I had longed to read but hadn't found the time.  One was 'The Alchemist' which was an amazing book to say the least.  I will find time one day to read it again I am sure.  The other book I have had for a while.  It is 'The Horse Boy'.  A true story about a boy who is autistic and his father finds a beautiful way to connect to him through a horse named Betsy.  Once he opens the door into his son's world he longs to find a way to help him out of some of the disabling behaviors that are taking a toll on his son's quality of life.  They end up traveling to Mongolia, the origin of horses, to seek healing from the shaman of the reindeer people.  Amazing story and movie if you are so inclined.  I tell you this because while reading the story I had many revelations.  His son, Rowan, was more severe than Greyson.  He tantrums much more often and way more intensely than anything we have witnessed in Greyson.  He was afraid of having a bowel movement so he would stand and poop himself regularly. I thought about how blessed we have been not to have had a son who was less verbal with all of the more severe behaviors, but at the same time thought to myself, It's all relative.  They went to the far ends of the earth to end up with a son who is doing phenomenal in comparison to where he started.  He currently is probably where Greyson was in the beginning of his diagnosis.  I then thought to myself how far Greyson has come too.  Everything seems funny to me in how we find ourselves always on this journey.  This journey that takes you on highs and lows that are so relative to where you started.  Never stopping enough to be thankful for where we are right in the moment.  To accept who and where we are in the present and forgive whatever shortcomings may come with that place/space.  This father was celebrating what we had longed to make better for our son.  Mainly because of where our journeys began.  You may think me crazy for even thinking about this but I find it important.  I started our journey feeling guilty I had allowed a school to mistreat my son. Feeling I hadn't done enough to stop them from smashing his delicate self esteem. All because I trusted the powers that be.  I felt helpless and mad that people were judging him and his behaviors without knowing him or even wanting to get to know him.  I felt the need to tell people about his condition while my partner had no understanding of why I felt the need to do this.  I look back and wonder how much was for him as opposed to me.  I found myself talking about it alot to people.  I spent hours reading books, studying the Internet and filling my brain with information regarding what to do etc.  As a parent you want to make life simpler, more normal for them but what is normal?  That was normal to him.  It was the rest of us goobers that weren't getting it.  I still find myself in a place where if I get defensive and I am very protective of him.  I also find myself wondering still when he is having a moment, "Is this 10 year old boy stuff, or is this Aspergers stuff?"  Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?  I guess all of this said I realize that we are all on a journey.  The most important thing to remember is...To be present in that very important moment as it will never repeat itself ever again.  Be willing to forgive yourself for who and where you are on that journey.  Embrace it and learn from it if need be. Be aware of the moments when you fall back, reflect, dust yourself off and then be present once more.  I sat in one of the seminars I attended for Landmark and realized that we all are striving toward something.  Each of us thinking of, and striving for that step up from where we are.  And if we got there, another step up...then another, then another.  It never ends and we spend our lives missing that beautiful moment.  That moment that will never repeat itself ever again.  Be present.  It's where you are, it's who you are and isn't that enough?  Trust me, I believe it is. 
Dedicated to my girls! (4presence)
Thank you all for your guidance, inspiration, love, laughter & friendship!  

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

Keith Olbermann on Proposition 8 Issue