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