Sunday, September 16, 2007

More change...


For the first time EVER, Thomas threatened violence against a doll. For anyone who knows Thomas - this is monumental. His Asperger's fixation has been babies and dolls since he was 2. Loved them, rocked them, stared longingly at them in stores, owned one, lost one; you get the idea.

At the Medieval Faire yesterday, he says to me, " Mom, can I have a broad sword so I can chop the heads off of Vanessa's dolls ?" I was astounded. Not only becuase this was a violent act but because this was Thomas speaking. He who is still championing to get his own carriage for his sister's dolls !

I take this as a milestone for Thomas. A sign that he is indeed maturing and changing. He is loathe to give up his babyish readers. He is loathe to pass by the dolls in the store without looking. He is loathe to pass by a baby and not ask questions about it to the parents. BUT - he is now willing to cut off dolls heads or at least consider it. Some say future psychopath - I say ahhhh. My boy is growing up. Thank You God.

Different Views


My husband continues to surprise me in enforcing how differently men and women see situations. I read him my last blog and he balked at the word "save" in reference to our son. He doesn't see my efforts on Thomas' behalf as a mission. He just sees it as how it is. Life.

It's funny that I have fought for my son for the past 7 years because that is what a parent should do. I've made it my mission in life to help my son. To protect him. To help him grow and learn. Again, what every parent should do. My husband just sees it as Thomas and no more than that. He doesn't attach the "mother bear" feelings that I do. He doesn't see every challenge as a fight as I do. He doesn't blow things out of proportion about Thomas as I do.

When it comes to Thomas, my reactions are larger than for Vanessa. Not because I love her less but I know that she is ok. She is strong. She is for want of a better word "normal". I feel pride for her and I feel enormous love for her. I would stand in front of a train for her. I would die for her with no questions asked. It's the every day things that are different. I don't hurt as much when she hurts. I don't get as angry when things happen to her. I don't react as largely when she ticks me off. I know she will get through this life and be whatever she wants to be. I know she will grow up and stand her ground and be a wonderful woman. There are no such certainties for Thomas. His whole life has been a struggle against the foods he eats, the clothes he wears, the chemicals I use to clean, the school work that over whelms him, the asthma that takes his breath away, the anaphylaxis that could kill him and the skin he used to rip open. He has never had it easy.

I think that is why I see my mission for Thomas in terms of saving him. I want to be forgiven for not getting him better quicker. I want to be forgiven for not putting in the time I could or should in helping his behaviours. I want to be forgiven for feeling resentful that these things have happened to my boy. So I crusade. I lash out. I fight. I want the world to know that my boy matters to me despite my failings of him. I want people to see how much I love him and to forgive me for not doing more. How odd of me.

I never looked at it in terms of me. I don't tend to be self centered that way. I do have the gift for introspection but usually about my behaviors for certain situations. I have always carried a load of guilt about my son. That I could have not eaten peanut butter while pregnant. That I should not have gone to Florida while pregnant and induced labor. That I wasn't taller for him to have more room and not squash his head. But I never thought in terms of forgiveness. Hmmm.

So once again, my husband inadvertently teaches me something about myself. He sees Thomas as Thomas. No more no less. He doesn't think all that much about Thomas' various diagnoses. He just accepts that Thomas is how Thomas is. I think about it all the time. I fight all the time. And now I see why. I have placed too much responsibility on my shoulders for the state of my son. I have placed too much importance on myself as for the state of my son. I have placed too little acceptance on the state of my son. Acceptance and forgiveness is what I need to fight for. Acceptance for what is and forgiveness for what I couldn't change.

Darn husbands. Making us think all the time. Maybe mothers everywhere should take a page out of the father of their children's books and stop over thinking it. Maybe look at it from their point of view. It does seem a much more simple way to be. Darn husbands. Who asked for their point of view anyway ?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Laugh


Kids laugh at the darndest things. Farts. Burps. The words fart and burp. Anything to do with poop. Cartoons. Animals. Basically anything that farts, burps or poops. Kind of strange if you think about it. I am a world class farter so my kids have plenty to laugh about.

What concerns me is how we lose the ability to laugh as we age. We worry if people are laughing at us and not with us. We worry if it is the right thing to do. We wonder if it really is funny and by the time we're done analyzing it, it ain't so funny no more. So gradually we laugh less. What a shame.

I want to belly laugh. I want to laugh until milk flies out my nose. I want to laugh until I fart. I want to laugh until my sides ache. I have done the milk thing before but it was water and good thing too as the friends I was playing Euchre with might have had an unpleasant experience as well. Good thing they laughed.

I have a friend who needs to laugh. She needs a good belly ripping, nose snorting, something coming out of an orifice somewhere kind of laugh. She needs to laugh with abandon. She needs to laugh with freedom. She needs to laugh without worrying about farting. She needs to laugh it all away.

I have made it my mission to help my friend and I laugh more. I'm not sure how but I think it is a worthy cause. Some days there is so little to laugh over. Having an A child can make the laughs hard to find. They can make you laugh because you are so hysterical but that usually ends in tears and is not the kind of laughter that I mean. I want to laugh my ass off literally and figuratively. I want to belly laugh for hours or at least 10 minutes.

I've had missions to get through my dad's cancer. I've had missions to get through my parent's divorce. I've had missions to get through my mom's alcoholism. I've had missions to get through my dad's death. I've had missions to punish lawyers. I am currently on a mission to save my son. I think I have forgotten that I am a worthy mission. My sanity and well being are a worthy mission. So my mission now is to laugh as much as possible. I plan to take my friend along for the mission as she is valuable to me as a friend and fellow A parent. She is valuable to me as someone I respect and admire. She is someone who won't be disgusted if I fart or snort while I laugh, which is very important.

So look out world, I am on a mission. I've been successful so far on my missions and I don't plan to fail now. There are two important people at stake here and I happen to be one of them. And I plan to LAUGH.

hahahahahahahahahahahah oooohhhhh hahahahahahahahah ooooohhhh fart hahahahahahahaha burp hahahahahahahah snort hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!

Much better.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

And the fight continues..


I am so damn tired of fighting the school system. I have enough to fight for that I don't need them as well. Once again, my son is being passed about. Now they have a peer in his class helping him rather than an EA or at least another adult. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ?????

Needless to say, I have emailed them to express my concerns in a constructive and meaninful manner.


I feel much better now. Thank you.

So Far Away....


I never thought it would happen. I never thought I would be in that place where I could say to someone - It will get better.

Just yesterday I held my new son in my arms and looked at his face wondering who he was and what he would be. Just yesterday I helped him to walk, to talk, to sing. Just yesterday I rejoiced over his first steps, his first words, his first song. Just yesterday he was my little boy and we hadn't begun our journey yet.

Then our journey began and I wondered new things. Would he ever walk strong ? Would he ever talk strong ? Would he ever be able to learn like the other children ? Would anyone ever get him like I was trying to get him.

As we continued on our journey, time passed slowly and then sped by. Suddenly we were ready for school. Suddenly yesterday had been left behind and my boy was no longer my baby. Suddenly I wanted yesterday so badly that it hurt. I wanted that time before I knew what the answers to some of my questions were. I wanted that time before I knew how hard he would have to fight. Before I knew how hard I would have to fight for him. Yesterday seemed so nice.

Now we are at today and I can look back at yesterday and not want it so badly, not look at it so wistfully. Today he walks strong. Today he talks strong. Today people do get him as I do and sometimes better. Today he is my growing boy who no longer itches, no longer has to cry, no longer has to fight quite as hard. Today I have answers and I see hope. Today I see his future is not so bleak. Today I see the future full of promise. Today, yesterday is a pleasant memory. Tomorrow will be even better. I can see it now and it's not so far away.

My boy. My heart.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

One to Another


My boy. The subject of most of my blogs and most of my thoughts.

My boy is growing up. He actually talked back to me tonight - kind of cool.

Thomas has always been very aquiescent, very apologetic, very fearful of me. Not that I am proud of that per se, but it has made life easier. Not proud of that either. I was raised on a healthy dose of fear of my parents - mostly my dad but mom had a mean way with a slipper as well. Overall, Thomas has been easy to manage discipline wise. I think part of that is Aspergers and part is just who he is. We have tried as parents not to do some of the things that our parents did. We do not argue about our kids in front of them. We do not allow them to play us off one another. We do not allow them to see us divided. We support one another but also call each other on behaviour that might not have been a good choice. My kids have always seen that.

My parents never apologised if they were out of line. They never explained what the real problem was but just expected me to get it. My parents did not discuss my behaviour or why it was wrong, they just told me it was. My parents never explained things to me when I asked questions. Until I was an adult and the scars were healed, they never said they were sorry.
These are some of the things I have decided to change.

I explain to my kids why their behaviour is inappropriate. I explain to my kids why they are being punished or discuss it with them so they know why I am angry. My kids have to think things through if only for that moment. They have to take immediate and appropriate responsibility for their actions as I do as well. If I am out of line and reacting out of proportion dut to stress or being tired, I will say I am sorry and why. If they ask a question, I try to answer it. If they question why they are being punished, it is very rare they hear "Because I said so".

I see my growth as a parent and now I see the growth of my son. I changed some things about how I was raised and kept others. Some good, some not so much. My son has kept his sweetness. My son still gives me kisses and doesn't squawk when I give him hugs and cuddles. My son isn't embarrassed to call me Momma although I cringe when he does it at school. For him, not me. To me it is music. My boy. My heart.

We are both changing as he grows. I am trying to remember to cherish this time. Something I don't think my father ever did. He waited to get to know us when we became what he considered an adult never knowing that two years was all he was going to have left. I learned from that. I know the heartache of losing a parent young. I know the pain of wondering what could have been and why didn't he love me enough as a child. I remember this when I don't want to read a story. I remember this when I don't want to play a game. I remember this when my boy drives me bendy. I remember that I don't want my children to ever question how much they are loved. I remember that I don't want my children to ever have regrets that I didn't spend enough time with them. I have gone from one to another.

I see my son grown. I hear him start to test his limits. Late for some kids at 9. Right on time for him. I will remember this time. I will remember that it is a sign that he is maturing - something Aspergers kids do late. I will remember that he is growing from one to another and smile. My boy. My heart. Whatever will I do the day I realize he has become a man ? I will remember the day he started to talk back and smile. And I will thank God I was here to see it.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Shot to the heart


We went to the park tonight. Something that millions of parents with millions of kids do every day. We hope at least. There were two boys there that know my son and not that they had to but they didn't play with him. They were kicking a ball around and didn't even give him a second glance. They knew he was there as I had said hello. My heart fell.

Now these are not kids that he plays with normally. Not kids he hangs out with at school. Had it been Jeffery or Michelle they would have said hi and played. I realize this. However, that "inner child", how I hate that term, reared it's insecure little head and said, Hey, why don't you want to play with my kid ? He's a cool kid. He's a fun kid. I felt hurt and they hadn't done anything wrong.

My A friend wrote about her fears in school for her A child. The same as mine. Will he cope ? Will he behave ? Will he manage to make friends ? I am five years ahead of her in this journey with an A child and the worries haven't changed. It does get easier. It doesn't hurt quite so much. But it's still there. Strange how after all these years away from the time I was going back to school and I still get that lurch for my kids. Will they have fun ? Will they get hurt ? Will they succeed ? Does their backpack look cool ?

My fears had kept their distance until today. I had been managing quite nicely but not thinking about it. I keep telling myself he has Jeffery. I keep telling myself that there are kids out there who like him and see past the weird. Then I wonder where they are.

Parents will say - Thomas is so sweet. Thomas is so polite. Thomas is so funny. Thomas is such a nice boy. And he is. I love that about him. He is inherently sweet and funny and lovable. All the characteristics he needs to get the crap kicked out of him in school. He is also emotionally behind his peers and immature, which makes it hard for them to relate to him. He is wildly imaginative which makes him hard to follow and understand but again, I love that about him. He frustrates me but I love his imagination. I love how he sees things and takes himself on amazing adventures. I love how he gets excited and wears his excitement on his sleeve. Again, great recipe for getting beat up.

He is growing up and he is changing. Part of me wants to get past all this time where I have to worry about his ability to make friends and hold on to a relationship. But this will mean he will have grown up and away from me, which I don't like either. Then I realize that I will always worry and while that might be comforting on some levels on others it is exhausting.

What I should do is listen to my husband:

Not everyone will like Thomas but most will on some level. Not everyone will want to play with him but most kids I don't want him to play with anyway. He will grow. He will make friends. He will get hurt. I will anguish over it. I hope he never knows how much. I hope he goes on in his life as he does now. Taking it one day at a time. Being himself. Getting on with his life.

Worry is wasted energy. Worry is wasted power. Worry is wasted time. One day I will learn how to control my worry. Unfortunately, today is not that day. Today, I feel the worry like a shot to the heart.