Conversation

The first ingredient in conversation is truth, the next good sense, the third good humor, and the fourth wit….William Temple.  It’s a blessing to be surrounded with people having nice conversations.  In a world full of so much; it’s refreshing to have conversations that inspire, support, enhance our spiritual well being and growth to our soul.  Yes, we live in the age of technology.  There is still beauty in old fashion face to face conversations.  You can see an individual body language while they’re expression themselves.   It’s amazing how a conversation whether short or in depth offer a gateway into diversity of thoughts.  Every conversation we encounter requires more than just expression ourselves, we have to actually work at actively listening to what someone else is expression.  Honestly, I am constantly working at this part of conversation.  My mom used to say “People don’t care what you know but rather how much you care.”  Maybe that is part of happiness in love and life, real two way conversations.  It’s being present in a conversation and really thinking/understanding about what someone is saying before responding.  After all our conversations are mini invitations into our thoughts, maybe even our hearts.  I remember so many conversations with my mom.  I had the privilege of  having several conversations with her pretty much every day of my life until her last breath on earth.  She used to tell me “Tammy the best conversations you can have is with Jehovah, God.  Our Creator see you and wants you to talk to him whatever is in your heart.  Never forget to listen him too Tammy, because He loves you.  So pray my dear about everything.”  I still cherish those conversations with my mom.  It’s a blessing for a parent and child to have open conversations even into adulthood.  I am learning teaching M the art of conversation takes time, patience and encouragement.  Sometimes our conversations are very simple like M saying “room, please” or “want cookie, please”.  We’re progressing in our conversations about basic needs or wants.  However, this week in therapy M brought me to tears.   After his therapy session, M came into the waiting room and said “Hey, Mom!”  He looked pass everyone and made eye contact with me.  M being able to have conversations with me is priceless.  My heart is holding onto faith that M one day will be full of heartfelt conversation expressions, until then I am understanding silence too can be golden part of a conversation with M; simply just my presence in the mist of M needing comfort/understanding can speak volume.

Simply an autism mom engaging in conversation

 

Siblings

We’re learning how important it is both to preserve sibling relationships if they work and repair them if they’re broken.  We’re also learning a lot about nonliteral siblings-step siblings, half-siblings-and surprising power they can have…Jeffrey Kluger.  Last night M pretended to read a story to me.  We must have read The Animal Boogie over a hundred times to M.  “Boogie, oogie, oogie”, he would say after turning each page.  His B sound has improved thanks to speech therapy.  On the last page of the book, M said “THE END!”  After tucking him into bed, I wondered how M life would be different if he had a sibling.  He would have a natural born kindred friend to share his childhood learning experiences.  Someone that would impact his social skills twenty-four/seven.  I certainly understand that many beautiful individuals get along fine without having a sibling, they live a full happy life with dear friends or other family members sticking closer to them like a brother/sister.   However, I grew-up with three siblings.  We used to get into each other space all the time growing up.  We rarely had sibling misunderstanding or disagreements.  Perhaps, it was because our parents showed no comparison but rather loved, supported and encouraged each of us uniquely.  Yes, we had each others back in school.  My siblings kept me grounded.  Honestly, we have so many built memories together.  I remember once we all stood together in not telling who spilt cereal all over the kitchen floor and swept it behind the washer.  Our parents commended us for our sibling solidarity.  Hence in their loving wisdom, they unitedly agreed we should all receive the same disciplinary outcome.  Admittedly, I folded first.  Looking back, that sibling experience taught me wrong was wrong regardless who committed it and always stand for the truth.  Now that we’re all older with our own families, our sibling relationship has changed some.  True our own personal family life take a lot of our time and energy, somehow we still try to stay connected especially after our mom left this earth.  I am so blessed my sister and brothers continue to be honest, supportive and encouraging to me.  Recently, we were honored to add a new brother and sister to our sibling connection presenting lot of possible exciting new memories.  Although M may not have a sibling at this time, he does have all our love and support along with a hope of a beautiful future ( Isaiah 11:6-9).

Simply an autism mom grateful for siblings

Sickness

Life is difficult for everyone; everyone has trouble in their life, because it doesn’t matter how rich you are: sickness and trouble and worry and love, these things will mess with you at every level of life…Domhnall Gleeson.  Unfortunately at this time all of us struggle with imperfect health, on a daily basis we can combat one or a combination of physical, mental and emotional sickness/illness.  Our sickness/illness can consume our thoughts.  Often in the midst of our sickness, we realize the frailty and miracle of our human body.  On the other hand, I am discovering everyday the term ‘sickness & health’ take on a whole new perspective when dealing with a love one illness while battling your own.  I have witnessed a dear sister to me fighting breast cancer while at the same time trying to be there for her mom with alzheimer.  Another beautiful sister of mine battling Lupus all the while being an amazing mom and wife.  Yet, in their sickness they’re so  positive and encouraging to me.  Truefully in the midst of dealing with sickness, it’s hard to find a positive spin.  These last two weeks our family have been dealing with the stomach virus.  M came home after school and therapy feeling tired.  He put himself to early bed around six something.  That day M had no meltdown.  However around one something, M came running into our room.  He had a weird look in his eyes.  I knew something was wrong.  Yes before I could get to him, M projectile vomited everywhere.   Needless to say, that was the beginning of a 48 hour sickness for him.  It was hard because M could not tell me which way it was coming.  I probably looked silly running behind him with towels and a bucket everytime he would jump up.  True sleep is vitality to sickness, however, this was hard for M.  Hence, I went two days without sleep.  At some point a migraine crept into my head.  I remembered trying to pray for strength but then a lost of conscious came over me.  I awoke to M laying next to me sound asleep on the couch.  At some point M body was tired too.  In sickness our love and resilience will be tested.  However having someone by our side to ease our sickness maybe cooking, praying, or doing errands for us would bring comfort.  M eventually started feeling better.  However, it has been our turn in dealing with the stomach virus!

Simply an autism mom putting faith in Isaiah 33:24

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Mental Health

I see taking care of my emotional and mental health in the same way that I see taking care of a garment; After it’s been through wear and tear, it needs attention…Gina Barreca.  I am learning a massive part of our family autism journey include monitoring, regulating or rejuvenating our mental health.  All of us have major factors or life experiences that contribute to our mental health state.  As a mother and wife to beautiful souls with autism spectrum disorder, I am often reminded our mental health can be fragile.  Our minds and emotions on any given day can shift between highs or lows.  Often we have to take steps to improve our mental health.  This should include fulfilling our spiritual needs along with some form of healthy physical activity.  Yes often times when we feel our mental health slipping, it helps having a true friend or therapist to talk out any complex feelings/thoughts.  I am understanding these steps do aide in our family feeling less anxious about everyday life. Hence, fostering within us a measure of peaceful mental health.  True, I do enjoy meditation, prayer and talking with dear friends while sipping on hazelnut coffee or hot tea.  This past weekend, I had the privilege of spending a few hours with some beautiful ladies at a tea party.  It was refreshing to my mental health.  Later that evening when I got back home, I discovered M in the den singing his favorite spiritual songs.  His humming and sweet voice was beautiful.  I realized that was M way of improving his mental health, maybe creating within him peace.  Honestly, I think we all should be open to conversations and understanding to our dear ones emotions or thinking in these difficult times regardless of their ability.  Afterall, we’re all on the mental health spectrum and need support so as not to become OVERWHELM!

Simply an autism mom rejuvenating M & my mental health

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I Love You

Unconditional love really exists in each of us.  It’s part of our deep inner being.  It’s not so much an active emotion as a state of being.  It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’  It’s love for no reason, love without an object…Ram Dass.  Once M was born my heart was open more to understanding the language of ‘I love you’.  I think all of us need a measure of reassurance that we’re loved.  Perhaps having someone trying to understand us, even if they don’t fully agree or perfectly understand our quirkiness.  ‘I love you’ goes beyond words, I truly believe it’s honesty in meaning it and our actions backing it up.  The older I get everyday little things means so much in expressing ‘I love you’; like coming home and your mate fix your favorite meal or on a tired day your child gives you a big hug or having your feet massage by your mate while sipping hot tea.  Honestly, in my heart those ‘I love you’ are beautiful treasures that’s often more valuable than expression of big things.  There are million different ways each us demonstrate ‘I love you.’  Today, M had an amazing day at school and therapy.  In fact, it has been a no meltdown day.  Hence, I treated M to a little toy car.  However, M was not impressed.  He threw the toy car on the floor of our car.  I said “M, I love you!”  M said nothing, he just kept humming.  Later, I stopped to get something to drink at a fast food chain.  I requested two extra straws.  I handed the two wrap straws to M.  If I was not driving, I would have loved to record M’s reaction.  His eyes lighted up and he kept saying ” love you, love you!”  You would think I handed  him the world.  M has taught me that ‘I love you’ is a language that go beyond words.  Before M had words, he showed his love by putting his little toes on me before he could go to sleep or laying his head on my arm briefly or giving me a smile…so many little ways M show his love…you just have to open your heart to his beautiful world.

Simply an autism mom expressing ‘I love you’

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