Dance

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.  It’s to enjoy each step along the way…Wayne Dyer.   These few days M has been dealing with allergy and sinus issues, so he has not been feeling his best.  However today in the midst of all the rain, I felt M needed to dance.  I put on some oldie goldies like The Temptations ‘I Wish It Would Rain’ mix with Pharrell ‘Happy’ to perk up his mood.  Ms’ eyes twinkled as we dance.  Honestly, I could not help but remember all the times dancing with my family growing up.  Our kitchen made it a great place for sliding across the floor effortlessly.  True I was not the best dancer growing up, but when our mom put on record albums like The Supremes ‘Stop In the Name of Love’ or Aretha Franklin ‘Respect’ you found your heartfelt dance rhythm.  There is truth in Ecclesiastes 3:1  “There is an appointed time for everything, and season for everything under the heaven”.   We dance to music maybe to exercise or simply just to express ourselves.  Either way wholesome dancing can be a great fun cardio workout!  M and I heart was beating fast while dancing.  “Again, please” M kept repeating each time a sung would end.  Eventually to slow things down, I tried to teach M slow dancing.  He enjoyed being dip and spun around a whole lot.  Perhaps life is like a dance, so many rhythm changes that get our heart beating in different ways.  I love the sung by Lee Ann Womack ‘I Hope You Dance’.  I want M to believe with our Creator… he can have a beautiful dance of life between who he is now and who he is becoming.

Simply an autism mom dancing

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

The key to everything is patience.  You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it…Arnold H. Glasow.  I am a huge fan of southern comfort food cooking.  When it’s done right, the labor of love can be tasted in every bite.  M is blessed to have a rich history of amazing southern cooks in the family.  It’s a wonderful thing to prepare a home cook meal with your family enjoying it!  I think one of the most southern comfort food is chicken.  My grandma did an amazing herb roasted chicken with baby potatoes surround.  Oh, let’s not forget my mom slow fried southern chicken.  I remember being in the kitchen helping.  She would take a brown paper bag add flour with seasoning and toss in chicken that had been marinating in buttermilk seasoning.  My sister and I would beg our mom to let us help shake the bag.  Once done, each piece of chicken would be perfectly coated in the season flour batter.  My mom then would drop each piece in a hot cast iron black skillet.  Honestly it does take patience in preparing a home cook meal, I do miss snapping peas, shucking corn and picking greens with my mom.  Yes, to me comfort food was always collard greens, cornbread, yams and fried chicken.  One of the first meals my mother taught me to cook was a chicken dinner.  Granted, my first chicken dinner was over powered by too much black pepper and no amount of water could erase it.  Nevertheless, I have improved over the years and tried so many versions of chicken meals with M.  Since I am southern the love of bold strong flavors of chicken dumplings, fried chicken, roasted chicken, grilled chicken, bbq chicken etc…you name it I have done it with a chicken.  However with each chicken meal M senses was not impressed, until today.  I decided to make simple air fry chicken nuggets with potatoes.  M actually ate it!  Honestly, I am still in shock.  He did a little happy dance while eating it.  True, he only ate about four nuggets and four potatoes but that was huge for us.  Today’s chicken dinner was a winner, winner for M…increasing his diet palate.  Oh, I am thinking of chicken dinner endless cooking possibilities with M!

Simply an autism mom excited about chicken

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Self-Talk

As we go about our daily routine, our internal monologue narrates our experience.  Our self-talk guides our behavior and influences the way we interact with others.  It also plays a major role in how you feel about yourself, other people, and the world in general…Amy Morin.  “Calm, M….Calm M!” M repeated over and over to himself.  Lately I have been over hearing M’s self-talk,  “Ok, M…Ok M” or “Good job…Good job”  or “M, you doing…M, you doing!” are just some of the phases M has been saying to himself.  It hit me like a ton of bricks that M was repeating portions what people including myself are saying to him as part of his self-talk.  M has so much going on in his beautiful mind, he often need time to process everything even if it means talking to himself out-loud.  Honestly, self-talk can be a blessing.  After all, it’s a part of our thinking process.  Our self-talk would be connected to our self-image.  All of us has had internal conversations/self-talk about moral dilemmas we’re facing or maybe how we see ourselves behaving.  Often times we become our own worst critic.  On the other hand, we may justify or be passive in inner monologue concerning our actions.  Honestly, it’s hard to keep a balance of not nitpicking ourselves to death and being truthful with ourselves.  Teaching M to see himself the way our Creator view him, hopefully will guide his self-talk into noticing/understanding his actions without harsh self-criticism.  I recently seen a movie called ‘Float’ by Disney Pixar.  It reminded me the value of honest self-talk.  As a parent of a child that ‘Float’ you will have moments where you pray and your self-talk consist of “It’s going to be ok…you can do this…just breath” or “Don’t worry about how others perceive him/her…him/her is valued and a beautiful gift!”.  Yes M is fine tuning his self-talk confirming his self-worth, hence having fundamental individuals around him contribute to his beautiful floating light!

Simply an autism mom writing down my self-talk

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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