Childhood

If during childhood, you were fortunate to have a parent who drilled into you, ‘You can be anything you want to be if you try hard enough at it’, and then supported you in actions, that is something you take with you all your life…Mark Goulston.  Our childhood is an intricate part of our life story.  Childhood is where our foundation for learning necessities of life begin.  We build upon understanding how to handle emotional stresses, consequences for our actions, and overcoming our limitations.  Truthfully, each of these childhood growing processes can produce beautiful qualities of endurance, persistence, patience, kindness, honesty, hope, faith and responsibility; especially if we were bless with a grandparent or parent that bestowed upon us love and a spiritual heritage.  Sadly, some experience emotional/physical wounds during childhood.  It breaks my heart to know many are struggling to find themselves because  innocence of childhood were stolen.  I do have faith that every single childhood matters to our loving Creator. (Psalm 34:18)  Perhaps, everyone growing up has a childhood hero.  Mine was my mom and dad.  Honestly, it was not until I became grown that I realized they were beautifully imperfect humans.  However, in my childhood they were amazing and could do everything without a cape.  Maybe, that was my childhood development of creativity, wonder, and imagination.  I am thankful and bless to be reliving childhood from M perspective.  Today on the way home, I started singing ‘Old McDonald’.  A childhood favorite song of mine.  “E i, E i, O!” was M favorite part to say.  He would laugh each time he said it.  In those peaceful moments we connected. How ironic, in my childhood I couldn’t wait to be an adult; now in my adulthood I do enjoy the wonder of childhood.  I do love M’s childhood being a part of my life story.  Truthfully each day M childhood bring about unique experiences, I am hoping his childhood be full of moments that will inspire him to keep going…regardless of a cape…autism rocking!

Simply an autism mom hoping

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Life Story

Everyone has a different life story.  Things happen rapidly for some, and things more slowly for others…Barun Sobti.   We’re all gifted with a life story.  Finding and understanding our purpose by our Creator, I think it’s what will give our life story true beauty.  Everyday we face real life situations, thus making some life story more complicated than others.  However everyday we live, we write a page in our life story.  Yes, each day is a blank/fresh page waiting for us to fill it with our life choices and even our mistakes.  Our yesterdays become pages of  our history.  True, sometimes our pages in our life story are filled with pain and heartache.  Perhaps, that’s why some prefer to keep their life story private.  However, in my heart I believe at the end of everyone’s page there is hope.  Perhaps our life story not only has pages but chapters, maybe each chapter feature a comedy or a drama or a romance.  Whatever the chapter or page, our life story may hold a message of inspiration for someone, even sometimes when we feel our life story is falling apart.  Yet even when we’re overwhelm in writing our life story, our faith steady our hands to keep writing.  I am finding motherhood to be a unique chapter in my life story.  My pages in this chapter is full of emotions and responsibilities.  M has given me some beautiful things to add to my life story.  It’s because of M that I was inspired to pen my first book ‘My Puzzle… Complete Book 1: An Autism Tale’.  I wanted to share M’s life story on the autism spectrum so young children his age can understand and connect.  M everyday is reminding me, we can be uplifting to one another by filling our life story with kindness…more importantly with pages illuminating of our Creator love for us!

Simply an autism mom writing

Food

The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction.  A person cooking is a person giving.  Even the simplest food is a gift…Laurie Colwin.  Our loving Creator has blessed us with an array of colorful and flavorful food to eat.  I remember my grandmother and mom were big on cooking food with flare and color.  Till this day, I still cook food together according to color appeal; so if I do collard greens, I need another color vegetable to balance like sweet glazed orange carrots or yellow roasted corn.  Yes, I was trained to even garnish meat with colorful seasons and herbs.  Honestly, cooking beautiful tasteful food is an amazing sensory experience on all levels.  I believe cooking and eating food with love ones is loving and intimate.  In fact, I love when all of my siblings come together and cook amazing food.  As I close my eyes: my oldest brother Earl is doing a seafood feast, brother Mike manning the grill with steaks/chicken/burgers, sister Lisa doing a slap your momma homemade pound cake with lemon drip icing, sister Stephanie making a mean casserole dish/real deal macaroni and cheese, sister Dee chopping away all sorts of colorful veggies to saute with fire, and me doing Louisiana style red beans and rice along with down home peach cobbler.  Truly, food is not just for energy but it’s an experience of creativity and sensory awakening.  Maybe, that’s why M struggles with certain foods.  He has been going to feeding clinic therapy to help with sensory issues to food.  I never realized how many textures food encompass.  I have noticed if a food item do not appeal to even one of M’s senses, he refuse to eat it.  Hence if it smell wrong or look weird or feel odd; M will not entertain that food item.  As a mom who loves to cook flavorful and colorful food, I had to readjust in keeping some food very simple in order for M to eat.   Like for supper today, I did a bed of herb season yellow rice with garlic basil fried chicken in olive oil.  However, M had simple soft small turkey meatballs cut up over plain diced up noodles lightly sauced.  Trust me, I  have learned do not over fancy it for him or add too many items together on his plate.  It took years for M to accept more than one food item together on a plate and sometimes it still a struggle now.  M is reminding me that food is not all about fancy ingredients but simple made-up foods are better when they’re cooked with love and care.

Simply an autism mom enjoying food

Bacon

I think we love bacon because it has all the qualities of an amazing sensory experience.  When we cook it, sizzling sound is so appetizing, the aroma is maddening, the crunch of the texture is so gratifying and the taste delivers every time..Alex Guarnaschelli.  This past weekend, I cooked some bacon for breakfast.  I promise the aroma of bacon lured M to the kitchen table.  In general whatever I cook, I fix a plate for M.  Sadly, he rarely eat my cooking or anybody else’s.   His beautiful complex brain connects everything to his sensory experience.  Hence no matter what it is, if it does not connect with a sensory, it gets rejected by his brain.  On the other hand, if something do connect but is deem to overwhelming to process, his brain get jumbled in confusion.  In which case, I have learned M often need space and time to regulate his thoughts/emotions.  However on this day, M picked up the bacon on his plate.  He smelled, touched and licked the bacon.  Finally, he ate it!  Yes, the bacon connected with all of his sensories perfectly.  In fact, M not only ate his bacon but mine as well.  He could not contain himself in the chair, M kept jumping up and down with an occasionally leg kick. That bacon had my M on a happy sensory high.  Watching M sensory experience to bacon has reminded me of how wonderfully we’re design by Jehovah, God.

Simply an autism mom enjoying bacon

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A Hug

A hug is like a boomerang, you get it back right away…Bill Keane.  I believe a sincere and honest hearted hug can be comforting in giving emotional support or reassurance during critical moments.  Yes, a hug can do amazing good in generating positive energy into our daily routine.  Honestly, a hug is a personal thing.  We’re inviting someone into our personal space which goes beyond a handshake.  In my life so far some of the most memorable and endearing hugs has been with my grandmother, mom and my aunt Cat from Mississippi.  They would give the most warmest deepest bear hugs, arms spread open with full on embrace.  I promise, you could feel their pure love for you.  I still cry when I think about how much I miss their hugs.  I don’t think you ever outgrow needing a hug.  Maybe, that is one of many beautiful elements to being human.  Unsurprising, a sincere hug can do wonders for a child.  My M hugs differently.  I am learning for M hugs are something earned.  I think since hugs require an invitation into personal space, M struggles with finding a balance between not feeling awkward and spatial anxiety.  Hence, I do think it’s respectful and considerate to ask M for permission to hug.  Yes, often times his reaction will be no.  However for the rare few people he allow, oh what a blessing.  Truthfully, no one should feel offended.   I am his mom and I still have to ask for a hug.  Sadly, the older M gets hugs are becoming scarce.  This does hurt my heart as a mom.  Perhaps every mom feels like this, I think it’s in our DNA to love on our children.  Today was a real treat for me, M let me hug him at least six times.  He generally turn sideways to allow me to hug him, never extending his arm out to hug back.  However, I am thankful that he does let me add a kiss on the forehead.  He often say “Kiss, kiss” to me after a hug.  M is reminding me a sincere hug sure can make a hard day less stressful and an easy day joyful…I cherish every hug from M!

Simply an autism mom enjoying a hug

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