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Kisses

I’m going to be a strict mom.  I know that love is the most important thing-you’ve got to have lots of kisses and cuddles-but you also need to mix it with discipline or you’ll be in a heap of trouble…Jill Scott.  Perhaps every mom worry about protecting their child from the ugliness of the world, all the while embracing the beauty of the world.  One of the beautiful thing of being M’s mom is the sweet kisses and cuddles.  M is in the phase of wanting kisses on the forehead every night before bed, to & from school, and every opportunity in between.  I think kisses are beautiful and sweet messages of love.  On the other hand, I am aware teaching M what’s appropriate behavior and not is crucial.   Maybe every mom dread the time when their child no longer want kisses or cuddles.  I can remember the time my older brothers had a respectful conversation with our mom about no more nicknames or kisses especially in front of their peers.   Our mom smiled and said “OK”.  Looking back I wonder did her heart skip a beat of being proud they were growing up, yet saddened by the fact they no longer wanted kisses.   Often it’s not until we become grown, our mother’s kisses and hugs become so precious.  I do so miss our momma hugs and kisses.  As I am writing our story, M has requested several “kiss, kiss” on his forehead.  I am learning with M kisses are always new and ever the sweetest.

Simply an autism mom cherishing sweet kisses

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Walk With Me

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.  Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend…Unknown.   I remember finally walking out of the hospital with M thinking ‘how are we going to take care of him, we don’t know nothing about raising a baby.’  Yes, we were amature parents taking our first walk with M.  My mom showed me how beautiful a walk can be.  She used to take my siblings and I on many walks in our neighborhood.   In those walks we learned about ourselves, each other, and the beautiful things by our Creator Jehovah.  (Deuteronomy 11:19)  Maybe, the most impressive walk we could have is with our child.  Perhaps we all want someone to walk with us in life, reflecting on yesterdays and future possibilities.  Thus in every walk we get more out of it than we expect, hopefully faith in love and kindness.  Honestly it can be difficult for someone to relate to what you’re going through, until they actually take time and walk with you.  Honestly to walk with M takes loving purposeful steps, hopeful easing his struggle to walk into a crowded space with peace.  A few weeks ago we attended an one day convention with over a thousand in attendance.  M often get stress out initially walking into a crowded area.  Hence, we generally ease M into such spaces using a special need stroller designed just for him.  We were so thankful for the attendants that helped us find a space in the back away from the crowd and close to the first aid department.  He did so well for about an hour before he become overwhelmed with everything.  He began to scream and cry while trying to get out the stroller.  It was time for a sensory break walk.  It’s so true that when feeling frustrated or overwhelm in a situation walking away can do wonders for the soul.  That was M only major meltdown at the convention.  I was so proud of M using the action word “Walk, walk” each time he felt overwhelm.  Thus, each time we extended our hand and said “Walk with me, M.”   I do understand that some walks we just need time to ourselves.  However, I don’t want M to feel isolated or alone in his walk through this world.

Simply an autism mom walking with M

Table For Three

We all want our children to be the best they can be; and one of the blessings of having a child with autism is that you notice every little achievement, and it becomes cause for celebration…Didi Conn.  Everybody has their perspective of what is considered a normal life.  Maybe that is why painting a picture of a normal life can be hard.  However, my faith led me into believing our normal life should consist of love and kindness.  Honestly maybe my normal life is forty percent like other moms just trying to do what best for our family.   On the other hand, the remaining sixty percent encompass navigating autism with my family.  We often make adjustments in our family life.  We’re not afraid of leaving the house with M, however we do try to plan or be prepared for situations that may arise with M maybe a little more than other families.  We wanted to take M out to eat this weekend.  Experiences has taught us to be understanding of M’s sensory issues to sounds, crowds and textures.  Hence, we asked for a table booth for three in the back of the eatery away from the front door.  We had chose a time of day when it would be less crowded and M did not have anything else major or over stimulating that day.  As we walked to the back of the eatery, M kept his eyes covered with one hand and other hand over one ear.  Interesting, he managed to still hold onto his two straws.  We placed M in the booth where he could not see behind us or other people eating.  Of course we made sure my phone and his leapfrog was charged.  I was so proud of M sitting there calmly.  We placed our order while he hummed and tapped his straws on the leapfrog.  We ordered chicken nuggets and fries for M.  Truefully, we never get to order off the kids menu for M normally because of his very sensitivity to food textures.  Yes, we made sure to have carry out containers and bag ready just in case M started to become overwhelm.  We have learned to be flexible in knowing when it’s time to just go home.  We were so overjoyed that M not only stayed calm but actually ate six chicken nuggets.  His little hands just twirled each time he dip his chicken nugget in honey mustard sauce.  Now he never did let go of his two straws while eating, however he did not care for these particular fries.  Oh, the smile and happy sounds M was making made our day be something extranary.  “Go go, Go go” M finally said after about thirty minutes.  We knew our time was up,  we packed up our remaining food.  As we left the eatery, M said “Love you”.  In truth we’re bless to celebrate these normal life moments with M!

Simply an autism mom sharing a table for three

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Having a child

Having a child was a revelation- it’s like going through a doorway, and everything is different forever…Andrew Lincoln.  The moment I found out we were having a child, we wanted his name to be from the Bible.  Possibly, every parent want to pass onto their child a good name that would reflect possibilities.  I believe having a child with autism is a revelation of seeing the world not as it is but what it possibly can be with love and kindness.  The weight of responsibility often does not fully engulf you until that moment you’re holding that precious blessing in your arms.  At least, it was my experience in having M.  I realized being a working mom outside the home meant finding the right person to look after  M was imperative.  I am so thankful my parents were able to keep M until the age of three.  My mom especially took to M.  They had a beautiful bond.  My mom often said, “Tammy don’t worry about M, that’s my doodie.”   In fact, when I would go pick him up from my mom he would turn his head and cling to her.  After my mom death, I felt lost with M.  Time and Jehovah, God helped my heart to remember everything I so admired about my mom will never be lost.   Maybe that is the beauty of having a child, a hope that the best part of us is imprinted into them.  Having a child encompass sharing what we have and giving our child every chance to thrive.  In truth, the process can be a struggle but the reward is amazing.  Yesterday was a beautiful high for me,  after therapy for the first time M gave me a full open arm hug and said, “Love you.”  Later that evening, M had a sensory meltdown.  Perhaps a combination of being mental, physically and emotionally tired was overwhelming for him.  After all the crying and running back/forth in the hallway, M finally got his weighted blanket.  He wrapped himself and curled up next to me, maybe for reassurance of my love or everything was going to be OK.  Honestly, I don’t always get everything right being a mom.  However, I do not regret having M as my child.   Everyday is a gift from Jehovah no matter the highs or lows, M and I are truly bless to be together…learn, grow and love. (Psalm 127:3)

Simply an autism mom

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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