Blog

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

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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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Mornings

If mornings aren’t your thing right now, try making yourself do a happy dance after you get out of bed.  It helps me…Victoria Arlen.  Today, I awoke to M staring at me.  “Good morning M”, I said.  “Cup please”, M responded.  Yes, M did not echo morning back. Instead, he went right to stating what he needed using good manners.  M is progressing in clearly expressing himself.  “Good morning”, I repeated. “Morning”, M finally said.  I must confess waking up at 3am was not my idea morning ritual.  However, with M it’s a luxury if our mornings start around 5am.  I do count my blessings on M early morning rising in a happy/calm mood.  Truefully some early morning rising with M takes a whole lot of prayer and coffee, we can be up anywhere around 1am or 2am.  In which case, M having difficulty resting his beautiful mind.  “Sofia, Sofia please”, M often repeat in those early morning hours.  M find peace and comfort watching ‘Caleb & Sofia Become Jehovah Friend’ series (www.jw.org).  Every morning M has to watch this program to start his day.  Even when I am rushing in the morning, M still need to watch at least one episode of the ‘Become Jehovah Friend’ series whether it’s the music part or lesson part. Of course, I eventually downloaded the videos to the ipad and my phone so ‘Caleb & Sofia’ can go everywhere with M.  Honestly, I wake up most mornings still tired.  Yes some mornings, I just don’t want to get out the bed.  Prayer and my coffee helps me get up even in the early mornings with being optimistic about my day.  It’s a beautiful gift to see M waking up in the morning, wide eyed and ready to be amazing!

Simply an autism mom drinking coffee and enjoying the morning

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