Behind starburst eyes

A tearful plea

I wrote this a year and a half ago when my eldest son was going through a rough phase, I’m sharing it right now to let any of you moms out there know that you’re not alone in your struggles. I get the heartbreak you feel each time you can’t make them see how awesome they are. I’m posting it to give insight into the harder days that allot of parents who’s child has a mental health issue face. The parts that people don’t know or understand that come with having a child who’s hurting so badly because of things we cannot control for we (sadly) can’t control the world.

My dear flight risk,
I call you that right now because that’s what you are right now, a flight risk. It means that at any moment I could lose you to the dark paths within your mind that cloud up the truth and make you see illusions instead. Everything has to be either right or wrong to you, and while it’s one thing I cherish about you, it’s also one thing I fear so much. I fear it for I’m scared that it is what will take you away from me, and lead you to a place I pray for you to never know firsthand.

Don’t run my sweet, sweet boy, I beg of you, for you take my heart, my whole reason for being with you should you go. The locks and alarms can only stop you for so long before you figure them out. No matter how far or fast you run, the darkness you’re trying to flee will still be with you, for it’s inside of you. The pain and confusion, the embarassment and the shame, the fear and the longing for something you can’t seem to name. It all stays with you, it’s all a part of you, I know for I have it inside of me too, but now your my light, my peace, my joy, my very world.

So PLEASE don’t run, stay and talk, yell, scream, punch your pillow, anything, let out the frustration at never quite “getting the situation”. Scream away all the times you figured out what to say a few moments too late to say it. Lash out until your too tired to fight anymore, and then my sweet child the most important part comes next;

Once your so tired you can’t fight anymore, once you can’t dredge up a single ounce of pain or anger or fear or rejection, then let love inside. Let love for who you are flow like gentle waves against every part of your soul, washing away the residue and leaving a perfectly smooth surface of sand for you to write the next chapter of your life on. One of acceptance and self-love, for it is BECAUSE of how perfectly amazing you are as a human being that you mean so much to me.

You are the epitome of everything that is right in this world, and every day I don’t wish for you to change a bit… Instead I try to change the world FOR you, because you deserve a better one than what you live in right now!

You deserve one where people say what they mean and mean what they say. Where people don’t make fun of others that are different, but are intrigued by the differences and see them for the wonderful gifts they are to our society. You deserve a world where random hugs are accepted with honor and joyful suprise at your spontanous outpouring of caring and love, NOT reprimands about people’s personal space and how it shouldn’t be breached without prior permission.

Don’t run my sweet, sweet boy, for I promise you, I AM here for you, to hold your hand when your scared, to offer explanations when you’re confused, to be in awe of the purity of your soul, and to fight not just for you but with you if need be until you see, it’s not you that needs to change!

You’re honest, and you love unconditionally. You see every new person as a potential friend and open your heart to every single one of them. You see the splendor in the ordinary details of life like the patterns on a snail’s shell, or a sunset’s majesty. Your thoughtful in ways that many “grown-ups” could learn from. If I could have picked every single thing about you out before you were born I couldn’t have made you a better person than you already are. So please stay with us, and understand that you CAN paint with just bold strokes of black and white. Instead of the dull insiped shades of gray that most use because they are too scared to stand up and be their real selves.

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My Lambert ;-)

My eldest son is 8 years old. His favorite toys are Bionacles, and he loves chocolate chip cookies. He’s got an engaging smile and tries to make friends with every kid he sees. He’s a fantastic big brother and runs as fast as he can to me anytime his baby brother or sister is crying, so that I can fix whatever is making them cry. He likes to ride his bike, dance, and wants to become a paramedic so that he can help everyone that’s hurt.
He’s also Autistic. But being Autistic does NOT define who he is, for it is only one part of him. Unfortunately it does make it difficult for him to understand social cues such as jokes, or body language. Nor does he understand why some children are cruel with him, and countless nights have been spent cuddling with him as he cries. Just because he’s Autistic does not mean he doesn’t have feelings, and those feelings are deeply hurt when other people (adults and children alike) are not accepting or kind.

Adults tend to be the harshest with him. They have no patience and judge immediately both him and I. He’s spoilt and I’m not a good mother are the comments I get when he’s having a meltdown in public. While rare now, they do occasionally still happen.

A person with Epilepsy’s brain sends too many signals and a seizure results. A person with Autism’s brain cannot always cope with all of the information it receives from the 5 senses and a meltdown results. I cannot help that his brain gets overloaded at times, all I can do is help him to learn how to cope with so much sensory information being processed by his brain, and that takes time, a great deal of it to learn. 

For a long time he couldn’t handle loud noises or large crowds and while we would work on that regularly it took years before he could handle them without a meltdown. And for years I would measure my days by the minutes he was okay between meltdowns. On those days I would cry myself to sleep, hurting so much for this beautiful boy who was so lost within himself that he couldn’t explain what was wrong.

I took him to doctors and my worries were brushed off for almost 5 years I only received patronizing answers about him just being willful, spoilt and that his behaviour was a product of my own poor parenting.

A month before his 6th birthday a doctor finally listened and gave us the official diagnosis. Has it made a great deal of difference? In some ways yes it has. In others no it hasn’t.

In the ways of funding for more activities, programs and behavioral therapy for him, yes it has helped a great deal.

In the way of changing people’s opinions about him, some yes but most often (adults especially) are extremely judgmental and don’t always listen to an explanation after giving their harsh unasked for criticism.

Do I look at my son and wish he was “better” NO! NEVER! For to wish he was “better” is to wish he wasn’t the person he is. He loves more fiercely than any child I know, he’s sweet and thoughtful. He’s insightful about so many things, and overall perfect exactly as he is. It is because of the fact that I truly do see him as fantastic just the way he is that when he chooses to do something that is not considered “socially acceptable” or “the social norm” I don’t tell him not to. I simply let him know how it could be percieved by the general population and reasure him that I love and support him no matter his choices.

MY wish is that the rest of the world could see the shining beauty of his spirit and be in awe of it even a fraction of the amount I am.

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He walks away from me…

Upon cleaning up some old files on my computer I found an old journal entry that I wrote when my eldest son was 4 that I’d like to post here:

He walks away from me, head held high and shoulders back, the very definition of confidence as he eagerly approaches another new experience on his path towards adulthood. It seems like only a moment ago he was a baby, but he’s not anymore. Instead he grows each day in strength, character, and independence.

Occasionally people smile at me knowingly as they ask if he’s my first. I always smile as I reply, “he’s my only.” Often I get told that I’ll be more “free” or “easy-going” or even “less concerned” with him once I have another. Usually I just smile, for what do these well-meaning people know?

 They assume that I would welcome that thought, that I would accept the idea of being less devoted, less in awe of the shear miracle of watching him grow, if only I had another child. When if fact I simply believe I would feel the exact same way about another child as well as still feeling that way about him.

I’m humbled by the wonder of motherhood, and I grasp what a significant and holy state I have been blessed with. As I watch him through the glass I smile to myself, and I know that I will not listen to what others say. He walked away without a backwards glance because HE was ready and because he knew that I’d be sitting here waiting for him, he knows I will always be waiting for him should he need me, but letting him walk away as HE’S ready, NOT when someone else deems him the “appropriate” age, and all the while I’ll cherish every moment with him.

 

It’s interesting to me because my theory was correct, I now have 2 more children, another boy and a girl and if anything I am in even more awe that I was blessed not once, but 3 times now with the gift of motherhood. I am just as protective of my eldest as I was before his siblings, and I have not in fact become a single iota more “free” or “easy-going” about my children now that there are 3 of them. If anything I am simply the same mother x3 I am just as fiercely protective, just as devoted, and most importantly just as humbled by the gift I have been given (x3) 😉

 

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A kiss is just a kiss, unless it’s not…

Tonight marks a fantastical occasion, I WAS KISSED!!! Now yes, I AM a 31yr old mom so obviously I’ve been kissed before, but this kiss was one of the most special ones I’ve ever recieved. Why was it so special, because it was from N. I was sitting at the computer typing out some notes for my biology class that I’m taking when he climbed up on the chair beside me. I turned, smiled and said hi, and he puckered up his lips and leaned over to kiss me.

It was this amazing, random act of affection that he’s never actually done before, even though he’s 2.5yrs old. He’s always had to be asked for a kiss and more often than not he’s had a complete meltdown about how he doesn’t want to give anyone a kiss, or hug, or cuddle or be touched in general. So yes, that singular moment in time when I realized he was trying to give his momma a little random affection, it made my heart feel like it was going to burst with joy.

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To Be or Not To Be…

Awhile ago I was told that someone had said I was “scary as F%#&… but in a good way” and they didn’t want me mad at them because of this. Well, when I was told this I was mortified, I felt like I’d been slapped in the face with this view of myself that I had never had or even thought to consider that others might have. I cried when I was told, and a week later as I was telling my best friend this story I had tears streaming down my face, and I looked at her and I said “That isn’t who I wanted to be, ever. When did I lose my softness, my sparkle, when did I become so hard and fierce that that’s all people see?”  

Then more recently I received a medium’s reading, and he said I had the energy signature of a rock. All hard and jagged. To say I was saddened is an understatement. He then went on to state that secretly I was the butterfly and that I had to let that part out of me more. He asked me what had made me become so rough and hard. I simply went with the massive understatement of “lots”

Here’s the problem, I don’t want them to be, but they were both right: I am rough on the outside, I am harsh and hard to most of the world. NOT because I want to be, but because I HAVE to be. I am a warrior’s mother times two, and by extension I too now have to fight, for them, for their sister… For all that they need; especially when they cannot fight for themselves. For the chance to have their voices heard in this crazy fast-paced world; especially when they cannot speak the words aloud that are within their hearts and minds. For fair and just treatment from all no matter the circumstances. For respect and compassion to be given to them as they walk with their tiny feet upon paths more treacherous than most can ever dream of traveling upon.

But here’s the rub, while I regret NOTHING, not one single action that I have undertaken in my quest to be worthy of the title “Mother” to such amazing, awe-inspiring souls; I miss the part of me that was soft and sweet. The part of me that would get my face painted at the fair and dance in the rain laughing as the paint streamed down my face. The me that frolicked with glee just because the grass was such a stunning shade of green that morning. The me that wrote poetry, and inspired works of heart melting beauty to be written in turn. The sweet me with the mischievous starburst eyes that enchanted. The me that would dance across an old wooden bridge, just because why shouldn’t you dance upon wooden bridges! The me that would go to a concert alone and get so lost in the music I couldn’t tell you where it ended and I began as I let it flow over and into me as I danced in the asile. I don’t do those things anymore because there is no time or place that’s safe for me to let go and soar upon gilded wings as I used too, as I long to still do in the most secret part of my heart.

Who will watch over my 3 while I just let go and fly? Who while keep their hearts safe as I soar? Who will walk beside them, whispering words of love and encouragement while they try so hard to make sense of a world that’s so jumbled and chaotic? Who will carry them when the terrain they’ve been presented with is just too damn rough for their tiny feet to walk upon? I cannot fly right now for to do so would be to leave them without that which they need the most, a safe, grounded place to hold onto until they can soar themselves. But OH how beautiful it will be to watch as each one finally takes flight upon their own wings…I will have given each one all that I could to ensure they are ready to take on the world on their own two feet; hearts and heads ready for any and all challenges they will undoubtedly face, ESPECIALLY the warrior ones. Strong in all the ways they need to be to not just to survive on their own, but to THRIVE, carving their own paths wherever their souls call them to be.  

Then finally I shall be able to put my borrowed warrior’s garb to rest as I unfurl my own iridescent wings and just SOAR…

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Kicking Up My Heels!

A couple of days ago N decided he’d had enough of his peanut butter sandwich, opened it up and put it on the floor peanut butter side down. Unfortunately I didn’t see him do this and the phone rang, so I dashed to get it when I realized it wasn’t on the charger it was on the kitchen table. And of course you guessed it, I slide across half my kitchen floor one foot up in a high kick position, arms all akimbo as I tried to keep my balance. To top it off, I didn’t reach the phone in time. It was like a cartoon skit brought to life, and I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. It was one of those priceless moments of hilarity that often seem to happen (never in front of, always to mind you) when one becomes a mom. Or perhaps my sense of humour changed once I had kids I don’t know 🙂 What I do know is that the only sad part was that no one had seen it, because to quote Larry the Cable Guy “I don’t care who you are, that’s funny shit right there” and it was! Made me giggle the whole day.
Now the story gets even more amusing, I went to pilates that night and the instructor on Tuesdays encourages you to pick a Tarot Card and then she will give you what she calls “feedback” (aka a mini reading) if you’d like it (you can say no though to both the Tarot Card or the feedback) And what card did I get from her Fairy pack with a single multicolored butterfly on the back of it… *Drumroll please* “Kick up your heels” I kid you not! I snickered and thought but wait I already did that today lol.KickUpYourHeels

(The “feedback she offered about the card was that I was to celebrate my victories and accomplishments and not dwell on the things I didn’t get done in a day or that I hadn’t achieved yet. That I was just to have fun doing something I loved, maybe go out, celebrate life) I think N just wanted me to know he wanted me to hurry up and come home and play some more 😉

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Coloring the world beautiful; his way

crayons

N has spent the last 2 hours sitting calmly, ripping the paper off of each crayon in the box one at a time. So intently he focuses, so determined with his task no matter how tiny of a piece he gets off each time. I can see the beauty in what he’s doing and I know he’ll color a picture once he’s done, but first his tools have to be ready in the way he needs them to be before he can show the rest of the world the beauty that lies inside his mind and heart.

This is the third box of crayons this week, he seems to gain so much satisfaction from taking the paper off them, and he’s sad when all the crayons are bare so off to the dollor store I go to get more crayons cause really, if he finds bliss in knowing that each one is going to be the same color under every part of the paper as what is showing in the tip and end, then heck, that’s his bliss and I’m totally accepting of that. 😀

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New Pajamas

His new pajamasMy youngest boy is sitting in his brand new Lightening McQueen pajama’s carefully peeling the paper off of each crayon from a new box again. He has lots of pajamas, many that I’ve made myself out of super soft materials that he liked the feel of at the fabric store. But these new pj’s are ones that I wasn’t able to resist buying him after he looked up at me with his luminous blue eyes, pointed at them and said “uh” When I said no, not really thinking, just answering automatically as most moms do while in the midst of shopping a single tear slid from his eye and he called out “help momma” and pointed as he lunged at the pj set again on the rack. Looking, truly looking, and seeing just how desperately he wanted them, I thought WHY No? Why not yes? So I smiled at him and grabbed him his size, and the joy on his face as he took them from my hand, held them tight and hugged them, it was totally the right thing to say yes. In that moment in time it was exactly what I was supposed to do, because I brought my son a bit of joy, and his world is all too often filled with confusion and frustration. To see his smile; my heart hurts with how much love is in it for him; love that I often can’t express because I don’t know how to in ways that he’ll accept. Hugs, cuddles, kisses, they are all met with him having a meltdown. He can’t handle touch that well, and how do you show your 2yr old that you love them without touching them????? I’m sick to my stomach constantly because I want to just hold him, and love him, and kiss his soft forehead goodnight, but I can’t. If I do it just upsets him, but oh how I dream of a day when it doesn’t. And for now I’ll keep buying Lightening McQueen stuff if that’s all I can do to see his smile, for it’s one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever been blessed with.

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