Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all
And sweetest is the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm...
~Emily Dickinson

Friday, January 22, 2016

notes to myself

If ever I get lost beyond my own perception for whatever reason I want these notes to remind me how I feel about my journey so far...

* Most of the time as a mother we don't have choices. You made the choice to be a mother, so anything after the fact is now your job. Have fun with it and always learn from your kids.

* Patience. Structure. Love. These 3 things are what I NEED to raise my child with Autism. Repeat it over and over if necessary.

* Find your balance every day. Simplify things so that you can do so. Make mental or physical notes of moments that make your heart smile...then remember these moments to help ground you when you are feeling lost.

* Don't forget your passions. Remember you are still your own being. Don't live entirely through or for your child. Live for yourself and your loves too...keep that balance within you, I promise it will make you happier.

* Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Seriously things get messy and awkward so you better just settle in and embrace it.

* See past the physical. Look inside and hear what the heart is saying...I've had to learn to talk to Kannon's heart because he doesn't have the words most of the time. Know that his mind is full of chaos and that he's just trying to figure it out. Know his heart and how full it is. Talk to his heart.

* Don't be afraid to show your vulnerable to your kids. You are not perfect and you don't want your kids to think perfection is a goal...weakness can be a blessing, a learning tool, show this to you kids. Say I'm sorry...Say thank you...it's o.k to treat your kids as equals in the arena of respect. They deserve it just as much as you do.

* Laugh at yourself. Seriously you've got years of mess ups coming your way...laugh it off and move on.

* Remember your arenas in life: Mother. Disciplinarian. Friend. Advocate. Audience. Student.
Take on all these arenas as if my life depends on it...because ironically it does.

* Be kind. Be compassionate. Be open to new experiences and opinions. You are not always right so don't be stubborn enough to chase people away...listen and learn always.

* Be gracious. Gratitude is the best gift you can give your soul. It is the result of a life lesson. Good or bad be grateful for it....and take gratitude day by day, it is not meant to be rushed.

* If you love or appreciate someone, tell them. You truly never know time lines or circumstances. It just might make all the difference in both of your worlds.

* If you ever have the opportunity to say goodbye to someone, do it. Give your heart that gift. Even if you see them tomorrow, give yourself moments of opportunity.

 That's all for now...


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Kalena

A mothers wish...

I wish that when I physically leave this earth my children will love each other as much as I loved them while I was here.

I know this blog is based on my son who has Autism. All the adventures we have had...all that is still to come. I share in hopes of those who read my stories will try to open their minds and hearts to those who are different than they are. I hope people realize the beauty that lies beneath the surface and try to experience love for others through the eyes of a mother who has had to redefine her definition of motherhood, love, and human understanding.

Today I write for my daughter. The "other" child.
The one who has always had to stand in the wings while her brother constantly took center stage.
Not because he was better...simply because he had to.

She always waited. She always knew inherently that her brothers needs came before hers.
Beautifully without complaint. She just accepted her place in our family and always had a smile on her face...and in her soul.
This is love.

This is Kannon's sister.

Not today though. Today, this is Kalena.

Yes, she has a name. A beautiful one.

If I had to use cliches, which are amazingly effective, I would use these for Kalena:

- The wind beneath my wings...
- The foundation to my castle...
- The silent partner...
- My sunshine...my only sunshine...you make me happy when skies are grey...

She is simply the cloud that holds our family skies together. Without her existence this family would not work. It would not be balanced, interesting, or a counter point to which I refer to every single day.

Today is her Birthday.
What a gift to be celebrated.

So in her honor I had to share her glory, if only for her to read when she is older.
So she knows how precious she has been to me over the years. So she knows that without her being by my side during these tough years I would not have had the strength to claw my way out of the holes Autism buried me in at times. She really has been my best friend in everything I have been through.
I am blessed to call her my daughter.

I was given the best of both worlds.
One with chaos, confusion, unknown territories and fear...to help my soul grow.
The other with solid ground, blue skies, clear air and hope...to remind me of the simplicity life can hold.
They have brought balance to my existence and to one another.

But the best gift of all...

I know that when I leave this earth they will have each other.

Their love will carry them through, no matter what the time will be.

Love gets love.
Love gives love.

At the end of the day we must honor the balance of those in our lives. We must accept that we have no control of others lives and we must find the beauty in our own lives.

It's not all rainbows and lollipops...
But as I have been taught through my children, we can make our own castles, question every situation, and make good choices.
Friends are a choice, but family is given to you for a reason.
Life lessons are powerful, painful, humbling, and even laughable. However, they are lessons to be learned from, to grow from.
Ironically, my children have taught me more than anyone in my life. They have showed me an innocence and clarity that was beyond my capability. I am eternally grateful.

Happy Birthday Kalena.

You are truly a gift worth celebrating.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

His shining moment...

The main thing about Autism that I have learned thus far is that, you just never know.

You never know "why" this happened to your child in the first place, or to yourself for that selfish matter.

Why there are so many different therapies for Autism, what they actually do, and if they are effective.
Sometimes it doesn't matter because to actually receive these services is an act of god.
You have to understand the paperwork, the process, the loopholes, the laws, and then have the time to be proactive about accessing all of these.

I want to share a glimpse into my boys journey, show you his beautiful soul, and how he decided to know who he is in all of this.

I cannot imagine being a part of this world without the gift of language. Language is different than communicating, and Autism alone taught me that. To have the ability to speak your mind when you want and how you want is invaluable...and at other times it is taken for granted.
However, to be able to communicate with others is on a whole different level. Sometimes you don't need words. Sometimes you just need to care enough to have the patience to listen in other ways. People are always singing some song in their life, it takes true love to be able to hear that song without words.
Kannon never had the luxury of speaking his mind, needs, or joys. He never chose to get frustrated over that though. He always found a way to find peace with himself and others.

Here he is a video of him singing "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" from Cinderella.

The words could not be more perfect for his soul. This boy who fought every day for words, for the gift of communicating, and there he was singing his heart out to a room full of strangers. This was his choice in how he knew who he was in his world. How he wanted to be seen, and heard.

Even if you don't have the words, your heart will sing a tune that others will hear if they try. Kannon once told me years ago after a very hard day of living with Autism, "Momma it's o.k you don't know my words...my heart loves your heart, they will hold hands forever"...

Oh Kannon, if only people knew how hard you worked for this moment they would just melt. You are a fighter, a survivor, and my hero. Thank you for showing everyone your hearts tune.

Autism is not ugly, it's very much misunderstood by society.
April is Autism Awareness month, please if even for a second know that people out there living with Autism fight so hard for everyday life. Despite this, they still get bullied, called names, and are left out of most social interactions...

If you would please pass the word about compassion.
Pass the word about Truth.

Autism needs all of this, and you just never know whose world you may make brighter by trying.