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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I was inspired tonight by a post from a person I have come to respect and have a connection with, even though we live worlds apart :)

She spoke of the frustration of her son who has Autism not being able to respond to her words of love.
He could not tell her he loved her.
He couldn't respond to the actions or words that so easily flowed through her heart to his ears.

I know this feeling all too well.
I noted that I sometimes feel as if Kannon is in a brick room.
Just him, all by himself...unreachable by sight, by words, by touch.
Even though you can hear him, hear the mumbles coming out of his mouth you can't "reach" him.
He is untouchable.
He has put himself in a place that is unknown to him, but safe.

This is Autism.
A "safe" place he goes back to.
Blocked off.
You could run into these brick walls over and over again out of sheer frustration, trying to reach him and you would knock yourself out most of the time.

The thing about being a parent to a child with Autism that makes us different is that we get up every single time and keep trying to knock these walls down...
Not just knock it down, break through it.
Break down those walls and reach our child.
Reach out to them and hug them.
Embrace their innocence.
Love them.

Even if we only do this in our minds, in our hearts, we still do it.
We still fight for that reality that for some people comes so easily.
Not out of anger or resentment.

Out of hope.

I believe Kannon and all the other kids out there with Autism are strong enough to lift themselves up over those walls and hear our words of love and hope.
I also believe that even if they can't find the strength or clarity to lift themselves up we are speaking loud enough for them to hear us through those walls.

We are bigger than Autism.
We are able to speak above the concrete foundations that Autism sets.
We can break down these walls that surround our beautiful children.

We must expose them to this world.
We must keep trying.

Out of love, out of hope, and because we know moments are all that matter.
And not just for ourselves, but for other people so that we can educate them on this disorder.

So maybe sometimes those walls can be made of brick.
Sometimes of glass.
Sometimes of silk.

Walls can be broken down though.
We can make room for other possibilities.

Anything is possible when love is involved.

Thank you to Garret and Morgans beautiful mother for sharing in this experience...

peace :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

the roads that lead us closer to ourselves

Kannon was drawing today as he always does so quietly and contently...he will sit at the dining room table and draw for an hour, no joke.
Those of us who know Autism know that anything done for that amount of time is a rarity.
I feel it is one of his gifts he gave to himself to help him express his emotions and life on paper.

Today he was drawing a castle with a long winding road that lead to the front doors out onto the vast edges of the paper...leading to where or what, I don't know.
I sat down next to him and watched him put the final touches on his masterpiece....grass...a blue sky...sunshine.

I then asked him about the road.
So winding, very articulated, it seemed to have a sense of purpose to my eyes.
I asked if the princess walked that road to go home...he said "yes, one way"
I thought about his response for a minute then asked him if the princess could walk back the other direction on the road, he quickly responded "NO...one way...to her home, no back"
Then he went on to say "It's ok momma...make princess happy go home"

What insight his soul has.
Now maybe I am looking into his response more than I should...but that's what I like to do at times when I see such passion in Kannon.

He mimicked with his finger the princess coming from off the paper up the road around the corner and to her home.
When I asked him with my finger if she could go backwards he stopped my finger immediately and said what I had stated earlier.
He was not letting the princess go "backwards"
She could only move forward...to her home...to her happiness.

Naturally I would like to think this applies to us all.
Moving forward.
Moving towards our "home"
Never going backwards, or looking back.

Kannon instinctively felt that this was the only right answer.
He knew with his heart that this was the true road to happiness...and he has the gift to draw it on paper.

Just like his "friend" who he drew awhile back...
Kannon still talks about having a friend.
He still does drawings of himself with little kids holding hands and smiling.
He still talks about his friend and how one day he will have one...or two...
He also draws rainbows with pots of gold, pirate ships sailing in the deep blue seas, aliens with big smiles on their faces, Santa Claus with bags full of presents and princess' going home to their castle.

He knows what world he wants to live in and he draws it out on paper.

Life mimicking art...or is it the other way around?

Either way, I think we all should find our way home every day and not look back on the road that got us there.
We should just be present.
Be on our road home.
It is what makes our heart the happiest.
Even Autism knows this.


Friday, August 19, 2011

My little Buddha...with a Buddha belly :)

Being a mother is probably the most rewarding, challenging and enlightening experience one could choose in life.
I am not excluding you Father's, I just obviously can't speak from experience there.

I have found over the years that I am constantly evolving.
Changing, adapting, and even sometimes reverting back inside myself.
It is all because I truly believe all most women want is to feel loved.
To feel validated and accepted.
We are emotional creatures who thrive on life and the experiences around us.
Our environments directly contribute to our energy...to our overall feeling of well being.
This is where the strong in spirit really shine.

Those who can rise above feelings of inadequacy, shame and self doubt will be the ones who truly find life beautiful.
Self pity, selfishness and regret are like poison.
It also hinders the ability to be a mother.
This is why motherhood is so damn hard.

After all, we are all just humans.
We all are capable of feeling the same emotions, acting the same scenarios out, and making the same mistakes.
We are allowed to make mistakes...then we must pick ourselves up and move on.
No regrets, no shame.
This is sometimes easier said than done.
Sometimes we will continue to walk around with dirt on our face...and not moving forward.

There is no shame in falling on your face every now and then.
I do it every week.
However, I have learned how to get up quicker and brush it off with ease.
And, I don't look around anymore to see if anyone saw me "fall"

I have learned from all these falls that living in truth will set you free.
No secrets, no shame, just my life the way I am choosing to live it.

I don't care if people think I am crazy because my child wears a princess dress.
Who cares if I get looks when Kannon face dives into clothing racks looking for trash...
It doesn't matter if I only had the desire to put on sweatpants and no make up today...or tomorrow.
Nor does it matter if my to do list keeps growing by the hour. It will get done. Eventually.
It is my truth.

I do know that the fabric of my being is what matters.
At the core of it all I am good.
I have made mistakes, but I never doubted the fabric of my being.
I am living in truth.
I am being the best mother, friend and person that I can every single day.

Kannon's presence in my life taught me most of this.
The fabric of his being is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen...strong and colorful, yet sparkly and flowing...
I watch him live his truth out every minute.
He fights for truth and joy all the time.
He can't live any other way.
Autism won't let him lie, or cheat, or take the short way out.
He must face it all head on every day.
I am so lucky to be a part of his journey...of this beautiful person finding his path...exploring all life throws at him.

He is a warrior...he is my teacher.
Ironic that the name "Kannon" is one of the main Bodhisattvas in Japanese religion.
He/She is the goddess of compassion.
Every day people go pray to "Kannon" for help with their every day lives...to help find their way.
I found a picture, one of many, where some people in Japan were at the statue of "Kannon" praying, and at "Kannons" feet there lay beautiful fabrics everywhere...greens, gold, blues, reds...all sparkly and flowing...it was beautiful.

I somehow instinctively created my own little Buddha...and he is my truth.

peace :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Breaking through...and putting it back together.

You just never know when things will come together...or for that matter fall apart.

I sat here this afternoon while the kids were settling down after a long afternoon of running around...the beach...a long hike during low tide checking out all the sea creatures thriving...it was awesome :)
Kannon was magnificent today.
He explored things, he observed and he truly just enjoyed being outside in nature.
He was calmer than usual and I even caught him closing his eyes raising his head up to the sky and just soaking it all in...I wish I had my camera to capture the moment...but it is an image that will forever be seared in my mind.
My beautiful boy, calm and serene...raising his head to the sky and enjoying life.
He picked up many rocks, sticks and watched in delight as crabs scurried across the rocks when we would approach them.
It was a great day.

Back to my original thought...
As I watched the kids wind down from the beach I saw Kannon walk over to his books and grab one.
He picked it up, walked over to our friend who is visiting us for the weekend and sit down next to him.
He opened the book up and a miracle happened.
He literally started to "read" line by line the book, 5 Little Monkeys.

"5 Little Monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head, mommy called the doctor and the doctor said...NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED"...
All the way down to 1 Little Monkey.
Clear as ever.
Articulated to perfection.

My eyes teared up with every verse...
I had to tuck myself back into the kitchen so I could listen without him seeing the tears run down my face in pride.
It was the clearest I have EVER heard Kannon talk in the past 7 years...it was as if he had never had a problem with language.
It was...well, it made my knees weak to be honest.
I have never heard my son speak so clear.
I have never heard his precious voice come through him like that.
It is hard to put into words, but it is like hearing someones voice for the first time.
I mean really hearing them...hearing their true voice.
Not the Disney movie lines pouring through him...not the verbal ticks...none of that.

It was heart bending.
I felt at that moment my son was breaking through to himself.
He had actually made it through.
He was talking.
He was clearly articulating words.

Sometimes things come together.
Sometimes all the hard work comes together in a head on collision at the most unsuspecting moments.
All the therapy...hours and hours and hours of it...shining through in this brief moment.

Today I got a rare glimpse into the potential Kannon truly has.
The true person he is under it all.
Under all this....Autism.

Under it all he is there.

Then, an hour later he was back into Autism world.
He was back into a confusion of Disney movie words and phrases...he had lost his clarity.
"Mamma...Look...Mamma...Are you serious...Crabby Patty...Crabby Patty...Mamma...Look"

At least I had that moment.

I will never forget it.
And I will not let Autism forget about it either.
I know better.

peace :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reality checks...Can I get a Rain check please?

I have mixed feelings on reality checks.
Mostly because of my overall perception of what reality truly is.
By definition it states:

real existence: actual being or existence, as opposed to an imaginary, idealized, or false nature

Then I am stuck on the notion of "ideal...idealized"
Don't we all strive for a sense of perfection within ourselves?
Maybe not even perfection, just a sense of being comfortable and happy within our own world.
I think most of us take it day by day...moment by moment...feeling our way towards comfort.

So true with Kannon.
I get reality checks hourly with him in my life.
As I walk side by side with him through every day adventures I am lucky enough to experience the world through his eyes...his reality.
He truly is striving to find a sense of comfort within himself.
He is constantly trying to calm his body, comfort the ticks that flow so consistently through his body...
He is constantly rediscovering things...he has the curiosity of a much younger child, the senses of an old wise man, and the creativity of a village of artists/performers...it is a wonderful combination...
A short example of this was the other day we went to a store, Kannon immediately got down on his hands and knees and started to look under the stores display racks and shelves...
I had no idea what he was doing at first, neither did the older couple he was right next to as he lay belly down on the floor reaching under the shelf...I didn't stop him...I knew this was all going somewhere interesting, or at the very least it made me chuckle to myself seeing the reactions of people watch my son belly dive into the racks for no apparent reason...
He emerged with 3 pieces of "trash"...a metal clip of some kind, a paper tube, and a tag that had fallen off of some merchandise...
Within minutes he parked himself in the aisle and was busy playing with these items that his brain found so very interesting...interesting enough that almost like a bloodhound he instinctively knew they were treasures hiding beneath the racks waiting to be dug out.
He made some sort of ship and it occupied his interest long enough for me to look at what I needed to.
Magnificent imagination...his way of calming his mind...curbing his endless curiosity and creativity...
It was wonderful.
He is wonderful.

I am finding the peace within myself by finding the beauty in simple things.
With Autism the simple things can take on a life of their own sometimes.
I lost count on how many times I have thought about taking Kannon on an all day excursion...the beach, a nice lunch, some shopping...
Then I cop out because the reality of it overwhelms me.
But that's o.k.
I have become better at not beating myself up over not being supermom.
I simply cannot do it all every single day.
It is no big deal if my errands don't all get done...they can wait another day
And that is o.k.

No, that is great...
Because I am creating my own reality.
My own sense of comfort that carries me through the really hard times.
Just like Kannon does.
This doesn't mean that I won't push my own limits of comfort...how else can I grow?
I will continue to push...and push...making my own world bigger and bigger as I learn.

I just prefer to take it day by day.
Hour by hour.
Moment by moment.

When I get true reality checks is when I become overwhelmed and loose perspective.
When I see older children and adults living with Autism, when I read articles about how parents shouldn't become too attached to their children with Autism because we eventually will have to put them in a home...
When I read the latest findings on Autism, and they are still as vague as findings from last year...
When I watch Kannon get teased in front of his face and laughed at...
These are the reality checks I would rather not address in my world.

But my perception is something that as a parent is truly a gift.
It is something that we have earned, and must continue to work on.
I have learned that perception and emotional set points can, and most of the time should be changed.
Perception should not be rigid, or fixed...just as ABA therapy is constantly trying to teach Kannon, I too should work on my flexibility/rigidity.
It is what makes us all beautifully different...our perception(s).

Just like Kannon.
And all Autism worlds out there.
Any world really.
We all contain and manage our perceptions within our own "world".
Perception is powerful...creative...necessary.
And it should come from love.
So should reality.