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 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.


1 comment:

  1. "Perception should come from love. So should reality." -- Makes me really ponder...As much as my own perception sometimes defeats my spirit,especially when I am in my "questioning-why-autism, why-me" mode, when I decide to stand up and be beyond this autism world, I am able, too, to get through the hardships. In the end, Morrie Schwartz was really right in saying, Love wins, love always wins. Our perceptions, our realities should come from love. And when I am able to realize that, I will finally win this battle with Autism, I will be a better person and I will be a better parent to my children, a parent they so rightly deserve...Thank you again for your beautiful wisdom, Ms. Kary.