"I Wanted MORE Than This."
It's back...I feel that pull to make myself stretch and grow. While I applaud the strides we have made and am bowed over by the challenges we have overcome - I am not done. I desire for MORE. More for me and more for my family.
MORE services for Evan. MORE self-care for me.
Last weekend I planned to be an artisan vendor at the local Farmer's Market. I have a bit of inventory remaining as I tend to buy in bulk and also mix blends for a lot of ailments, but again, I was not feeling it that morning. I enjoy the town a good bit and I poured a lot of myself into it.
I worked relentlessly to understand my students and their journeys that were so different from, yet so parallel to my own. I was active in promoting on social media - I spent the time to create a home for the students and I bought into the trauma-informed teaching they sold. I didn't realize that it was a ruse. Or rather that they were barely scratching the surface - and decades behind the curve.
I had many nice experiences in the town and met many wonderful people, but I also got a real strong vibe of resistance that truly eclipsed the joy. And I need JOY. The folks at the market are not among those around whom I feel like an outsider, but it is still a jump, I believe, to pour more into a community that has done as much to injure my soul as to feed it.
At least right now. I need the time to make the shift. To grieve my loss - because for all we've gained in these months, there was a price.
My house is a disaster area.
I chose to stay at home last weekend to take care of myself. Investing in my business is not actually self-care and today I am calling myself out on that "ish."
So I have some time all to myself. It has been a very long time. And there is truly no greater gift in the world for me. It is difficult to say that in mixed company as some would choose to interpret that as an unwillingness to fulfill my roles and responsibilities as a parent, but that could not be further from the truth. It is only when I can take care of myself that I can care for others.
Y'all. I am working really hard to describe to you what has been my experience learning about a teen-aged diagnosis of a child with autism.
It has been hard.
It has been very hard.
Some days it has even felt IMPOSSIBLY hard. It has been an awful lot like Groundhog's Day. Low executive functioning is no joke. It is a safety hazard. Often, Evan is not aware of the danger that he is in. He does not (yet) have the ability to think ahead to the consequences of his actions.
We are still looking for the right tools to help him learn these critical skills. I am not proud to say that I have exclaimed on multiple occasions that "I cannot always think FOR you." Unfortunately, the consequences of not doing that mean that a child gets lost at the zoo. A mom has a near panic attack in a public parking lot because yet another car had to pump breaks because he forgot to look.
It means play-by-plays via text of a school bus ride reminding him to notice his surroundings and say hello to the driver, Ms. Carolyn. It is reminding him that she will tell him where his stop is and that I will be there to meet him. It is physically walking the route with him several times, knowing that one day the hope is that he will do it alone - soon.
It has been hard. We have scarce little support in terms of help to get by on the daily Opportunities for breaks from a parenting gig that is WELL over full-time are practically non-existent. Since our guy was able to walk, I learned to wake to the sounds of his footsteps so I could be present for him in the mornings. He would wake quietly and just wander around the house.
Soon, as he aged, this because even more necessary to prevent him from eating cake or candy for breakfast. We have tried various "systems" over the years to keep unhealthy things locked away or absent from the house altogether.
It has been hard.
Everyone has their own crosses to bear, they say. I believe our jobs here on this earth are to help one another carry them. We can only do that if we take the time to see each other and allow ourselves to be beautifully, imperfectly human. To clear ourselves of the need to know everything, but to be clear enough to accept the truth of something we previously did not understand.
I thank you for holding that space for us. I value your conversations and your personal shares. I know it can be difficult to be so vulnerable. I want to help others understand, but mainly, I seek to know. I write to learn and it is part of the process.
We ALL need to be clear. Fresh and ready for these next ten years.
It is time to "flip" the container for our next guests and I am ready to get to the work of clearing space for the new and amazing opportunities that await us in 2020.
Today it started with this:
"Can I have a 20-second hug before I get out of bed?"
"That would be quite alright with me. Clear some space beside you, I'm coming in!"