Hump Day

I’m snuggled in my favourite blanket typing on my phone.   I should really make the trip to my computer but I just don’t have it in me.   My daughter emerged from her bed because her face hurts. (You know those random spots they describe at bedtime?). I tried to send her right back to bed but somehow it turned into an hour of laughter with my littlest lady.  She also named this blog for me “Hump Day” which I just told her about this morning as we backed out of the drive way.  “Who is ready for Wednesday?” Would be what I normally say but I said hump day. Which led to a lot of questions. My explanation involved camels and struggling adults looking for a way to mark the halfway point.  Hmmm

I spent my hump day trying to syringe feed my cat.  She has been with me since she was a tiny speck of a kitten.  Fallen from the eves where her mommy would never take her back.  My tiny little smidge with little ring tail.  I took her home in an orange box and a Strawberry Shortcake blanket and introduced her to my recently widowed Tom cat, Gus.  She flew past the bowl of kitten mush I made her and stuck her face into his bowl of fancy feast.  He was appalled, but happy for a fur buddy. They were brother and sister.  Slept with his one leg around her like a comforting arm every time.

Sally has been a picture of health her entire life – the silkiest, shiniest beauty you’d ever see.  Two days ago she stopped eating and drinking.  After the first day I took her in to a new vet where we were given our first visit free!  So $556 later I had her back home all hydrated and waiting for results.  In the meantime I started feeding her with a syringe.  It’s not going well.  She wants nothing to do with it and my legs are proof she wants to cut me. My poor girl.  I watched all the YouTube videos and read all I could and feel confident I know what to do. But then I get there and my cat doesn’t act like the kitty on YouTube.  She has seen the videos.  She’s ready for me.  I’m pretty sure she had her jaw wired shut in the night.  Anyway I’ll keep trying.  I mean it’s Sally. She prepared me for Motherhood. She was the one who introduced me to the reality of love not always looking or behaving how you wish it will.  Sometimes your biggest love will pull away. Won’t let you cuddle.  Won’t eat what you prepare.  But oneday sit a little longer.  Oneday cuddle up and not dash away.  She taught me patience and willingness to give more just because of love. Before her I didn’t know a love where I had provided a constant flow of giving with mostly nothing in return.  She had this skittish flighty behaviour.  She wasn’t sure that I would still love her from day to day.  She learned as a tiny baby that your strongest bond could turn their back and she felt I would too.  Somewhere around age 9/10 she warmed up.  That’s a long time isn’t it?  Now I can hardly imagine a day without her coming to me whirring and purring and finding my feet …asking to go out. And then wanting to come in but no staying out …but maybe I’ll come in. No out.  Ok in.  Treats?  Uh yes yes. Or no.  Ya for sure this time are you resting ok for sure now. 🙂

Funny that a pet can prepare you for the most important job in your life.  Or is it? Clearly animals are the most pure form of heart and soul.  They calm us when nothing can.  They tune into every feeling and every physical pain. They have no words but the expression in a swishing tail or a paw print across the face wake up call speaks volumes. We get to know them and we stitch their shadows with ours until we can’t tell where we end and they begin.  They consume our darkness. It’s quite a bit of magic.

Anyway tomorrow is my beautiful momma’s birthday.  So we made a cake.  Max cracked the eggs and Maddy decorated.  To be real it’s like the last thing you will find on Pinterest.  Even in the fail department.  I had a vision to do a pretty layered thing that turned into a falling apart bunch of crumb now slathered and barely erect with pink icing.   Of course the egg and decorating part are perfection but my part was like a blindfolded elephant in a bakery giving it a whirl.  Well let’s set the scene shall we?  The vet finally called me back just as I set the broiler to brown my delicious weiner pizza.  I set it and walked away talking kit kat. I returned when I smelled the stench of burnt cheese.  Fine, supper is burnt.  Experience proves I’ll live through this. With me at the end of my happy for today i was settling in with Sally on my lap about to feed her again when I hear Maddy scream “he’s got the cake!”  I look up to see Max racing towards me with the cake leaning sideways on the glass platter …noooooo. I caught it?!  I did!  It didn’t fall.  Holy f balls that could have been a disaster!  He wanted me to sing Happy Birthday!  Oddly enough in the commotion Sally ducked outta there.  And oddly enough I didn’t feel like singing Happy Birthday.  We will do that tomorrow.  Tomorrow is no longer a hump and today will be nothing more than a bumpy memory in the road to who knows where.image


Autism Acceptance

My daughter whispered to me at the supper table “maybe we can get Max something?” This was after I told her that April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day. Maybe she thought it was like Mother’s Day. If you’re a mom on Mother’s Day you might get flowers and breakfast in bed…if you have Autism on Autism Awareness Day you might get a new train? Something that spins, lights up, or cuddles you?

I told Max I wanted to write something to help people understand what the world is like for him. I went through a few ideas, but only one suggestion got a response. “Should I tell people if they give you more time to understand what they are saying or asking it will help you to figure stuff out?” Nod Nod…this IS one of the biggest pieces in our puzzle. The wait. Not just stepping back and waiting…but to be ok with waiting forever maybe.  There will be those small moments where something HUGE happens and it becomes one of his major life steps …there will be displays of brilliance. There will be repetition.  Sometimes we learn and kinda forget and need to start fresh.  

Personally I LIVE for these routines. I adore that once I get to know how he likes a story read I just have to repeat it over the next few months or until something new takes over. It’s one of those FOR SURE things that make me happy and him happy and we’re all just one predictable story that allows us to connect and snuggle. Pretty good gig.

Every family has their different challenges. They learn what they are, they find ways to deal and succeed, they realize how lucky they are to have them. For in each challenge hides a bit of magic. You’ll discover it while you’re busy coping and conquering and doing your best. It will be hidden somewhere you never ever would have gone if you weren’t busy figuring out how to get through this world being the unique you that you are. You’ll feel stronger instead of weaker…and most of all you’ll realize the great importance of family and friends. They accept you and love you and will be there to lean on when the days out on your own drain you of your certainty. Be certain of this. You were meant to be exactly who you are. You were meant to bring your unique qualities into the world to inspire someone. My momma taught me this and I just hope I am teaching my kids this as well as she did.

I can only write about OUR story. I know how lucky we are to have a strong family unit and more moments of laughter than struggle.  We know that autism DOES and WILL change things, so instead of forcing what we want we adapt it to make it work for him.  We allow him to choose or give him time to come around to the idea of something he’s not instantly ready for. We’ve designed our lifestyle around Max.  And me?

My hubby tells me all the time I am clearly on the spectrum. (no, he isn’t a doctor..he’s a pilot and from what I’ve heard it’s kinda the same thing hahah) Well, after this past year I started to see it too. OHHHH is this why I threw up everyday on the bus or at school. My incredible imagination, difficulty with certain light and motion, horribly strong aversion to certain smells,  and fear of the unknown. Overwhelming sense of being overwhelmed?  I can describe my day to day as feeling like I’m out there with my brain, ear drums, and emotional heart, exposed. OOOOO sensitive. Yes I am. I remember overhearing my dad say to my mom “She’s fragile, isn’t she?” Hmmm He could have said so much worse….how about…what a pain that she pukes everyday and has to be driven home by the bus driver or picked up in town.

He had a soft spot for me as I believe he was on the spectrum too. He would avoid social gatherings like they were a pitri dish of ebola.  Then on the other hand would do exactly what a good social person would do if company came.  Cuz even if things are really difficult for you, you can learn it and apply it.  It can leave you feeling run over and upset.  Yes, there are so many things that are worth this feeling.  It’s a really big battle figuring it out moment to moment.  I was lucky to have parents who loved and accepted me exactly for me.  That’s love and that’s acceptance.  They never tried to change me or “fix” me, just as I do not want to “fix” Max.  He is my perfect son as he is.

Spectrum…what a wonderful term. Soooo many variables and so many variances. I laugh when I think about all the things that seem “funny” now that I’m seeing them through a mommy’s eyes, the mommy of a son with a diagnosis of autism.

I will never be assessed ….I have done the online quizzes…I score high on anything geared towards females with Aspergers….it’s actually comforting. At 40 years old it is so comforting to know that I don’t need to try so hard to “fit in”. I can be me. I can enjoy my quiet time. I can ask my husband to stop tapping the pen. I can be proud that I can’t lie, and I need to follow rules. I can stop forcing myself to look at people and give up discussing trivial stuff. I can avoid social interaction at all costs hahha. It’s me! I have Facebook…I love to connect there. I love people and I feel your joy and pain..I have an intuition that makes me want to blurt out things that will make you think I’m nuts. I do it now and then…I care SO much it hurts. I want to protect every child and underdog and lost pet. I wish I could never see a bad thing…never hear a bad word said to someone. I feel everything 500%…’s fabulous…and it’s draining…and it’s me.

I never ever would have thought about myself and how I fit into this intricate puzzle if I hadn’t had Max. Max is obviously very special. His incredible quirks made it easy for me. I didn’t go along as though everything was or would be fine. I knew so early on that hey something isn’t following the pattern I’m expecting. If he had eaten normally…if he had babbled and said momma…and then chattered like his sis. If.

I am so thankful that he has given me clear signs that alerted me to his special needs. I will always wrap him in my bubble wrap hug and make sure he is guided gently. Meanwhile he carries his poky wit and determination, popping those silly bubbles as he sees fit. I trust him to do it when he’s ready and I roll with it. I wouldn’t change one thing. I wouldn’t go back to my childhood and get any special help….because I got to see the world through my eyes…through my eyes trying so hard to see it through yours. Now I know how important it is …the most important thing for all of us is to be who we are… exactly how we feel, exactly how we know it’s not only OK but required to follow our own drum roll. Wouldn’t it be great to know you weren’t in a world of people who were cooler and smarter and doing the right thing and you were awkward and unable to “get it” and not sure what the heck you were supposed to do in the easiest of situations??

My wish for reality. To live in a world where we all accept each other . Wow how generous. I accept you. I appreciate you.  I would appreciate it if you appreciate me. Just me. Not the things you think I SHOULD do. Not the things you think I SHOULD be saying and thinking.  Just me and my mind, and my ideas, and my wishes.  Once you know someones story you realize so much.  It may be things about them…it may be things about you.  A little more understanding will shine a little more light.