What a weekend. We had planned a long weekend in Gettysburg, but cut it short to beat the weather at home. It is amazing what a few days away from home and routine can do for a family though. In addition to a great time, it was a time for me to finish a book and start a new one while our little fish, Sam, swam in the hotel pool. It was a time to really absorb some things and learn some new lessons.
The last time we stayed at this particular hotel, I read the Asperger’s Manual by Tony Atwood. That was just about 1 ½ years ago and just before Samuel’s diagnosis process. I remember reading that book and all the things were like big arrows explaining things I never understood about Sam. I read the book by pool side then, and this year I watched as his quirks targets him as being “different” and as kids left the pool instead of trying to understand him. I heard them tell their mom that they got out of the pool because of him and she didn’t try to explain that he was just different and being friendly. It was a teachable moment so missed by their mother and by me. I wanted to speak up, but knew that just points him out more. I worked so hard to teach Samuel to be social and friendly, but he doesn’t have a filter to understand when to scale it down and to give kids space. He just wants to play and thinks they would want to as well. I tried to make a teachable moment with Sam, and thankfully he didn’t hear what they said and he didn’t understand that they got out because of him. LESSON LEARNED – I need to work on more social situations with Sam, but how do you teach your child that people/kids can be mean when he only sees the good in people? I need to learn how to speak up to other parents and children. Ignorance and avoidance teach nothing.
We really usually roll with change well, but we had made several change to this trip before we left and after getting there. Well, sometimes change can lead to meltdowns because Sam builds upon his recollection of previous trips. He remembers everything about Gettysburg including a railroad track that we had only passed over once. So the train museum was closed = BAD NEWS! So thankful for my phone and we found another store to visit that appeased him, but not after a melt down. It was not something I had any control over. There were a few more meltdowns on the trip and it is so hard to get to the “bottom of them” when they happened. Sam doesn’t just say I am really mad that I can’t spend time in the pool, instead I have to do a multiple choice and just keep asking the right questions. Then we had to come home a day early which is devastating because I told him 3 days. Once a fact is in his head he stores it to be true. Thankfully I was able to find a compromise and remind him of all the toys and our crazy dog at home. As a mom, I “get” that he will have his melt downs, and they are a result of not being able to communicate but show through tears and screaming. But, they are HARD! They break my heart because I can’t just kiss them away. A mom meltdown happens when you can’t control everything. LESSON LEARNED – Meltdowns are a part of life. But, when they happen, it is best to evaluate them and change things to prevent future meltdowns.
A friend of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer this week. She is handling it with grace and an amazing perspective. It has been a long time since I have known someone so closely that has been diagnosed. It brought back some incredible memories of the years I did hands-on cancer nursing. Sitting at the patient’s bedsides and getting to know them and their families intimately. In reflection, it was then I probably had the best perspective on life, because I watched people look at life differently. They taught me to savor the moments of every day, do the things I want to do for happiness, and to make sure everything I had to say be said out of love. Johnetta put up a blog post that described the same exact things they would tell me and I watched them LIVE = please visit her blog… (http://lessonblessings.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/diagnosis-top-ten-list/) LESSON LEARNED – Learn from other people’s lessons, especially when told by a great friend.
A friend mentioned “aha” moments in a post today, and I so understood. I have several of those Aha moments in the past week; however, I struggle with the carry through. I think I realized them ore this week because this week was a different pace. I had more time on my hands waiting for the kids at the state testing. More time to reflect and more time to observe. I am a true believer that God will give us signs through ordinary means to get our attention. The problem is I am usually so rushing through life that I miss the ordinary. A few came via a TV program that I cried through and realized it could be me. A few came via conversation this weekend and realized some changes I needed to make. I watched as Samuel, faced some big fears this weekend, and had the “aha” moments that if he can overcome, then I just need to have a child-like faith. I watched my children be untouched emotionally by some things as a momma that just pushed me a little over the edge. LESSON LEARNED – Re-discover my child like faith and slow down to absorb the signs along the way.
One of the blessings of blogging is it puts my thoughts and lessons into writing. I tend to get wrapped up in getting through my day that I forget the lessons. I want to remember these important things every day. For years I took care of patients that taught me valuable lessons everyday. I had them for the everyday reminders. I still have amazing people around me to teach me valuable lessons! I need to be INTENTIONAL to remember these lessons above and to daily slow down to absorb the reminders and new lessons that God gives me daily in the people he has blessed me with in my life!