Safe Travels

After an exhausting month, and following an exhausting day, I dropped the girl off at school and headed to the beach. I had about an hour before I was to teach. I walked for a little bit, then sat in my trusty four-year-old $10 beach chair from Target.

A family walked by. Two boys. Maybe 8 and 10. One boy flapping his hands fast and furiously, appearing to be excited by the water, the freedom of the ocean air. It likely wasn’t his usual routine to be at the beach at 9AM on a Tuesday. They seemed to be on vacation.

Passing me without noticing me, I noticed them. My attention went to the mom. My heart went out to her.

Without knowing her story, I know her. Having autism comes with gifts, but it isn’t easy. It comes with challenges. When those challenges cause your child to suffer, you suffer too. So this mom has been through some stuff. The whole family likely has. And let’s be real, vacations with kids are technically not vacations for moms, as a rule.

Closing my eyes, I took a breath and sent them loving-kindness. I prayed for their happiness and that they be safe from harm. That they be healthy. That their lives be easier rather than harder.

I like to pray for unsuspecting people. It’s a good way to pass time while you’re waiting. I do it in line a lot. If you’re bored, antsy? Look around and pray for someone. And if you don’t pray…you can just wish them well. Or give them the benefit of the doubt.

If you want a real workout, pray for someone you don’t like. I did this recently and it really changed a very charged negative loop I was on about someone. It reminded me I didn’t really know her struggles, or what would make her act like such a hag.

What a relief.

Anyway…I hope that family is having the best vacation. I hope that boy is flapping with joy, and that his heart is content. I hope the mom is getting some time-outs, just for her. May they be well.

Safe travels, everyone.

Parents….you are enough.

While in LA, I met up with some friends, (more on them in a later post) who mentioned Elaine Hall of The Miracle Project. I was familiar with Hall because I’d done a review on Autism the Musical for Age of Autism a couple of years back. It is a wonderful documentary. So she was on my mind when I got home, and I googled her, and up pops her blog with this gorgeous message: “Dayenu.”

For Hall’s full post on this video click here.

Take a breath.

Then another.

We are all enough.

Love.

He thinks a little pre-paving might be in order…

“Time to start homework!” I say to the kids. 

Riley sucks in her breath, anticipating disaster before she even begins.

Seth leans over to me and whispers, “I think Riley needs to do some ‘Om’ work  before she starts her homework.” He puts his thumbs to his middle fingers to form circles and feigns an exaggerated peaceful smile.

We do almost daily meditation practice as a family but never that way. It made me laugh and it started out the homework segment on the right foot.

Seth is Helpful and Kind

As you know, we sometimes have a little trouble with homework. Often, there’s screaming involved(and it’s not just me).

As you know, we have a wonderful little person in this house named Seth. On a recent evening, said screaming ensued, and this is the note Seth wrote out and delivered under Riley’s nose, before returning to his Legos.  

Note the increase in enthusiasm emphasized by the progression of exclamation marks. 

He’s simply the nicest little boy I’ve ever met.

I appreciate him. I like who he is. We are lucky to have him in this family.

Amen.

Seth

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Since this trip is all about Riley and Jingle, Todd wanted to do something special for Seth. He found a Lego store near Columbus and we surprised him on the way to 4 Paws. He was thrilled! He picked out a huge Lego Space Police ensemble. In the evenings when we get back from training, he stands happily at the desk Lego table and works on it.

He’s really talented at putting complex Legos together. Methodically, step by step, he follows the directions.

He’s such a good boy. Yesterday at training a bigger boy with autism pinched him on the back, hard. He came over from the play area and sat with me a while, told me what happened.

“I’m so sorry that happened to you Seth. He’s having a really hard time.”  Day 1 was very overstimulating

“Just give him lots of space, okay?” I added.  

“Okay,” he said, sweetly.

Sibs are the unsung heros of the autism explosion. No question about it.