Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's the Little Things....

It's the little things that always get you...that always turn out to mean the most, to be loved the most, and even hurt the most.  Life's subtleties.  Kind of like when you perfectly plan Christmas, and it ends up being a last minute stocking stuffer that steals the show. 
Well, this week my absolute favourite coffee mug turned up handle-less.  In short: I Was Crushed.  Let me give some wasn't just any old mug, it was my CBC Radio St. John's Morning Show mug...much loved, much treasured, and very, very, very hard to get.  It took me about 5 years to get my hands on that little beauty, I had admired one years ago, being a big CBC Radio fan (more on that later), and have been promised by no less than 3 people that they could easily get me one.  'No trouble', I was told. 'I know so-and-so all to pieces over there, I'll ask for one next time I see so-and-so.'  Fast forward, didn't ever pan out.  One day, after my pining for a mug, hubby told me I'd have to suck it up and do call-ins for contests like everyone else, and earn one.   He was right, once I got the idea of being given one out of my system, it only took me about 2 months to win one, granted I had to go on air and answer a question, but I did it.  Caller on line 1, that was me.
Every morning, without fail, I get up, put on a pot of coffee, flick the radio on to Jeff, Cecil and Nancy and sip from my precious mug, smug all the while.  It's like I was in on something, part of their routine, or rather, I guess they are a part of mine.  So, in the face of my broken mug, I persevered....and kept drinking from it anyway, sure it was hot to the hand, but I would overcome.
What does any of this have to do with parenting Asperger's Syndrome?  Actually, quite a lot.  When I am home now, full time, CBC Radio offers me the adult conversation I crave, it's one little part of myself I've managed to secure.  From the Morning Show, to Radio Noon, Vinyl Cafe, or my oh-so-treasured Q...I don't get to hear them all the time, but I do get to hear them a lot.  They make me feel involved and in touch with the world outside of my house.
And more importantly, parenting autism has taught me first and foremost, that if you want something, you have to ask for it.  Whether that be wait-listed services, or reasonable accomodations.  So in keeping with this theory, I sent along an email to the good folks at CBC Radio...and guess what? 
There's a new mug waiting for me at the front desk. 
Sure, I know it's just a mug, and if I hadn't have gotten a new one, I surely would have survived.  But like I said, it's the little things....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Notes from Home

I've got to say, I love being home with the kids.  Even on the days I think I'm going to collapse...especially the days I think I'm going to collapse.  That doesn't mean that it's easy, in fact, I found that working part time in the past gave me a break, a change of scenery, a distraction, and something else to focus on from time to time.  But I just know that this is where my true work lies for now, and even trying to pretend that I could step away from here, and focus on something else is just an impossibility for the time being.

It's just too hard to go to work, when you are already holding down a full time, tonnes of overtime, highly demanding position.

But it is, really, really hard.  On really heavy "sensory seeking" days, I am full out all the time.  Even easy days are demanding, filled with the endless tasks of fetching juice, serving meals, wiping spills, making beds, and let's not forget the enormous task of homeschooling.  However, recognizing the enormity of the work load is not the same as resenting it.  And needing 15 minutes to yourself to prevent from overloading isn't he same as being ready to throw in the towel.  This is by far, the most difficult, and the most rewarding experience of my life.

When I flip through Aiden's kindergarten work, and I see how much he has learned, and how many skills he has developed, I'm not just proud of him, but of me too.  We have both worked really, really hard... and I think it's fair to say that we've both seen great results.  To know that I'm putting my skills and my strengths to work for my own boy is deeply gratifying.  It is worth the days where it's a battle to get him to focus, and it is worth the days when he just can't sit still, to see the net result of all the days he did manage, and all the work he has done.

He hasn't succeeded only because he has leanrned to fit the mold of schooling...although there has been a lot of that.  He's succeeding because schooling is also learning to wrap itself around him, and his own individualized needs and learning style. 

On the hard days, and there are hard days, I am glad to know it is me who is dealing with him.  And not just dealing with him, but helping him.  My patience is born from love, and my discipline always has his best interest at heart.  When he hasn't slept well, and that's pretty often, or if he is going through a real serious period of anxiety, I know that he has the support and love he needs with him, and together we can face the world.

I found it hard at first to feel the pull and desire of staying at home...the feminist in me was confused by the tug of my heartstrings.  But my particular strand of feminist thought believes in women having choices, and having the ability to choose what works best for them and their families.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hooray for Creativity!

Let me just begin with an apology...if you are a Facebook friend of mine..I'm sure you already know that Aiden just participated in a Creativity Fair with our homeschool association...and you probably also know that his picture won for the Kindergarten / Grade One age level!!  And if you didn't already know this, you do now! His winning entry is to the's a track crane for those of you who aren't as well versed in heavy equipment as I am.

Proud is not the word.  It's not just that he won a prize, he didn't even know he was entered into a contest, and is a little too young to be competitive, and that is just fine with me.  It's that he had a chance to shine, he participated in something that was truly up his alley, and hubby and I got to see and hear people praise his little efforts.  It felt good! 

We're always so proud of his creativity, and have worked hard to let him know he has a talent, and to encourage him to work on his drawings.  And winning wasn't important, but participating in an event that highlighted his own particilar strength was good for him.  And us too.

And now I promise to stop bragging about it....however please note that this promise expires in about 5 seconds.

His display board

Recieving his Award