It is the end of my day… I am home from work. It was a good day.
I taught a little girl, who is struggling in so many areas, to tie her shoes… and it gave me goosebumps. I can actually teach anyone who can do the first step and cross the laces and loop it under and tighten it… to tie their shoes. No. Seriously. Anyone! And someday I will do a post about that… which I am stating here as my commitment to do so!
Anyway, today I got home, riding my shoe-tying high, and when I looked at Craig the Amazing I could sense that he might be on the edge of frazzled. He is working so hard as the home facilitator for H’s distance education schooling. He is doing a fabulous job… but it is hard work… some days are really hard work.
Today when I took in the look in his eye, I smiled and said, “Go… just go!!”
And I sent him off to go fishing.
He needs that… it rejuvenates him.
Just like I need to write – or read – or draw – or sing – or run away to the coffee shop sometimes…
And now H is in from the garage where he was tweaking his latest project – and I can hear the familiar stirring of Lego in the bin coming from his room.
Lego is H’s fishing…
And this… this stirring sound of Lego… this is my calming music.
I love that sound.
I feel the tension drain from my shoulders with each successive crumbly sounding, tinkly plastic stir.
And he calls out, “Mom – What is Mary Poppins about…?”
I respond from the kitchen, “It is a story about two kids who are really struggling. They don’t behave very well and they are unhappy. Their parents are too busy and no one wants to be their nanny. Then Mary Poppins comes along and she teaches the children to find joy in being children, and she shows the parents how to notice and listen to and pay attention to their kids. Then her work is done… and they become a connected family …and Mary Poppins goes to help another family.”
H concurs, “That is what I thought – the parents didn’t have time for their kids…”
My curiosity kicks in, “Why do you ask?”
“I was just thinking about it – and I wanted to know if I was right. I was! That is what I thought: the parents didn’t have time for their kids – and then they learned what was important.”
“Do you think your dad and I spend enough time with you?”
“Yes… of course. And you listen to me too.”
The stirring continues in the silence that follows. I am almost brought to tears in moments like these. I step out of the kitchen to interrupt the Lego music and stop H’s building for a moment.
I need to hug this kid!
As the calming music continues and I get rolling on tonight’s dinner plans… I can’t help but see the metaphor here for acceptance and inclusion. These are big, big things for a child to be considering: being listened to and feeling seen and being given time.
My wonderful kid continues to reveal wonderful things about how deeply he feels and processes and contemplates. I am in awe of him and his beauty and the way he can simplify complex ideas to find the truth at the core.
It is so simple really… a child can see it:
Listen to me…
Give me your time and attention…
Let me be myself and find joy in that…
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2013)