Monday, December 22, 2008

acceptance is as acceptance does

Twas three days before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring because they were all terrified of my children who are so wound up, that you could plug them into a generator and power a small city with their vast amount of energy.

As I write this latest chapter, I am looking out across the 4 feet of snow that has fallen. There will be no school today.( May God have mercy on my soul.) Thankfully, this year, we hired someone to plow our driveway. I can't help but chuckle knowingly to myself as I gaze across the road at my neighbor, who is trying to shovel out his driveway. (hahaha amateur) I looked very much the same way last winter. Lifting up what feels like 500 pounds with my shovel, and then stopping to look around with envy at other peoples plowed driveways. Lifting up another 500 pounds, stopping to look again...thinking "Why won't this end?" "Will someone(preferably with a plow) make this go away ?" But not this year. This year, I am an insider..I won't be outside fighting an endless sea of white. I have experienced the snow shovel life, and I accept that it is not for me.

Experience is everything. It shapes who we are, how we behave and eventually who we become. It is through experience that I have learned what acceptance really means. It is one of the reasons I write about my family the way in which I do.

I have received many positive comments about my blog. I thank each and every one of you for reading and commenting on our many adventures. There have also been some negative responses. Comments from people who seem to be uncomfortable with what I write. Thinking perhaps that I give too much information, am not serious enough, or that I shouldn't write in such detail...i.e. shaking and eeeing, repetitive language and potty training. That I am making fun out of such a delicate subject. That this is somehow disrespectful of my children's privacy. I am sorry that you think that way, but you couldn't be further from the truth.

Should I write only of socially acceptable achievements? They made a friend? Read a story? Didn't freak out on the bus ride home? Yes, all of these are wonderful accomplishments, and I think that any parent with a child on the spectrum longs for such moments. There is however a big difference between celebrating those moments and celebrating your child. I will not be a "bumper sticker mother" You know, having a bumper sticker that says "my son is an honor student etc.etc. That is not acceptance-but rather" in your face" vindication. I am not saying that there isn't a place for those moments, but rather, that those moments make up only a part of the whole experience. How can I ask the world to accept my children when I only discuss the accomplishments? The differences are what the world notices. I can't ask for acceptance without understanding. I can't ask for understanding without discussing the experience...poop and all.

The eeeing, repetitive language, freak outs etc. are all a very real part of our life. As for my humor...When you have unclogged a toilet stuffed with "Thomas the tank engine" toys for what feels like the 400th can either find comedy in the situation or you can cry in frustration. I choose laughter. I am not ashamed or embarrassed by my children's behavior. I am however at times perplexed by it-which is why I do the things I do, i.e. eeeing with my son. I long to understand as best I can this part that makes my boys-my boys.

My family is very aware that I write about them in this weekly blog. This is my way of telling the world just how blessed that I am. There is no shame whatsoever in the stories that I write. I might be mortified at times (see Christmas tree story) and I may be a bit too graphic (see potty training story) But the underlying message is one of joy and love and acceptance. It is our adventure and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

As I begin to wrap this up, I am noticing my neighbor having his car towed over the four foot mound of snow blocking his driveway.....Experience is everything.

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