Mommy in Pieces

Just a mom that wears a cape under her street clothes.

Archive for the tag “autism”

A Little Challenge

I don’t often feel like have two amazing boys with Autism means that I am missing out on many parenting experiences.  However, there has been this one place in my heart that hurts deeply.  When I see the pictures of my friends with children that have donned a hat and uniform.  Parents that witness that first connection of bat and ball.  The quintessential American sport of baseball.   Sitting on the bleachers in the warm spring sun, cheering despite missed hits and jumping like a crazy person when they get their hit.  I had written that all off, that it wasn’t in the cards for my boys.

I am so lucky to be proved wrong!  We are blessed to have our own Challengers Baseball League in our backyard.  A BIG strong league of so many children of different abilities.  District 31 has been around for more that 20 years and has helped so many kids feel the grass and dirt and know the joy of making that out!

Yesterday was opening day.  While it was a little on the chaotic side what with wheelchairs and stimming and family members wanting to get that perfect picture, I was impressed at the amazing support being poured out for these kids.  There were buddies everywhere!  Typical kids and teens and adults to help everyone work on their skills and play the game.  I was stunned when I was shooed off the field to go “sit, relax, and watch the game!”  That may have been the best treat of it all!  I got to observe!!!  I got to actually sit and watch Ben have the experience!  There was someone else there to do hand over hand guidance.  There were plenty of people to redirect him when the perfect shine of the sun caught his attention.  And there here hundreds of pair of eyes watching and cheering him on as he stepped up to the plate for the very first time!

Photo Apr 26, 3 46 09 PM

The ball and bat may have been plastic.  But when he connected that bat to the ball on the stand with minimal assistance, you could see a connection happening within him.  He was happy.  He was proud.  He was doing something that millions of other children, typical or not, have been doing since the invention of the game.  The pure joy on his face when he was told to run.. I wish I could just bottle it!  I was even more amazed when he got to first base and actually STOPPED!

On his second round of the bases he got waved home.  My sweet boy, who couldn’t tell you how to play baseball, who can barely catch and throw could understand the importance of what he was about to do.  He was going to run home.  He was going to score for his team.  His excitement was so huge he couldn’t keep his feet on the ground!  He practically flew home.

Photo Apr 26, 4 11 45 PMIt is not often that I get too see Ben excited to this level.  Joy and happiness erupting from every inch of him.  I have not been able to wipe away the feeling of thanksgiving and pride.  My boy… the baseball player!

Photo Apr 26, 3 47 37 PM

My Biggest Mistake

At first glance you would say, “Why yes!  Your biggest mistake has clearly been your lack of writing on your blog!”

But I would beg to differ.  My absence from the web presence has been purely out of need for the simplification of life.  The soul crushing, self imposed pressure that I felt to produce writing added much welcomed to stress to an already full plate.  So I took a break.  Granted, that break lasted much longer than I had intended it to, but it was an incredibly gratifying experience.

My break gave me the opportunity to practice saying no.

  • No – I will not take time to write a blog post.
  • No – I will not be able to join the choir this Sunday.
  • No – We will not be attending (fill in the blank) event.

That freedom and strength to say so was liberating.4775707566_3e8aeae765_b

Before I began saying now, I was on the run ALL the time.  A meeting here, an appointment there, a commitment somewhere else.  Always feeling obliged to say yes and help out for fear that if people stopped asking me, I was stop existing.  My self worth was tied to the feeling of being needed.  I feared floating away from this terrestrial sphere if I didn’t have the weight of commitment to hold me down.

And do you know what happened?  Exactly what I feared.  No one needed me.  There were no inquiries from adoring fans about the lack of blog posts.  The choir continued to sing beautifully and glorify the Lord every Sunday.  And events and happenings continued to be held.  The world didn’t miss my presence.

However, something magical happened.  I had more time.  I had more energy.  My children flourished.  In the last year, both have had amazing growth in their language and social skills.  We go more places together.  And the BEST part… more tickling matches!  There is more time to just “be”.  To just exist and stop and smell the roses.  There is a peace to our household.  If something doesn’t get done today, its ok!  We have time tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong.  We do not live completely sanitized of schedule and structure.  I still cling like a life line to my calendar and check it feverishly every morning.  But now, the days are filled with trips the park, play dates, and new experiences.  The boys do the best when then have a predictable structure and routine to follow.  But knowing from day to day that there will be fun things to look forward to, has made them more able to “go with the flow” when Mommy has some crazy idea to try.

I miss the buzzing around.  The crazy hectic life.  I certainly miss that feeling of being needed and wanted by others.  I hunger for that validation I feel when only I can help.  But when I really step back and look at my life, I am not missing anything at all.  My biggest mistake was not learning to say “No” sooner.  The sound of laughter and love have been my biggest rewards.

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