I’ve been absent. There’s been so much. And, life happens. And because life happens, here I am today asking you to send some positive thoughts, prayers, or a couple bucks over to Melanie. She’s battling cancer, again. She does so much for the autism community, and her son has debilitating severe autism. He relies on her for everything, and this family needs support to provide for little Luke while Melanie regains her health.
Please, click on the link, and send healing thoughts her way won’t you?
It’s almost Spring. That means we’re all sick with a cold or allergies or sinus infections or the winter doldrums….
today, I lost my temper. I yelled at the kids. I’m not sure I feel completely bad about it. Sometimes, there’s no other way to convey to them the urgency of the situation. We were in heavy traffic and I was trying to read a map. One of them was going on and on about chocolate milk. Nobody was feeling well, including myself.
I yelled. It was ugly.
I did try to explain myself, but I’m never really sure what affect it all has.
The Buddha reminds us that sickness, samsara, and intense emotions that over take us are all indications that we don’t really belong to our bodies. We aren’t our bodies. There is no real me, but in motherhood, one does own their actions.
And I made sure to stop and really feel the gratitude and awe in my heart when my kids told me what a great mom I was and brought me dandelion flowers. They are leaning on me heavily (as children do) right now because they are all ill. I carried several tired boys up the stairs to the bathtub this evening. Instead of feeling frustrated or giving in to the feeling of tiredness, I simply held tight to wonder and gratitude. Such strong and healthy bodies they have- full of good nourishment, a decent home, and comfortable with their parents. They feel love and joy enough to be little pests. They are endlessly inquisitive…that part really makes a constant impact on me. They have such strong spirit.
I don’t own them. They aren’t MY children. They are simply children, people of their own, depending on me to be as humble and gracious as possible.
Yeah. It’s a broken bowl. It’s a Royal Austria O&EG bowl. It was my great grandmother’s..she gave it to me shortly before she died.
UPS broke it. But it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a bowl.
I’m able to say that NOW- two days later. At the time I was pretty fucking pissed. It holds sentimental value that is absolutely priceless.
My husband said he would glue it back together.
My grandmother would have said, in this situation…go buy another bowl.
It’s an attachment to an object, to be sure. It is the cause of my suffering, of course. What does the Buddha say about attachments to “stuff” ???
like grass after rain
For anyone overcome by this miserable craving
And clinging to the world.
Sorrow falls away
Like drops of water from a lotus
For anyone who overcomes this miserable craving
And clinging to the world.”
It’s a funny thing nowadays- clinging. I am able to recognize it, when it arises (which is pretty big progress, right?) That doesn’t mean I’m always successful in not giving in to the desires and attachments to happiness and meaningless objects that probably make me borderline hoarderish. I do get over shit much more quickly though…I’m able to say, “That doesn’t matter- it’s not real.” And I was even nice to the UPS guy today when he came to apologize.
I don’t raise my children as Buddhists or Atheists. We just don’t raise them as anything “religious.” They are free to explore religion on their own and come to their own conclusions. As they get older, they will be more inquisitive and I will help them find the proper sources for the answers they seek.
This is a tender age for them now. I must be very calculating in what I say and how I say it, as I don’t want to shape their opinions surrounding religious topics.
Today, during homeschool, we were reading “Little House in the Big Woods.” The family was celebrating Christmas, and read their Bible around the fire. My children wanted to know what “The Bible” was, and why the children weren’t allowed to talk or play on Sundays.
So began the delicate dance of giving them just-enough information. It went something like this:
“Well, Christians read the Bible. They go to church to be with other Christians and to listen to stories from the Bible. The Bible tells stories about God and Jesus. Christians believe that God and Jesus can do powerful and magical things.”
My middle child asked, “Like superheroes?”
Me, trying to hide a smile, “Yes, just like superheroes. And some people don’t believe that superheroes are real, right? Well, some people don’t believe that God is real either, but some people do.”
Then he got very serious and said, “Well mama, policemen and firefighters are the REAL superheroes.”
So much wisdom for someone so small.
I’m getting prepared to start homeschooling my just turned-5 year old. Right now he attends a Montessori preschool one morning a week. He hates it.
He has been trying to convince me for months that he is ready to be homeschooled. I think I’m finally ready to let him make that choice for himself.
But I need to prepare. I don’t know what I’m doing, all over again.
I experienced this when I started homeschooling my now 7 year old a year ago. All the old questions and insecurities came rushing back…
“Where do I start?”
“What’s his learning style? How will I know what works?”
“What curriculum should I use? What if we dislike it or it doesn’t work?”
“What if we don’t get along or I can’t do this?”
…on top of that, my 5 year old is very gifted.
The intensity of the his questions and already acquired knowledge floors me, everyday. It is exhausting keeping up with his questions, many of which I don’t even know how to begin to answer.
A good friend reminded me that I don’t need all the answers, I simply need to teach him how to find the answers he seeks.
So I’m holding on to that thought– I am a facilitator, and it is okay to say, “I don’t know, but let’s find out, together.”
A few weeks ago my husband spotted an old X-ray box at Goodwill. We snagged it for a couple bucks.
It’s snowing here today and we’ve all been sick for awhile. CABIN FEVER has set in and so I busted out the light box.
Thankfully, I had planned ahead and had some materials for them to explore…though truthfully, I think I enjoyed it more than they did.
We talked about adding colors together, magnetism, shadows, the insides vs. outsides of animals, bones, flight, organs, eggs, the purpose of tails, TAKING TURNS, spines, cartilage, dinosaurs vs. lizards, infants born live (not in eggs), mammals, and so on.
My son with high functioning autism has been off his medications (for mitochondrial disease) for three days. We have two more days to go. I hope I can make it with my sanity intact.
It is weeks like these that really drive the point home for me. We treat his autism biomedically. It’s hard. It isn’t the “easy” way.
He’s been particularly checked out today. And so very naughty. The kind of “bad” that is scary, that makes you wonder what has happened to the child you know is there, in there somewhere.
Currently, he’s sneaking around the house, being passive aggressive and I’m sure he’s up to no good. My 4 year old keeps saying, “I saw him. I saw him sneaking just now. Did you see him mama?” I’ve got my back turned, purposely.
“No. I didn’t see him. I don’t want to see him right now.”
And that is in more ways that one. Right now I am too attached to my suffering to see HIM. I can’t see him clearly, or the pain and anguish he must be in right now, because I’m too deep in my dukkha. I am working hard at holding my tongue while I’m in this place of clinging.
to part again.
I have no words to respond
to this double inspiration.”
Our amazing neighbors invited the kids over to dig carrots and potatoes.
Our neighbor has cancer. His wife and grown children have been caring for him night and day. It had been months since I had seen him out and about. Before he got sick, he was outside everyday tending to his prize roses and vegetables. Nothing could stop him…not rain, wind, cold, heat…he is an inspiration to me. Every time I think I can’t possibly continue to tend my garden, when my hands are cracked and my legs are aching, I look out the window or over the fence and see him out there, still working. At 80 something, he puts me to shame.
He was outside with the boys today, soaking up a few rays. Cancer treatments have taken their toll, but I took it as a good sign that he came out with his hoe and rake for a few minutes and laughed at the boys digging up his veggies.
I love how gardens bring people together. Gardens and food. Sharing of wisdom and planting dates and seeds and harvests. My boys are beginning to understand this…after looking at the pile of gorgeously brilliant carrots on our table, they breathed out a sigh of wonder that our neighbors would give us all THIS. Just because. Their bellies will be filled tonight because of the kindness of a neighbor.
Hey lovely folks, I’m over at Military Special Needs Network today, blogging about autism. Let’s stop the fighting in the community. Our kids are worth it.
Planting a Seed, Cultivating a Dream.
Chomping at the bit lately for a hint of Spring. A sweet friend told me about a charming store a few miles North of us, which carried all sorts of lovely bits of cheeses, meats, pastries, oils, raw milks, grains, and SEEDS for planting. We set off this morning (promising the boys a cookie upon our arrival) and I filled my basket with all the things needed for our garden this year.
Which of course, got me really salivating for some color. I binged on all this goodness that I captured last summer.