Okay, over the last two years I’ve struggled… not so much that you’ve seen because I’ve basically written four posts in two years. I have had a million excuses why I haven’t been writing – some I’ve given to you, all I’ve fed to myself. But I need to get back into the habit. I need to get writing again. I need to get back to a point where I can take some time every day and be honest with myself, without feeling guilty for doing so.
Speaking of guilt – I’m full of it lately. I’m especially guilty of being ridiculously impatient and short tempered. As I sit here right now, It’s 6:24am. The boys and I leave for the bus stop in exactly 21 minutes. They’re playing together in Kaleb’s room – which means they are three feet away from me, separated only by a glass french door, a poorly made one at that. And they’re loud. Which is the name of the game when they actually get together (which is basically only when they think they’re supposed to be doing anything else), and that’s okay, as long as it’s good yelling. But I’m still in “seeking coffee” mode, and hearing that entire container of LEGOs just spill out onto the floor as they run around with the world’s most obnoxious Christmas stuffed animals ever made… It’s all I can do to sit here and tell myself to shut the hell up.
They’re playing together. That’s progress. They’re playing together in Kaleb’s room and he’s not screaming at his brother to get out while Mason cries and sobs dramatically over some stupid toy he wants to look at (with his hands). So what if there are now 4,562,847 LEGO pieces all over the carpet? So what if it’s December 2nd and I’m officially over the “Let It Snow” song the ridiculous Polar Bear and Penguin are singing? They’re playing. And I’m drinking this cup of coffee so fast I may end up burning my esophagus in the process, in an effort to not care so damn much.
I need to get off my horse and look at my kids for who and what they are – tiny people with big voices, big imaginations, and apparently access to the world’s most annoying sounds locked in their little brains. But they are just that – kids. So why is it so damn hard for me to let them be? Why is it so hard to sit here right now and keep myself from scolding them on their volume; their mess; their “backing up sounds” (which genuinely make you feel like someone is scratching your tombstone after about thirty seconds)? Where did all of my patience go? Where did the humor in the situation go? Because that’s the honest problem here. I stopped writing, because I stopped being able to find the situations funny. It wasn’t funny when Kaleb continuously urinated all over his bedroom for six months straight. It wasn’t funny when he suddenly lost 20lbs over two months, and there wasn’t a damn cause any doctor could find. It wasn’t funny when Mason started peeing on his carpet, because he loves to emulate Kaleb. It wasn’t funny when the dog started following suit, because, well, he’s a damn dog – if there’s pee, he’s gonna cover it up with his own. Sometimes my life isn’t funny. More so than not lately.
So I’m going to shake things up. This is my space. This is my place, my soapbox, and I’m going to use it. But it won’t always be funny. Sometimes it’ll be ugly. Sometimes it’ll be heart-wrenching, and sometimes it’ll be gross, and maybe it’ll be funny on occasion. But that’s my life – in true form – that’s what my world is. I can’t sit here and pretend that there aren’t days I wake up and want to just scream. That there aren’t times I lock myself in the bathroom just to cry for a few minutes – sometimes happy tears, sometimes tears that stem from frustration, anger, or fear. Life is messy. Life with autism is even more so.
I’m going to try. I’m going to try to get back to a point where I can write on here and really let go of some of the impatience and frustration. And I’m going to do it honestly. Because I need this, and maybe some of you out there need it too.
Today though, I’d like to share a big moment.
Monday afternoon I was putting my empty Christmas bins back in the attic, while the boys were… just being themselves. Kaleb was waiting for me to finish picking up because he wanted to do an ornament craft that required supplies I had to fish out of my closet. Mason was… well I don’t really even know what Mase was doing, biding his time until I couldn’t see him, I suppose. All of a sudden, as I’m coming down off the ladder the both of them start shrieking and screaming. Mason is crying, Kaleb is shouting, pandemonium had broken out in the kitchen.
I ran in from the garage to figure out what was going on. Turns out, Mason took the box of candy canes off the counter (thus, biding his time), which he was not supposed to do. Kaleb then took the candy canes from Mase, which he is not supposed to do (if your brother does something wrong – come get mom – it’s not your job to police him, it’s mine). Which started the shouting, which lead to smacking and hitting. Lately, I’ve been in a “Welcome To Thunder-dome” mood – I’m not stepping in when you two go at it anymore. Learn how to resolve your problems. By the time I had reached the kitchen and Kaleb told me what happened, Mason had locked himself in his room and was sobbing dramatically (I’m going to make millions off this kid when Hollywood gets ahold of him). Kaleb wanted me to get the craft supplies and I said no, sorry kid, but you don’t get rewarded for hitting your brother. He told me he was sorry, and was promptly informed that I’m not the one who needed the apology, I’m not the one he hurt.
*Side note* I’ve been struggling a lot lately to explain to Kaleb the meaning behind a genuine apology. He’ll do something wrong, and apologize only because he believes it will get him what he wants. Suggestions on how to rectify this are greatly appreciated.
So, he goes to Mason’s door, and tries to talk to Mase, who yells at him (through a slew of dramatic sobs) to go away. Kaleb comes back to me and says “Well, he’s never going to accept my apology.” To which I reply, “Then I guess you’d better figure out a way to make things right.” So for five minutes Kaleb just stands in the kitchen, thinking.
I’m out on the porch when Mason finally decides to leave his room, all hiccups and stifled sobs (seriously, when did my kid start manifesting Sarah Bernhardt?). He walks out to the kitchen and Kaleb looks at him and says “Mason, I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have taken the candy canes and it was wrong to hit you”
*Whoa. Back the truck up. Did that just leave his mouth? For real?!
Mase then says (again, he’s still doing the can’t catch my breath from crying so hard thing) “It wasn’t your fault. It was my fault. I shouldn’t have taken the candy canes.”
*WHAT?! What is going on here? Did I fall into an alternate universe?
Kaleb says “No, it was both of our fault. You shouldn’t have taken the candy canes, but I shouldn’t have taken them from you, and we shouldn’t have hit each other.”
*That’s it. Who are you and what have you done with my children?
After basically a repeat of the whole conversation when Mase once again tried to take all the blame and Kaleb once again took responsibility for his part in it, they both apologized and forgave each other. Meanwhile I’m convinced I’m having a stroke, or maybe the stress has finally gotten to me and I’m hallucinating.
They came to me together and said they accepted each other’s apologies and asked if we could make ornaments. Um. Yeah. Yep. You can make all the ornaments you want after that little display. And they did.
I was humbled, and flabbergasted, and astonished, and so very proud. They might actually turn out to be okay humans one day.
It just reminds me, once more, that kids are full of surprises – and sometimes those surprises don’t even make you want to throw up in your mouth a little.
Happy Wednesday people, thanks for tuning in.