Family love is messy, it flies in your face without warning, hits unexpectedly with the weight of gravity. But it stays with you, grounds you, is the one consistency in the up and down journey of constant change.
Logan has EFD: Executive Functioning Disorder., not to be confused with another EFD disorder 🙂 Consequently, he has a hard time prioritizing not only his own information, but also the information he needs to tell me. With Logan, all knowledge carries the same weight and priority tag, whether it’s, “The dog snuggled with me last night.” Or “Your hair is on fire.”
I know that if plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet still has 25 other letters. And I have used every single one of those letters, all the way down to plan Z. I also know that if you speak Chinese, their alphabet has over 50,000 characters. Fifty freaking thousand characters, which is a LOT of plan B’s. Also, I may need to learn Chinese.
Hope is an incredibly powerful and often overlooked psychological force. When we are hopeful that our circumstances are temporary and change is possible, we can achieve extraordinary feats. Hope is the catalyst that changes outcomes.
I’ve been thinking a lot about those who share, and share, and share, even though they know it’s not enough, it will never be enough. They take what they have, asking that it will be enough, that it will rise and stretch, that the yeast will grow and that all the hungry mouths will be fed.
On those ridiculously dark night, when the weight of love is as dense and heavy as an untouched fruit cake; I’ve wondered if all the talking, listening, reasoning and reassuring makes even a chink in the armor of autism, let alone a dent in the shield. But, my ace up my sleeve is knowing I can perseverate too. In fact, love compels me to repeat something intently or redundantly, usually to an exceptional degree or beyond a desired point. I choose to believe that the weight of love will be decisive. That the gravity of devotion is cumulative, that it all matters.
All the times I wiped noses, wiped butts, buckled boys in car seats, and stopped on the side of the road every other mile to REBUCKLE them in car seats, matter. All the hours nursing children with the stomach flu, the cracked nipples, ER visits and bouts of biting. All the landforms formed, PE clothes washed, forgotten lunches delivered. All the binkies found, Halloween costumes created, knees bandaged, and apples peeled. All the books read, boundaries set, chores enforced, and meadows checked. The sleepless nights stumbled through, the lullabies sung, the waiting in long lines for the ferris wheel. The parent teacher conferences, the scolding absorbed, the laundry washed, pancakes flipped, tempers held and crusts removed, it all counts.
“Courage is not born from effortless immaculate conception. Courage is conceived in terrifying moments of raw bravery. Courage keeps pace with fear. It is barely one step ahead, and sometimes the race seems so close you wonder who will cross the finish line first.”
Sandwiched between his two autistic brothers, Spencer has never had first dibs on pretty much anything. He has assumed, ie been forced into the role of peace maker, negotiator, soother, sacrificer, sympathizer and protector, ands all before he turned four.
It’s easy to look at other tightly sealed shells and think they have it all together. Look at the curves on her lips? I mean she had to have her scallops enhanced. But you never know what’s going on inside another person. No one is immune to adversity or setbacks. Even small irrantants like a stressful work environment, can be that little grain. Or maybe you’ve been trying to wrap around a freaking boulder like childhood cancer. No one ever has enough nacre for that.
We had been locked in a dead sprint towards the finish line, trying to keep up or catch up, or just not fall. “We just have to get through these last few weeks…” I’d say to myself over and over agains as I ran around finding props for plays, or making cupcakes for the banquet, throwing his white dress shirt into the dryer with a damp towel again and again so he’d appear unwrinkled, care for.