Friday, May 6, 2011

Secrets Revealed

Last week, in Teflon’s blog” Lying Awake, Waiting”, Tef described some of my experiences growing up and how it still influences me today. Reading it, I cannot deny any of it, although to me it seems not to convey the full picture.

It doesn’t reveal the love and support I received from my parents or my brother. It also doesn’t reveal the frustrations, the sadness, the incomprehensibility of the experiences I encountered. It doesn’t show the moments I fought for myself and the moments I gave up. It doesn’t show the moments that other people took me under their wings and gave me reasons to make something of my life. It doesn’t show the joy I felt on a regular basis while living in the middle of all the chaos.

Kathy said in her blog “What to Write?” that her not being able to write goes back to judgments held about herself and others. I recognize that in relation to my life’s experiences. A piece written about my life never seems as loving, as intense, as confusing, as chaotic, as immature or beautiful as the real experience was. So, I talk and write about them globally, never going too deep into the details, never showing the struggles I had or have making sense out of the world.

Being part of a local writing circle, I got a prompt in my email box that asks me to write about secrets revealed. My first response would be that there are no really juicy secrets to reveal from my life, but when we talk about not hiding from my personal story, really revealing feelings, smells, interpretations, and beliefs, there are lots of experiences to share. And if I don’t judge my writing, or how the reader will respond to my writing, there is enough inspiration to write a lifetime.

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The white truck I drive is falling apart. By the end of the week it has to be inspected, but Oldie will first need some new tires. Is the truck is still worth all the upcoming repairs, knowing the air conditioner is broken, the water pump and belt have have to be replaced, the tire-rack is malfunctioning, etc.? Every bump taken brings a shiver through the spine of my truck. I slow down on the corners to make sure the spare wheel doesn't bump against the exhaust. It might be time to say thanks and move on. We’ll see. I'll have till the end of the week to decide.

At destination I park my car along the side of the road. I grab my purse, get out of the car and walk to the house. This stable routine has grown to be a huge part of my life over the last two years. In the cute terracotta house lives a family that is very important to me. Kathy introduced them to me two years ago when they planned to start a program for their three and a half year old son on the spectrum.

I walk inside, put my shoes on the tray and my black purse in its regular spot, while enjoying the smell of spices drifting from the kitchen. I am fifteen minutes early dad and mom smile when I arrive in the cozy kitchen. I am invited to dig into the fresh made gluten free health cookies while sipping some tea.

The question “How is my friend doing today is answered by the observation that he is falling more today. It is unknown exactly why he falls. Some periods it seems to go away and at other periods it seems to come back. We are all felled by hey fever and sinus infections, and so I suggest he might also be under the weather. Maybe his inner ears are stuffed and that influences his balance? Luckily, his playroom is very safe. It has a padded floor, which protects him from getting hurt when he looses balance.

When the clock says it’s time to go to the playroom, I grab a banana and walk down the stairs. My little friend already opened the door and is inviting me to come in while at the same moment tires to push his other friend out of the door. He sure is one who loves multi-tasking! The way he approaches things like this, I imagine that for him the world doesn’t move fast enough. Saying hi and by, putting on shoes, taking water bottles, giving hugs.... couldn’t that all be done in less then one second? He looks totally adorable in his blue Yankee coat, his polar bear pants and a backwards worn orange cap.

He dives onto the banana as if he has not eaten in days. I know better! I look around and see that he was just starting to eat a piece of gluten free toast with peanut butter and suggest to him that we can eat the toast first before it gets cold. “No” he responds. “Hmm, what about me putting some banana on your toast with peanut butter? Shall we do that?”. He thinks a moment and responds, “yes” while his whole body bends from the waist in a confirmative body shake. He follows up on his decision by pulling the little blue chair backwards and sitting himself on it and looking at me expectantly. I cut the banana and put the pieces on his toast. He enjoys his peanut butter banana feast, while I enjoy watching him eat and play with the peanut butter on his fingers.

I love this little boy so much, and I feel honored that I am one of the people that can witness his growth from so close. The way he can look me in the eye; the way he answers questions or tells me what he wants; the way he is starting to develop his unique sense of humor.

My main focus right now is to help him to express himself in clear sentences. We then use this clear communication to work on flexibility. Where not long ago he could only throw a tantrum when things were not going the way he expected or wanted, he now will say things like "I don't want mama to talk with Charlie" when he hears Charlie and mama talking in the kitchen.  My "not so little friend anymore" also started to listen better to explanations and has responded to mine with sentences like “that makes sense” or “that is good, that is perfect”. 


Let me leave you with revealing a little secret: my heart melts from love and happiness during moments like that. I celebrate every time he takes a leap in his development. Some people would say that I am focussed on outward gratification. I just think I am one lucky woman and feel honored with the opportunity to love this family!

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