Thursday, May 17, 2012

A little thing

I'm not working full time anymore. I can stop by your home for a few hours and help you with whatever you want.  

I wasn't sure what to say.  I had just finished a presentation for autism awareness, diving into the 'normal' everyday life of families living with autism.  I used my messy home as an example in the montage of photos that accompanied my talk.  I tried to make it clear that I wasn't asking for help personally, but was just wanting to illuminate some of the hidden realities.

I did really need help.  Yet, sometimes accepting help is hard.  I'm getting better, but still, I may protest in my mind.  Accepting help means letting people know more about my imperfections.  We all know no-one is perfect in theory.  Harsh supporting evidence is quite another thing.  Yet, I also had just encouraged people to reach out in a non-judgmental way.  My home represents one such opportunity, especially in the form of the 6 bags of clean laundry that had yet to get into closets and drawers that were going to be met by the 3 bags that were going to be done that day.

Sure!  Call me in the morning and we'll set a time to come over.

The next morning I received a text at 9 am.  Can I come by at 10?  Talk about initiative.  What about noon ? I said.  Jay went to sleep at about 4 am and I'm just getting up.

It was all arranged.  I spent my afternoon doing what I normally do, reading, talking, cooking with the kids in attendance.  The only thing different was the knowledge that one of the shoemaker's elves was busily making clothes disappear from the laundry bags and appear in the closets and drawers.  It was a glorious feeling!

The common battle cry for awareness activities is Do Something.  Sometimes we thing the 'something' has to be something big.  We think, what can my little thing do in the scope of the challenge facing so and so ? So we don't offer our little thing.  But the little things are often HUGE in impact, especially when combined with several other little things.  What if everyone did their little thing?  The effects could be quite...significant (gargantuan, gynormous, elephantitic...)  Most of the time, it's a little thing that motivates someone to throw their hands in the air.  Alleviate that little thing and we give each other a little more time to process, to plan, to just be, and recoup our energies to deal with the big things that crop up every day.

Is this all you have?  No, I said sheepishly.  There are 3 more bags in the basement.  Give me another one.  I have a bit more time.

That day was a wonderful day.  I stepped into my room and saw the clothes folded on the chair, looked in the drawers and saw neatly folded rows.  I breathed a sigh.  All the tantrums, poop cleaning, messes and spills did not seem as significant as they were on just the previous day.

Thanks, my friend.

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