Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Transitions


Transition: movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject concept, etc., to another; (dictionary.com)
 
We’re moving.  We’ve been moving for about a month.  We’re moving the hard way.  Days of slowly packing while still living and handling the normal chaos in an ASD household.  I have a library to rival a small room in the NYPL: days of packing and sorting books.  I have a playroom and related supplies to rival a small nursery: days of sorting toys, checking for missing puzzle pieces, finding Legos.  Days of cleaning up the gunk that feel on the floor every time I moved a book or toy that hadn’t seen the light of day in months.  Days of chasing after Jaedon as he found new non-food items to eat among the 8 year gunk under recently moved furniture. 
After 3 weeks of constant activity, I crashed.  I was done.  I took more time to rest and read (since sleeping still wasn’t an option) between packing boxes.  I took the time to wonder about myself in transition.
I think it’s my autistic side.  I can be very rigid and controlling during transitions.  I map out the process, with a few alternative pathways just in case, and I move ahead with my plan.  The thing my plans don’t adequately handle are the various variables in my plans.  So plan A: Isaiah gets home from work at 4 and I leave to go to the new house to clean.  Plan B: Accept my friend’s offer to take the clothes up to the house and ask her to do a bit of cleaning up.  The successful execution of both plans depend on the people variables. On the day in question, both people variables varied.  When variables vary, and plans have to be readjusted in ways that involve more time, I get to work on my autistic side.
This reminds me of the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy with Zachary.  At 39 weeks pregnant, with my cervix beginning to open and Zach in position, the midwives and I decided he would come at any moment and set about ensuring that moment was sooner, rather than later.  I won’t list the various ways we sought to encourage Zach to yield to the truth we knew.  But we did them, and added new ones as often as another sage with wisdom on the matter could arise.  Still no Zach.  He finally put in an appearance when I was a frantic, angry 41.5 week pregnant woman.  This appearance was so sudden, it almost took place on the I-87.
As we sit at home in the incessant packing, facing acute excitement and boredom (“Mommy, this is so much work! I’m bored!”), I wondered about the idea that transitions are anything more than a label for a moment in time,  a label I can use, or discard.  Is there any such thing as a transition?  What makes my standing here deciding if something goes in the Salvation Army bag any more part of a transition than it did a month ago?  What makes the conversations with the kids around moving, nature, woods, giving stuff away, how to transition the pets, any less part of ‘regular school’ and ‘regular life’ than they were a month ago?
Grabbing a hold of my thoughts around being only half way there in the moving process, pulling them back from the How much more? thoughts, sitting with the moment and being my most relaxed self in the moment helps me enjoy the fact that we are moving!  My children and I are working together on an exciting (though sometimes monotonous) project because we want to.  This moment is beautiful for what it is, and prepares us for the next on.  The packing is as much an execution of strong, powerful action as calling the realtor was in the first place.  Adjusting, and being patient in a moving process and coming up with plan Q are all strong powerful actions.  Wow!  And here I thought I was waiting for the new life to begin in the new house.  It’s happening now!
Transitions in movies and music make the piece what it is.  Like rosemary and turmeric and cumin, they are as critical to the flavor as the lentils themselves (in my stewed lentils for dinner tonight).  Why separate them out?  Why not be present with them and enjoy the flavor they bring and the opportunities they offer?

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