Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Road Undiscovered-a micro blog

The morning sun is bright, reflecting off the road in front of me.  I squint my eyes against the glare and peer at the endless black ribbon that stretches before me.  It is a beautiful Texas fall day and I find it enervating.  I just want to drive.  I don't want to go any place in particular; I long to go, explore, expand my horizons.  East or west? North or South?  It doesn't really matter.  I want to spread a giant road map before me, close my eyes and randomly put my finger on a spot and just go.
I'm not restless by nature, quite the opposite in fact.  But today is just so beautiful, open and unspoken for.  It begs to be more than just another in a long line of errand filled, task consumed days, seemingly checked off the calendar before they begin.  In this moment, I remember that my childhood was filled with days like this, days of promise and possibility. When did the magic of each dawning day get lost in the minutia of daily life?  I don't know. Somewhere between my teen years and college would be my guess.  We exchange dreams and adventure for routine and stability when we cross the threshold of adulthood.  This is a necessary and expected exchange but for today I glimpse what morning was oh so long ago.
I pull into my driveway, the adult in me has commitments to attend to today but I am grateful for my glimpse of the endless, undiscovered road this morning.  Every day I want to awake with that same feeling of expectation and promise.  One day soon I will make the time to take the road not yet traveled, with all it's undiscovered treasures.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Glimpse of "er"

This morning the alarm went off at five am,  just like it does every school morning.  Truth be told, I am not terribly fond of the alarm clock on any given morning but today it seemed to beep more shrilly, more loudly and more annoyingly than any previous day.  I trudged to the kids rooms and awoke them one by one.  On any given school day, it takes a few minutes of prodding and cajoling to get them moving but today it took longer and they griped louder and I was proddy-er (yes that is a's my blog and I say so ;)
We made it downstairs and the light was more blaring causing the daily Jamie melt down to be more melting downy-er (again a word....see previous caveat) and the daily Benny meltdown triggered by the daily Jamie meltdown was WAY Benny-er.  Sam was slower, breakfast was wronger, Alex was more purposely annoying-er (Alex is my stir the pot kid), Paul was  Aspie-er.   It was a very "er" kind of day.
Everyday, I try to look at my life through the lens of humor.  Everyday, I try to choose laughing instead of crying. Everyday, I purpose to not let my families circumstances or disabilities define my attitude.  But today was just such an "er" day.  Today, the two months from hell collided with my "er" day and I was in a proper snit.  I dropped Paul off at school,  went home and I had myself a proper pity party, complete with party hats and streamers.  It really is a shame that only the cats were here to witness it!  Those fifteen minutes were the stuff legends are made of.  Then I had to give myself a time out.  "Self" said I "get it together.  This is not the way we behave." "But I'm sick of everything being a fight. The past two months have been terrible!!  I've had this bad thing happen and this annoying thing happen and this frustrating thing happen  AND this completely ridiculously blown out of proportion  thing happen (bad things expunged from the record to save you from reading all my whining;) and to top it all off I have had a very bad day!! (insert foot stomp here)"  I replied.  (Yes, I had a two part conversation with myself.  Don't worry the funny farm is on my speed dial. A friend and I have decided to coordinate our breakdowns.  This way we can share a room;)  "That's it!  You are in time out.  Have a cup of coffee, eat some breakfast, take a hot shower and watch an episode of I Love Lucy.  Take a minute, get your attitude in line and your sense of humor back!" I snapped at myself.  
So that is just what I did.  I spent an hour getting myself together, putting my big girl panties back on and choosing to change my attitude.  Afterwards, I looked back at my morning and the truth is, this morning was exactly like every school morning here in Skiffland.   It turns out the only real "er" in my morning was that I was attitudey-er.   
Since taking a few minutes to reset my attitude and my sense of humor, my day has gone fine. I just needed to refocus on what is important and take the "er" out of my day.   I hope things are well for you my friends.  As always lots of love-Kristine

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Glimpse of the Surreal

The Road Not Taken
by: Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.  

There are times in life that can only be described as surreal.  This past month has been one of those times in Skiffland.  We went ,in a few days time, from having our feet firmly planted on one path  to, in the blink of an eye, having that path completely disappear before us.  Now, we have to figure out where God is leading us as a family.  To be clear, nothing horrible or terrible is going on.  We are just at a bit of a stop gap right now.  Between a personal situation that affected our family's general direction and a health condition that has flared for my husband, we are praying that God will lead us to the new path he has for us.  Personally, this has been a difficult month.  I don't really like change to begin with, and I particularly don't like change when it comes with no warning and is forced upon me.  I need a little time to get used to the idea, dip my toes in ,if you will, before I am completely submerged.  However, it is in these times that I am reminded of God's presence all the more.  I know that even when things seem discombobulated and out of control to me, God has it all in complete control.  I see more clearly with each passing day the way God uses the unforeseen to draw us closer to him and closer together as a family.  
 God has used the situations of the past month to deal with some deep hurts from my past that I thought were long gone, some of which I had never even admitted to.  To be completely honest, I am not comfortable yet with these things.  I feel raw and exposed.  Part of me would much rather go back to the time where I covered up the pain of abuse with walls of denial and toughness.  But I know that in letting God expose the painful things in my heart, I am allowing Him to heal them and to use them to minister to others who have been through similar situations.  The healing process is painful but it is also freeing.
 My respect for my husband has grown so much deeper this past month.  I have seen him stand up for truth and lead when it would have been easier and more convenient to ignore the issues at hand.  I have seen him push himself physically to provide for our family when there are days that just getting his legs under him is a great effort.  I am blessed to have a man of God who takes both his spiritual and physical responsibilities to his family seriously.
Yes, God uses all things for His glory, even the tough things.  I do not know what exactly He is doing through all this and I certainly don't know exactly where He is leading us but I do know whatever and wherever that is I am excited to see it.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Singing, Dancing and Rejoicing

 Let everyone break forth in singing,dancing and rejoicing!!!  The Skiff Boys have returned to public school!!  Seriously, I feel like a million and one pounds have been lifted from my shoulders!  

I have to give a huge thank you to the middle school here in our small town.   Paul was dead set against going back to public school.  We thought long and hard about continuing to home school him because he took so well to it.   In the end, we felt it was important that he at least try to return to school for the social aspects and to be thoroughly reintegrated before high school (I never intended to home school for high school).  I brought Paul to the meet the teacher event at the school a few days before the start of school.  Paul had an absolute autistic meltdown not five minutes after we arrived.  He was crying, flapping his arms and refusing to look at anyone.  We waited to speak to the Guidance Counselor in the hallway for a good twenty minutes, with each ticking minute Paul became more worked up and I seriously considered just withdrawing him then and there.  Finally, it was our turn to sit down and talk to the counselor, for the purposes of this blog we will call her Mrs. Marvelous;)  I introduced us as we sat down, Paul was in no condition to talk at all.  Mrs Marvelous knew exactly what to do.  She didn't try to engage Paul, instead she closed her office door so it was quiet and continued a normal conversation with me.  This allowed  Paul the space he needed to calm down.  After he was calm, she asked him how she could help him if ever needed to calm down again, what were the specific things that would help him, did he mind being touched on the shoulder (when Paul said he preferred not being touched, she was not offended instead she made a note of it).   She then asked him what his interest were and really listened to him, even while he monologued about cats ( this really meant a lot to Paul).   She then asked Paul to give her one day to rework his schedule and to come back for a private tour before he decided that public school wasn't for him.  
We went home and Paul was still skeptical but much more calm.  The next day Mrs Marvelous phoned me. She had reworked Paul's schedule so that he had the classes he liked/ needed.  She even made it so that he could have gym class with a friend who isn't even in his same grade level!!!  Mrs Marvelous then told me that she and the principal had spoken and they both felt that it may be better for Paul to start a day later than the other kids so that he could avoid the first day of school chaos.  I had thought about this very thing but hadn't dared asked, fearing it would be impossible!!!!  Paul's attitude changed in five minutes from being against going back to school to being super excited to be starting school!!!  Anyone who knows Paul will tell you this kind of an attitude change is a miracle in and of itself.  
  Since second grade getting Paul to school has required an iron will, more than once I have carried him into the school mid meltdown.  I actually would call his teachers and ask how he was doing before I would go grocery shopping 15 miles from our house.  I didn't want to get halfway through grocery shopping only to have to rush back to the school because I was called to the school to calm him down or work with him.  This happened several days a week more often than not.  That is how stressed school has made him in the past.  Now Paul awakes excited to attend school. Don't get me wrong,  there have been few bumps that needed to be ironed out in his schedule, but Paul adjusted to the changes and still looks forward to school every day.  I cannot begin to express what a huge deal this is in our lives!  Seeing him smile as he walks into the school building is worth all the stress it has taken us to get to this point.   Thank you Mrs Marvelous and all the other amazing teachers and staff who have made this transition for Paul such a positive one. 

Thank you my friends who stayed with me on this journey and encouraged me.  Each of you has brought a unique perspective into my life.  Please know as always I appreciate each and every one of you.  Lots of love-Kristine

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