Thursday, May 18, 2006
The good, the bad, and the ugly...but it's all good (Journal 22)
The Good...it was such a perfect spring day today. It was a "no afternoon therapy day", which meant I got to enjoy Sam in his sandbox in the back yard, sitting on a warm deck amongst nature.
The scene was gorgeous. I was on one of our upper level decks which sits among tree branch level. One particular branch actually touches the deck from a storm last fall. It is surreal in that you feel like you are literlly floating at tree level.
The feeders were attracting everything today from Blue Jays, Cardinals, Gold Finch and Sparrows. They were actually congregating around the feeders instead of arguing.
But Sam...he was the most beautiful site. Watching him sit and sit and sit in his sand. To watch his eyes as he ran scoop after scoop of sand through his fingers, or onto his dump truck. He would occassionally stand up and walk through the garden on the stepping stones, pounding each one firmly as he plodded through. Only to go back to his sandbox on the top terraced part of the garden.
And Brent and Zach...they were as beautiful (even though not with us). Brent had taken a day off of his incredibly busy schedule to volunteer as a chaperone on Zach's 2nd grade field trip to the Mill City Museum. Zach was in heaven to have dad go. I could not wait for them to open their sack lunches on the trip, as I had packed them each an M&M's M-azing bar, and had wrote "you are" on the top of the wrapper, followed by "love mom". Picturing them together on a bumpy school bus ride, sent me goose bumps of long needed happiness. This day was so good!
The bad...has been the last couple weeks. I am in a rut spiritually, weight wise (eating every bad food I can), emotionally, oh, and let's just add physically for the fun it! Trying to deal with my little stinko attitude of late, I decided to relax on the deck, to meditate, and to get my act back together again. I decided to jump into the kitchen and grab my new attempt at being healthy, a V8 Fusion. Since I had made it this far into the house, I decided to check e-mail. (I have been more and more comfortable leaving Sam for short spurts since our back yard is fenced in, gate locked, and video monitor of him at my computer).
When I got to the computer, an e-mail had arrived from a fellow autism blogger asking me about the discussion about the new Autism Speaks video entitled Autism Everyday. While this video has sparked many rampant posts among autism bloggers, I will not go into detail on my opinion of it. I am very on the fence, and feel there have been many eloquent writings about it already from both sides of the fence.
What I walked away from my computer feeling was even more "bad" and sadness. I am so sad to be a part of a community that seems so divided. Before the video there have already been intense debates over "treatments, to cure, to not cure, remediation, chelation, biomed, minerals, vitamins, GFCF diets, ABA therapy, whether a child has autism, or the child is autism, the list goes on.
I am sad because the autism community can be so divided at times, instead of coming together to focus on ways to improve awareness of autism so that life will be better for those in our lives with autism. It is the awareness piece that the world can benefit from, to better understand our loved ones.
We don't have to agree on causes, treatments, cures, etc...I enjoyed the Time article from last week that compared autism and recent findings to cancer. For me personally, I have always believed that autism has many possible causes, from environmental factors to genetics to mercury to name a few. I have also believed, as in with cancer, that treatment, if one chooses varies among individuals as well. We all just have to do what works. Just because some have done on form of treatment and worked, it does not mean it will for the next. I wish people would understand that. Do you think in the cancer community, that a breast cancer survivor would get up and say, "Well, yes mine was in stage 3 like yours, but we fought it aggressively by doing, this, this, and this. If you would have chosen the same treatment, you would have been cured too." When in fact people acquire same types of cancers, but they often respond to the same treatments differently, and need to choose a different course, and may still die from it. What I am babbling and trying to say, is that those in the autism community should be less concerned with judging one another and their treatment/non treatment methods, and more concerned with creating an awareness in the neurotypical world about autism and just how individual it is.
The ugly...happened. As I sat on the deck with an upset stomach thinking about all of the debate and judgements being made, I felt it. I felt this incredible plop on the back of my head. It couldn't be a rain drop, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Oh Lord, no it wasn't...it couldn't be. I raised my left hand up over my long blond hair to the back of my head. I felt. I brought my hand back and looked. NO!!! This could not be. Not ever in my 37 years has this happened to me. I brought my hand to the front and stared. There on my hand was a slimy, greenish, yellowish mixture of BIRD POOP! Yes! A bird pooped on my head. This was a perfect ending to a bad last couple weeks. Bird crap on my head!!!!!!
But it's all good...really. Because my day turned around. Later that evening I received an e-mail that was "all good". It was from a mom of quads, with two sons on the spectrum from an area suburb. She saw a comment I left on a fellow bloggers page and noticed that I was from Minneapolis also. We have already had e-mail conversations, and I look forward to chatting with her more and meeting her in person. I look forward to creating a community with her that may allow its members to agree to disagree, that will be there for one another and try to create a better awareness of this world called autism. So what if it is only us for now, for Jesus said, "whenever 2 or more are gathered."
It was the good, the bad and the ugly...but it's all good!