Showing posts with label Scouts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scouts. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Not Editing Out Autism

Ben's whole life I've been editing.  I edit out the challenges mostly because I'm a glass half full kinda girl, but also because I want to be fair to Benjamin.  I've come to appreciate it is okay to be a little raw, and a little more forthcoming about the circumstances I edit out.  I think I need to commend my other children in what they have learned to accommodate and live with so that we can continue to enjoy all the activities and fun we have as a family.  When I edit, it leaves out the opportunity to recognize their efforts in helping their brother, or sometimes just putting up with him - they are human after all, but they love him and are fiercely protective of him.

Linus has the hardest role of all.  He is less than 2 years older and it is frustrating to him that Benjamin steals away so much attention.  This weekend was the Pinewood Derby and Linus was very excited to have the family come cheer him on.  Pete and I took the time to explain to Benjamin that it would be loud, there would be lots of people, etc..etc...  We let him wear his favorite jacket with the hood that muffles all that noise and hoped for the best.

Pete drove ahead with Linus and when I arrived I found a good spot to see, and be near the door in case there was a need to depart quickly for Benjamin. (we've learned to take 2 vehicles to a lot of events in order to give one of us an ability to leave if it becomes too much)

When we arrived Grandma and Papa arrived too, so we all walked in together.  See that smile, he was elated to see us there.  This was the first of what must have been 50 turn arounds to check to see if I was still there and still watching.

When the races began, the music was kicked into high gear.  The vibe in this space was electric and the excitement was dripping off the walls.  A very nice woman was standing in front of us unaware that she was blocking Ben's view so he began shouting "SIT DOWN LADY" very loud but thankfully she didn't hear him over the rhythm & excitement filling up the room.  Finally, she did sit down and a song with a low base beat came on so Benjamin started holding his ears and rocking.  He was unnoticed and not bothering anyone so I didn't want to move.  I'd just let this ride a little so that I didn't leave Linus.

*still checking*
Tobias offered to take Ben outside, but Ben doesn't really follow Tobi's direction very well and has a history of running off so I as much as I appreciated Tobi's offer, I thought we could hold on just a little longer.

*He Won!!!*
Linus won the first round and I got to see it and he knew that I, his Dad, a few brothers (others were working), and his Grandparents were all there to see it.  This guy has really had a rough year and to see the look of elation on his face still fills my heart.  Meanwhile, Benjamin had placed his head on his chair and start to beat his head into the chair a little in a stemming way of trying to find comfort.

*checking again*

Benjamin has gotten his head stuck in the chair now, which took a comforting activity straight to a full on meltdown in about 2 seconds flat.  I'm thankful for the noise because everyone around us was blissfully unaware.  Pete and Isaac were over on the side and had been randomly peeking over to make sure Ben was okay, they also knew the noise would be too much.

I'm absolutely torn at this point.  

We've had several tear filled break downs from Linus because of his trying to grapple with all of Ben's difficulties. 

 I get Ben's head free, Tobi is desperate to help, Isaac and Pete are waiting for me to give the signal of what we should do when my Mom says "Let me take him outside" and looks at Ben with the eyes of a Grandma and asks him "Do you want to go outside"?  He settles enough to nod "yes" and takes her hand (Ben doesn't take anyone's hand easily, and only a very few of us can count on him to take it at all).  Off they go and the storm settles a bit.

Tobi went to check on Grandma and Benjamin a few times so I would know if he was melting down on her or okay.  Grandma found a playground and he was playing.  Linus won the next round as well.  His happiness was so fun to watch.  Papa stayed to cheer Linus on with Pete, the boys and I. 

 Linus loved it, LOVED.IT!

*still checking*

For the final round we let Grandma know so that she could watch him get his ribbon.  Pete, Grandma and I all stayed at the door so Benjamin could remain in the hall (where the noise was a bit more muffled)...and he was happy.  When he began to get overwhelmed again, Pete sat down with him and showed him videos on his phone (Ben loves for us to take videos of him and then watch them, it calms him down to see them so Pete and I both have several to chose from when the situation calls for it).  

We could not be more proud of Linus and are so thankful we got to see him enjoy this moment.  If my Mom and Papa had not been there, I would have needed to leave and couldn't have been a part of this, building more frustration for Linus.  It isn't like he needs me to be at everything, but to keep missing everything can be rough on his little heart.  I'm so glad we had this day, and he had the Pinewood Derby.  He absolutely loves Scouts!

This post could have edited out all the Autism and been a great post about a fun day, and that is what I usually do - I crop out, edit out the Autism because what our family takes away from this is all about Linus or the fun we had.  

We don't focus on the Autism, we focus on Ben though. 

 I realize that we've just learned to do this and we dismiss the challenge as par for the course.  The older boys are great, and understand but for Linus it's like ignoring the white elephant in the room and he doesn't understand while he DOES understand. 

 It is hard to explain.  

I plan to share more posts that don't edit out the Autism, but I also will continue with my style of blogging which is to share what we take away from each of these moments as a family because that is only good memories of a time shared together.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in every day life~

~Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

Sunday was such a pretty day, balmy and not cold at all.  We decided it was the perfect day to take one of our long hikes at Hagerman.  

Still stitching away at Benjamin's stocking.  I'm going backward through the family, Ben up to Pete.  I've always wanted to make these but never felt I had the time and realized if I had just started on them, many would be done by now.  The kids each picked out their stocking (except Noah, he is getting a Noah's Ark stocking) and I'm loving this project.  It's the 80's teen in me I'm sure.  I spent many a night sitting on the couch with my Mom watching Dallas, Fantasy Island, or on Saturday SNL, and Night Tracks (pre-MTV days) cross stitching while my Dad worked late nights as a Deputy Sheriff (so we always had the scanner going too).  Those are good memories and working on this project takes me back there.

We decided over the Holiday's to quit sitting on the fence about 'do we have time to add one more thing' etc...etc...  This guy really needed something that was his.  He is uniquely sandwiched between the only girl in the family and the baby. We wanted him to have something special, and have been thinking and praying about this for a while.  When talking to a dear friend and the mother of one of his good friends the idea of giving Scouts a try formed.  Pete and I discussed it, contacted the troop that his friend is a part of and they had an opening.  So voila, our guys is a Bear Cub now.

Just in time for the Pinewood Derby

He is beyond excited about this and already enjoying the activity of creating his derby car.  
I think we've made a good decision here, Scouts is already making him very happy.

We are having a fun time finding these meme's and signs on the web.

We didn't get Samwise to be an alarm system, but we are loving the German Shepherd Community..

and how protective this breed is.  Meanwhile....

does this look very 'alarm system` worthy'?
 Nope, and we like that just fine. 
 He did about bust out our window yesterday because a stranger was walking through our yard...the stranger was 2 and had gotten away from her mother.  I was like "Really, Sam - a 2 year old??" and he just kept giving me this confused puppy look of  "wait, that was wrong?"  and he continues to be scared of poodles at the park while Linus is saying "he doesn't realize he is a German Shepherd does he"...we love this dog and all the comic relief he brings to our every day.
Sam, Ben and the garbage debate...every. single. day...they could sit there for ever waiting to see if Sam will go for it or not - while Ben keeps telling him "nope, no, don't do it' and then laughs his head off when Samwise goes for it....ugh!


The brouhaha over the remarks made by Pope Francis this week caused quite a stir.  I want to clarify that the Pope did not depart from church teaching and the whole idea of having a large family has actually been supported and praised by the Pope.
I receive far more sweet and kind comments about my family nowadays, and oh my goodness do I love that. 
 I was the target of some pretty nasty comments back when I had lots of little, little boys and seemed to be consistently pregnant.  When hormones are at their worst and children are having a bad day, that is when some mean spirited person would swoop in and zing me - and the 'be like rabbits' media spin 'breed like rabbits' comment took me right back there. 
 You see, I understand all the nuances and deeper layers of church teaching and the context to which the Pope was speaking...but the person who wants to use those words to justify their saying something about my family size or 'responsible procreation (if they even know that word)' is going to now feel like they can, because they are not going to investigate all the context and nuances - they are just going to stand on their soapbox and now quote my own Pope to do so - and that is what I have a problem with.   I would NEVER pretend to think I had a right to tell someone else how many children to have or how to live their life but because I have a large family or 'a litter' (yes, that one has been used to describe my family. 'or breed like a rabbit' (yes, that one too) now their is an assumed justification by the ignorant in not holding back and zinging that poor pregnant Mama while she shuffles along her little ones...and that is what pains me about the whole thing. 
 Do not use the Pope's words to inflict pain on a Mama.  
It is ignorance that hurts the most about the whole thing, because the ignorant will be the ones to use such commentary to hurt.
~Love one another~
Besides, having lots of children....many never get to experience this and I realize how blessed I am to have been given this gift.

Who else but older brothers would help all the younger ones when a hike becomes too long...

and you just want to be held for a while.
A brother can carry you and does not feel burdened by your weakness.
We need to do that for one another~

Please join Leila for today's PHFR.

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