Life has been a big stress mess for me the last couple of days. As a mother I constantly worry about my kids. I worry about our life together as a homeschooling family and what the future will be like for Serafina with her autism. I worry sometimes that I can’t give them the best, even though with all of my heart and soul, I want to and I do try. I worry about the state of our world and the state of the mass consciousness of many; the music out there, the media, the violence, the unwholesome portrayal of sex and women’s body image. I worry whether or not I can protect my children from being harmed in their soul from the evils and the deception of so many untruths that lurk about, some obvious and some deceptively disguised. I worry about the food that we eat, the GMO’s and the pollution of our earth. I worry about my example as a woman too and always strive to be my best self for them.
Yes, life is not easy and not perfect.
Today I had to head out to register the girls for swim lessons. Every year for these swim lessons people are lined up outside the door and it takes a long time to get them registered. I had to go solo, with just Kesa and Serafina. Autumn had dance lessons and Craig was at work. We got there at 5:22pm and registration started at 5:30pm. The parking lot was already full and there was a line up outside the door already. I went to grab my number and was number 58. Even though I was early, It was going to be a long wait.
Serafina was strapped in the stroller and Kesa was playing contentedly outside. I was grateful that it was nice out and we could at least wait outside in the sun. I knew that it would be a while, so I brought snacks. We enjoyed Corn Thins and apples as we waited.
About 10 minutes in Serafina was starting to get antsy. Lining up her Tigger, Piglet, and Pooh bear on the stroller was not working the way she planned, as they kept toppling over and she was getting mad. She loves to run (my little Leo) and so I tried to offer her snacks, but she was bouncing away and yelling. People were staring. Probably wondering: #1, why is this big kid strapped into a stroller, and #2, why she was babbling away and being so noisy while I wasn’t really doing anything about it.
I felt uncomfortable and decided to take the girls for a little walk down the block since I knew that it would be a while yet. We walked and came back and the line was still LONG. There was no restraining Little Leo anymore, my little lion had to roam. I let Serafina out of the stroller (although I knew that there was slim chance of getting her back in) and at first she played in the grass near the building and was spinning Kesa’s bike tires after tipping her bike over onto the grass.
After a while of testing her boundaries and getting further and further away from me and Kesa, she had to begin running around the gravel parking lot. She would get down to the ground and feel the stones, picking some up and tossing them into the air. She was getting her hands all dusty and licking it off of her hands, all the while babbling away, sometimes shrieking for joy. People were staring.
Over an hour passed and I kept watching her and chasing her around the parking lot, trying to get her to stay near the building. Telling her she had to stay near, although I knew that she wouldn’t listen. People stared. I tried to take her inside, but that was much worse. People stared as I walked in with her and she was screaming and kicking away in my arms.
After a while, I decided to try and not worry so much and actually talk to one of the other mom’s who was also waiting outside. We talked about the kids and swimming. (At least I tried to talk, in between running after Serafina.) She could tell that I was anxious about my wandering toddler and I cooly said, “She has autism.” (I hate to say that word, but I did.) “Usually my husband and I don’t take her out unless we can both watch her, but he had to work tonight.” I felt that I had to explain, at least for my own sake. I asked what number they were on and she said, “49.” I knew that it would still be at least 30 more minutes.
At that moment the woman asked me if I wanted to switch numbers with her. She was number 53, while I was number 58. I couldn’t believe that she would actually do that, after having also been waiting so long, looking anxious to leave. I felt really touched that someone would do such a kind thing. I asked if she was sure, and she said, “Yes.” I traded numbers with her thanking her over and over, while still running after Serafina.
Finally it was about to be my number and I was going to be ready! Unfortunately, I missed our number being called the first time and I wanted then to just leave. Things were getting frustrating. I stayed and then they let me go next. I quickly buckled a screaming Serafina into the stroller and ran in the building to register Autumn and Kesa for swimming, telling Kesa to watch her sister (something my girls hear all the time!). People stared.
It was done. We could now go home.
On my walk home my mind shifted from feeling so down and I thought about how much I have to be grateful for and how grateful I was that the woman outside was inspired to do a little thing like that to help me out.
Sometimes I feel like there is so much to do and so much I don’t get done in life (especially with having such a busy toddler with autism). I worry, beat myself up, and work myself into a depression sometimes because I can’t do it all and my life gets out of balance. Tonight that woman (inspired by divinity to extend a little kindness to me), reminded me that it is the little things that count. The little acts of kindness given and received and keeping an open mind and grateful heart.
I got to shift my mind back into the proper perspective.
~ Even though we aren’t all eating meals together at the table, we are all eating, and we are all eating healthy foods.
~ Even though Craig and I don’t have much time for each other, we always make the most time for each other in between work and kids that we can.
~ Even though life is stressful, I have a supportive, loving husband who cares about his family and loves his special daughter.
~ Even though some days go by with little or no schooling, and we wouldn’t exactly be up to “school standards” in our homeschooling, I know that my girls are smart and are learning life lessons about how to be a good person by being in this family and helping out within the home and family and with their special needs sibling.
~ Even though I feel that so many things are far from what I would like them to be, we are a limited media family and our kids have time and opportunity to be outside in nature and learn from life. I am able to be here with them, even if I am not doing what I want to be on those more difficult days.
~ Even though the world is an imperfect place and us human beings can seem so lost sometimes, I believe that we do have that spark of kindness within us and the ability to tune into divine guidance when we truly want to, even if sometimes we foget or some people do not want to listen.
Tonight, Serafina still cries away in her room as I type this blog post and my heart could break. I could feel down that I can’t ease her sadness most days, or understand what she is communicating all the time, or I can know that I always wake up and do my best, even if it is far from perfection or my ideal as a mother.
I hold out hope for our future together as a family and pray that we could all, each one of us human beings on earth at this time, learn to listen to that spark within us. To extend a little more kindness, and remember in those times of worry, doubt, fear, and confusion, to put things into perspective and be grateful for all that we do have and all of the light that ever surrounds us all.
Tonight I am grateful for my life, challenges and all, and every situation that has brought me to where I am. Could I have seen a life with autism coming my way and all of the challenges it would bring, would I change a thing about it? Sometimes (though I hate to feel this way), I want to say yes, but I look at my sweet angel and I know that she is what I ordered and what was planned for both Craig and I, Autumn and Kesa. She is what makes my life worthwhile and who teaches me so many lessons every day.