Day #283 – Beautiful People

Last night while with a group of friends a woman said to me (while telling ‘child’ stories), “I don’t know how you do it.  You have a strange level of compassion and your ability to forgive is…well…not human.”

I took that as a compliment and then starting thinking (as usual).

Earlier in the day on a car ride Tucker lost it.  Now, losing it may be normal for any child – the difference is the recovery time.  Because his emotional intensity (Read Day #12 – My Emoticon) it takes him MUCH longer to come back.  Much, much longer to recover from being frustrated, or hurt, or angry, or sad – or anything negative.

While he was in that ‘place’ I was thinking about an instance earlier in the day.  I witnessed a mom and son having a disagreement in a restaurant.  I couldn’t help but to eavesdrop (they were right next to me).  I also have a habit of really watching other people interact with their children – because I’m always trying to figure out how we’re the same (and different).  The mom wouldn’t let it go, whatever happened that is.

About every 2-3 minutes she would bring it up, repeat ‘I just can’t believe it’ and ‘I’m so disappointed.’ I just kept watching…wondering if that is how most people parent. Watching this boy about the same age as Tucker…wondering how his ‘recovery’ compares.

Watching and wondering because I can’t parent that way.  Tucker would live in a repetitive cycle of self-defeating talk and behaviors.  Something as simple as correcting him on a fact he has wrong can send him into an hours-long cycle of self-deprecating talk and self-harming behavior (yes, hitting himself).

So, when he misbehaves or does something ‘wrong’ we talk about it and then let it go, I move on – and quickly.

He doesn’t get ‘grounded.’
He doesn’t have to sit on a stool and ‘reflect on what he did.’
He doesn’t really receive punishment.

Because I forgive right away.  Because it’s done.  Because we need to move on.  Because I can’t bear to see him deep in the negative cycle.

Later last night my cousin said to me, “I’m convinced that God really did give you Tucker.  I could not do what you do.”  On Day #166 – I’m Not Supermom I wrote about how I’m nothing special – and that most parents would work to get their child, understand their child, and be there for their child.  I wrote that, as a parent, you simply become what your child needs to best succeed.

Although I would like to say I’ve always been full of compassion and quick to forgive – I don’t know that is true.  I know I am now…I know that ‘having’ to be this way for Tucker has made me a better human being.

The woman who said this to me was telling me a story about some ‘wrongs’ she had committed.  After I hugged her and said, “We all make mistakes – it’s about picking yourself up and moving forward in the best possible way.”  Tears welled in her eyes…

If there is one thing I’ve learned in life AND from living a life on the spectrum it’s that people beat themselves up enough…by themselves.  They certainly don’t need help feeling bad from anyone else.

Today…

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 Be a beautiful person.

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8 thoughts on “Day #283 – Beautiful People

  1. Beautiful & Beautiful, what an awesome mom! I have an autistic son also, he is 17. It has been rough for a long time, but things are getting better. Thanks for the post!!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Day #321 – Sox Has Autism | 366 Days of Autism

  3. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

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