Another Beginning, A New Belonging

Today was Emma’s first day in preschool.  I sent her fully armed: Dora sweater, Baby, Blanket with stars.  I felt like I should include a suitcase complete with other favorite bedding items, books that calm her down, her playdough tools, sippy cups, rubber gloves, more babies, a DVD player and Popeye movies, and much – much – more.  Will I ever feel ready? Will I ever be truly confident that she HAS everything she needs?

She’s one month away from turning 3, so technically she’s 2. And she towers over the other 3 year olds like a large, blue-eyed statue.  She’s the benevolent giant of sorts, harmless until you get in between her and the baby.  She seemed curious about the classroom and began exploring immediately.  Her new teachers are very experienced, relaxed, and very nice.

I’m sitting in the school library.  I brought my painting supplies with me, in case the art building was open for business.  It appeared that they were still preparing for the next semester, so I guess I’ll just have to wait another 5 days.  [[sigh]]

You know, I have been feeling like I might be living on some sort of a moving circus train car or something; I just can’t get my footing.  Life seems to be changing so rapidly that it’s like when I went on the fishing boat off the coast of Oregon.  It wasn’t horrible, just hard on the knees.  Between the huge change of school semesters and vacations, Emma’s continual process of unpredictable development, my son growing so fast it catches my breath, doctor and therapy and school appointments, —- normal —- Will I ever have a section of life that feels normal/settled/regular ever again?

I’ve started breaking ground for my public service plans.  I’m going to be operating a toy-bank for children with special needs.  I appear to have connected with the right people, and in the next few months I should have a location, complete with the tax-write-off receipts and everything.  I now need to put together a plan on approaching our local thrift stores, larger businesses, and corporations to ask for toy donations.  I live in the poorest county in Colorado, and there are plenty of special-needs children here that would benefit from free toys.  It’s going to be relatively low-maintenance once I get it all set up [[knock on wood]].  I’ve always wanted to create or be a part of something-anything that genuinely helps people.  The trick is motivation.  Meaning, you have to find something that really fills you with PASSION.  Something that means so much to you – that even when all energy reserves are gone – the thought of working on the project gives you more energy within itself.  🙂   Through Emma, I have become passionate about not just autism, but all special needs children.  I’m pumped.  Give me some toys.   😉 😉

I also found out that there is a local [yes, in my world, 55 miles away IS local] support group for parents of SN/autistic children that meets once a month.  -?!-  Why I didn’t hear about this 9 months ago is a mystery, but it’s certain good news regardless.  It’s not big, and they are meeting this Saturday.  I’m going.  I’m nervous.  I’m worried.   🙂  I hope I love it.

Anyway.  Emma has decided that she loves POPEYE.  Isn’t that funny?  Today I put it on while we drove to school.  She was back there, and the next thing I know, she was LAUGHING.  As in – REALLY LAUGHING – AT POPEYE.  Isn’t that just fantastic?  She got the humor [I tremble to think about WHAT was so funny to her] and that is just priceless.  For those that don’t get why I’m so excited about this, humor and jokes can be very difficult for a person with autism.  Some never get it at all, because the world around them is taken very literally. 

Hmpf.  Popeye.  Who would’ve thunk it?

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2 thoughts on “Another Beginning, A New Belonging”

  1. Hmmmm…this writing is contagious, in that, I love to read it! Yes, it does change you…having a special needs child. I, too, have become a big advocate for our special peeps. If only with small acts of kindness, and protective gestures. One small slice of the pie that has brought great joy to all involved… would be the peeps at the grocery store. I have always made a point of getting to know the adults that sack groceries. Got to know two people quite well, by casually saying “Hello” when I paid for groceries. Always asked them to walk me to my car, struck-up a conversation, and remembered their names for next time. One guy was so loud, and gregarious. A true, football fan…One day, the checker was getting very annoyed by this, so I said “He always makes me laugh, and is such an inspiration.” She looked at me in disbelief, and I watched it change her whole perspective…wow. Then I walked up to the manager of the store, and told him what a fine employee he was…the manager had this beautiful smile on his face, and understood this young man’s struggles, but also his unique, beauty. This other gal at Albertson’s would always amaze me. Here I was, caught up in my own little problems, while she could barely walk, think straight, or dare to be down. She’d always see me, in the store, and knew I’d spring her from the inside, and have a piece of gum waiting for her, on the outside. One day, lucky her, I gave her a gigantic pack. I have never seen such fortitude before or since…her ability to get-up, and get to work, everyday. She would always ask me life-lesson questions, and sure hope I answered em right. So here’s to keepin it real. Hang in my friend. Scarlett

    1. What wonderful thinking! Yes, I love those ones too… I always smile, and talk to them like I care and respect them. But I haven’t really interacted like that before – – – I think I need to! Inspiring, thank you thank you!

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