Sunday, March 25, 2012

Closed Mind, Closed Heart - Open Mind, Open Heart... My Weekend Grateful.

A minute ago I read a status from a friend on facebook. Now this lady is a very devout Christian, and was making a comment about how upon meeting the local transference healer and saying "Hello", the other person's eyes rolled back in their heads. Following on was lots of happy clapper comments on demons and the spirit of Jesus and the power of God. Judgement.

I did not expect to feel as angry and disappointed in the whole thing as I did.

Closed mind, closed heart.

I was brought up by Wise Woman who was, as she termed herself, a happy clapper. A born-again Christian strong in her beliefs, devout in her devotions, true in her worship. I attended many conferences and meetings (through choice, Mum would say "I am going to this, you want to come?" and sometimes I would, sometimes I wouldn't), many lectures and church services.

Some of them were fantastic, inspiring, wonderfully full of passion... some we sat at the back and watched the obvious charlaton lay hands on people. And as they fell backwards, she and I would giggle and whisper "Damn, he's pushed ANOTHER one over!"

But never, and I mean NEVER did I feel judged for my lack of faith or choices in these places.

And this is what I find hard. My mother was a true Christian. A woman, kind of heart, open of mind. She never lectured, preached or even discussed much of her beliefs with others; and yet she was much loved by so many. I can remember her floating in to my house after one such conference, this one about the healing ministry. A group of my Uni friends were gathered in my lounge room. Mum came in, sat, chatted for a few moments then walked out. My friends all were in awe of how she glowed with some indefinable spirit, shone with joy. They asked me, where had she been to come back so very obviously uplifted? I told them. The jaws dropped - floored by the fact she never preached, lectured nor judged any of them. The term "a true Christian" was muttered under many breaths that day. I sat and smiled. That was exactly what my mother was. The local Jehovah Witnesses loved to drop by her home even though their beliefs differed. They enjoyed nothing more than listening and debating details, revelling in her articulated knowledge.  Oh, the arguments they all delighted in, sitting on a sunny day on Wise Woman's verandah. Their hearts broke a little on the day we lost her.

I guess it is no surprise that for me Christianity is about understanding there is so much more in the universe than what we know, being open to ideas, to debate, to learning. THIS is how I was brought up. Not this close-minded "Get thee behind me Satan" bullshit.

As my mother approached the end of her life, she watched on in joy the growth of her oldest grandson. Boy 1 is a very devout Christian, unlike his parents. He also believes in the power of nature. He is an open vessel, he reads runes, practises crystal healing, has an ongoing interest in transference healing, chakras and reiki. His love of God and Jesus is unshakeable, deep, strong.

One religion teacher at the primary school made the mistake of asking who knew about a particular quote from the bible... An hour later he walked out shaking his head muttering to Boy 1's aide... "That child is incredible! He knows and understands more about the Bible and God's work than I do." Grade 4.

Open mind, open heart.

This, for me, is the true definition of Christianity. A love so pure and generous that it does not close the door on the other powers in life. Being a Christian is not about judgement or preaching, it is about belief, strength and love.

I know I will offend some with this post, but to be honest I feel so strongly about this that it was not a choice, it was a compulsion.

It is how my mother brought me up, and how my son expects me to be.

Open mind, open heart.

And I thank God that he gave me two such wonderful human beings to be in my life. And for that, and so much more, I am truly grateful.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

To Infinity and Beyond!

Infinity. When you have a scientific family infinity not only relates to the love abounding, surrounding and grounding. It relates to the actual definition of the term.

infinity [ɪnˈfɪnɪtɪ]
n pl -ties
1. the state or quality of being infinite
2. endless time, space, or quantity
3. an infinitely or indefinitely great number or amount
4. (Physics / General Physics) Optics Photog a point that is far enough away from a lens, mirror, etc., for the light emitted by it to fall in parallel rays on the surface of the lens, etc.
5. (Physics / General Physics) Physics a dimension or quantity of sufficient size to be unaffected by finite variations
6. (Mathematics) Maths the concept of a value greater than any finite numerical value
7. (Mathematics) a distant ideal point at which two parallel lines are assumed to meet Symbol (for senses 4-7) ∞
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

And so, when a jewellery range is named after such concept, in our family it is expected to be accurate a representation.

Michael Hill have released the Infinitas Collection. The infinity sign is considered an integral part of the design.

Michael Hill Infinitas Collection

BUT, it is NOT the infinity sign. The infinity sign looks like this:

NOT this:

Michael Hill Infinitas Collection

Or, as in one of my favourite designer's creations, this:

Copyright Uberkate

(Sorry UberKate, but it is not infinity, it is a squiggle)

Or, if you are going to persist in your desire to design an infinity range, look at these:

THAT is the infinity symbol.

But thanks for the laugh... All three of my boys chuckle with amusement when ever they see these designs.

A still giggling...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today is Car Day, It Seems...

Today is car day. Or posts about cars day. Suger is shouting her joy from the blog tops... she has a new shiny new baby over in Sugerland.

Mrs Woog is lamenting the death of her Mazda mechanised monster, and I bought a new car yesterday!

Like Melissa or Ms Suger as we know her, it is blue. Unlike Melissa, it is not new but used. But good enough for us. And the first car in decades I have bought for ME. Okay, so the kids got some consideration - hey, I didn't buy the 1997 2 seater Mercedes convertible did I boys? Hmm? Be grateful, it was a near thing (and you have rollerblades, I could have towed you easily).

The down side is I sold the old Lexus to a wholesaler in the morning... the car bought purposefully to drive Wise Woman in with her fragile bones. Another link gone.

What do you covet? And what do you drive now?

AND - I just have to add, 9 more sleeps to DPCON12! Woot.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

But He's Doing So Well!

He seems so normal... He is normal. Normal for a kid on the autism spectrum. What is normal, anyway? Or should I ask how you personally define normal?

He is doing so well. Yes, yes he is. But do you understand the little things we do every day to keep him on track? The things nobody but myself, and maybe his Dad and brother would ever, EVER remember to do?

You should be proud of him. Oh, I am, believe me. Especially as I know the effort it takes both him and us to keep the act up. For it is an act, you know. There are things that are a part of his nature, a part of the syndrome, that just would not be acceptable in this society.

I couldn't do what you do. Um, if it was your kid you could. You would. You don't get the choice.

But he's doing SO well! Do you know I make him laugh? That constantly I make little jokes, or smart comments, I twist and mock and cajole until the mirth explodes and drowns the anxiety in endorphins? Did you know sometimes he is so overwhelmed with the pressure of life that he hits his head and pulls his hair screaming "I can't do this anymore!" Do you know a lot of the time I want to join in? Do you know that the stress can overwhelm every part of his incredible mind, and stunt that beautiful brain? That sometimes I need to go in, soothe, talk, oil those mental cogs with silliness until the frozen fear melts and allows the intelligence to shine once more?

Do you know I worry endlessly about what would happen if I was not here? Who would he turn to, who could take away the pain, who could bring out the positives whilst minimising the negatives? Who knows him through to the truth of his soul and pushes the perfect buttons to make it right?

Who saves him from falling if I am gone?


Who would see the beauty and the endless potential of a boy who soars into worlds unseen by others all within the mind of mayhem?

But he's doing so well...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Whiplash - The Day My Boy Broke.

"I thought you had it easier, don't tell me it is still going to be hard!" Recent words from a dear friend whose little spectrum man is in Prep.

Autism Spectrum Disorder. Asperger Syndrome. A way of life. A lifelong disorder which doesn't miraculously vanish.

My oldest son is an amazing young man. But he is still on the autism spectrum. My oldest son is exceptionally bright, intelligent, smart... whatever you want to call it, but he still has Asperger Syndrome. His inner light can be dulled, crippled by his anxiety and stress. Strangled by isolation and assumptions of others.

My boy is compassionate, wise, inspiring and giving. But with change all this can be masked under uncertainty, fear, misjudgement.

New people look at him and they see only the label. Lost is the security of the school he attended for seven years, lost is the knowledge of what an incredible journey it has been, lost are his achievments in winning through some of the crippling challenges life has thrown his way, lost is the vision of his personal growth and amazing strength and beautiful heart.

Lost. They only see today.

We knew it was going to be hard.

And it is.

We just have to believe his light will shine through once more.

We know it will.

I just sometimes wonder why life has to be so damn painful for these kids. The most special kids I know. The ones who take your breath away with their ability to forgive.

He is not a label. He is Lewis.

Remember his name, for one day you will sit back in awe and say "I know that boy."

P.S. This is the reason I called a halt to any movement on his book. I am his advocate, HIS. For him to add the stress of the trail to publication onto this massive change year... well, it would not be a positive for HIM.

It is not forever, and as I explained to him, it will always be the book you wrote at thirteen, no matter how old you are when published.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fresh Horses - Words for Eden

Over at Edenland there is a new linky up and running (not new,new, but her new one for this week). The question or theme: Words. You are at a party, step up to the open mic. What would you choose, to read out at this fictional party?

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

For me this is the one. It is the song that makes me cry, it is the song I sing to my boys when they are troubled, it is the way I feel about motherhood as my heart bursts with the love I have for my children.

Sometime, someday, somewhere... they will "Crash and Burn". And on that day I will be there, I wil catch them and hold them tight within my arms and heart until those bruises heal and their souls are complete and strong once more.

Crash & Burn
~Savage Garden~

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please to tame your wild wild heart
I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you
It's hard to find relief and people can be so cold
When darkness is upon your door and you feel like you can't take anymore
Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

When you feel all alone
And a loyal friend is hard to find
You're caught in a one way street
With the monsters in your head
When hopes and dreams are far away and
You feel like you can't face the day

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

'Cause there has always been heartache and pain
And when it's over you'll breathe again
You'll breath again

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild wild heart

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

Never, never alone whilst I have one last breath within this body.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Generation of The Dead

Perkin's Paste. The ultrasound gel reeks of Perkin's Paste and instead of lying in a clinical and cold room being pummelled and poked, I am transported back to my childhood classroom.

And then quickly flung back into reality by a command to roll onto my side. I comment on the smell memory.

"A lot of people are telling me that!"

She is gentle and friendly chatting away whilst sending these signals to view my insides.

The thought comes to me as I lay there wondering what is appearing on her screen...

Is this how they felt? Is this how my roll call of dead friends thought whilst awaiting this prodding procedure to finish? Reassuring themselves that all would be well and it was mere paranoia sending the chill of unease to their very marrow?

I can no longer can ask them, can I? For they are gone. A roll call of people passed too soon, children motherless, fatherless, spouses lonely. so very, very many.

Are we a generation who by our very way of living have condemned ourselves to disease, death, illness, loss?

What have we done to ourselves?

A generation full of health issues, obesity, early demise...

Is this us?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In the Lady Garden...

Bah - have I caught you all out again?

Naughty, naughty peoples. Okay... I'll 'fess. I did it deliberately just to get you here.

I have spent most of today, in between the rain showers, in the garden. Ripping out weeds, cutting off branches, culling, tilling, working out my frustrations.

I am pissed. Actually, I am tense and because I am tense I am pissed. And so off to the garden I run, taking out the boundless frustrations on the rubbish which grows where it should not.

Tomorrow I have to have the last of my scans. I know, logically, that it is unlikely to be anything, but we all know that being sensible is not the most obvious of my attributes. Okay, not really one at all. I don't like this sort of stuff, puts me on edge.

And to add to this, a mother at the school has decided I am to be the focus or distraction of her rage because her life sucks. At least, that is the interpretation I am getting from others. All because of a Facebook comment, taken the wrong way (personally), explanations, clarification and apologies all ignored. FAAARRRKKK - I thought I had left primary school a long time ago, but no. This nearly 50 year old woman has absolutely fixated on me being the root of all evil. Personally I think it is an altogether different type of root she needs and it ain't the kind I was ripping out of the garden today! Hasn't been an issue, but this morning I didn't realise I was parking near her... until Boy 2 said: "Mum, what have you done to that woman, she looks like she wants to kill you!" Look across, and yep, gaze of death glaring through my windscreen.

Had to laugh when I explained what had transpired in brief and he responds with "Great, another person who is in dire need of mental health." And they wonder why I say he is my mini me? And no, I didn't go off about her or her issues, merely said she had decided not to talk to me anymore after the FB comment and told him what it was. Because it seriously was not bad, and it was about special needs which he understands the implications of.

And honestly, most other days I would have laughed it all off, but this is not most other days... it is the day before. So I am allowed to overreact! After all, I am nothing if not a  

PS Garden is gutted. Totally.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Story of That Little Button of Pleasure...

My little button went into hiding on Saturday night. There I was, all ready to jump in and give in to my craving for release when ...with a *FLICK* and a *POP* it vanished into the dark recesses. I nearly cried. When searching did not bring it back, I nearly screamed. Frustration burst through my, by that time of night very limited, decorum.

"NOOOOOO!" I yelled... well, quietly muttered darkly under my breath as not to wake the sleeping munchkins upstairs.

We had been at a 1920's belated Valentine's party. Great fun, great costumes, great company, and no imbibing for this little black duck due to some health stuff. But that is okay, my reward was to come later. Or so I thought.

But then... then disaster struck. *Sob*

Gone, hidden, no more to be seen.

Now, I can just see all of you dirty minded little fuckers lurkers putting hands over mouth and going "Ooh - clitorous post!"

Ah, sorry to disappoint. No.

It was the little plastic toggle that sits under the top button bit and is essential to the mouse function. My laptop is aging, and deteriorating rapidly. A week ago I had to remove the clip on the top, to reveal the toggle-like tiny plastic volcano-shape beneath. Then a few days later (as said shape kept sinking and the top part kept sliding sideways into toggle) the top snapped off! Sticky tape to the unsatisfactory rescue, until 1 am Sunday morning, when *flick*, one false move and the little lid, not much bigger than the top of a pencil, flew off into the netherlands of my printer. Well, actually slid inside my printer by a minute gap in one of the sections where the paper sits.

Under that left button there.
*Poof* - vanished!
Big Boy was already snoring his head off after too many cocktails, so there was no chance of remedying the situation until daylight.

All I wanted was my cyber fix - surely that was not much to ask when one is wide awake and needing to wind down?

I was so distressed I turned to the only thing open to me... Chocolate.


Oh, you really are a dirty-minded little bunch, aren't you?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fussy Eaters - A Blog Trail of Hope!

"You never know the impact your blog post will have."

I followed a link this morning from a favourite blog. I must admit the title had intrigued me, especially after my little episode last week. But it was the tale of how not to get your knickers in a twist about your child's eating habits.

Now, I know a lot of Mum's with kids on the autism spectrum drop by here. In fact, this post... which linked to another blog post is written by the mother of a young boy on the spectrum.

Well, we all know how I rely on riding on the coat tails inspiration from other blogs, and this one certainly is no different.

In a warped way I was blessed to be the mother of my TWO picky, fussy, sensory kids. Yes, both, not just my young man on the spectrum. In fact it is the younger son who was by far the worst, and in many ways, still is. Just like his MOTHER.

I was THAT child. My mother, Wise Woman, swore if it was not for Vegemite Saos and Milo milk, I would not be here today. For many years, right into late teens, my diet was unhealthy, limited, and unhealthy. I didn't eat any vegetables except potato (baked, mashed or chipped) and green beans. NO salad vegetable EVER passed my lips. Fruit was an irregular visitor to my digestive system, though Mum could persuade me to eat apple and orange cut up together if drenched in sugar.

You get the picture. My dad, Grumblebum, attempted the force route. I could sit at that table for hours, easily out-waiting him, refusing to touch the now cold and even further unappetising food "your mother has cooked you and by hell, you'll show her some respect and eat it."
Yep, he was from that school. I perfected the go to the toilet/shovel food into pockets of clothing purposely selected for the number of such/hide food in the back of my mouth and in the cavern of my facial cheeks until I could manage to get to the first (toilet) to spit it out techniques.

So, when the universe deemed it suitable to send me two sons cut from the same cloth, well, let's just say I didn't follow in my father's footsteps.

I'm here, I'm reasonably healthy, and I survived to widen my eating habits as I grew up. And so it wasn't a big issue. For me. For my parents it was. And it didn't help or encourage me to change.

Don't get me wrong, I have tried to get my fussy boys to broaden their food tastes, and now, as they are 14 and 12, they really aren't too bad.

To cut to the chase, here is the Madmother (very short) tip list. It may help, it may not, but you never know.
  • Imagination - one of my friend's who has a boy on the spectrum creates these amazing scenes for her kids. She calls them "dinner art". Amazing ideas which go down a treat. I only used to make up stories, more when the boys were younger. We would sit at the table, and I'd tell them of the giant who gobbled up all the trees (broccoli) and the good people of the tiny village who tried to defeat him by shooting carrot spears into his mouth. The pea rocks they shot at him... you get the idea.

"Fly away"
Copyright J. Negrin

"Let's go Surfing"
Copyright - J. Negrin. Brilliant mother.
  • Mates or extended family members. My children, even now, are far more likely to try something new if it is suggested by a friend or for us, family outside the core group. More the former now they are older. I cannot tell you how many new foods have been tasted and approved all because a friend has told them to! Get over for playdates and include a meal ANY friends who are more adventurous in their appetities. It may not work the first time (though it usually did for us) but persevere. At worst, they get to work on their social skills, and form a stronger friendship bond (and if you use some of the ideas in point one - your house will become the cool one to visit - a little bribery positive re-inforcement for such friendships to be encouraged never hurt).
  • Try, try again. Do not force, make it fun. As they get older, explain the nutritional benefits. It took my youngest to get really sick with some horrific virus before he really began to open up to healthy eating. Now he is a different boy. And yes, this is not my child on the spectrum.
  • If there are sensory issues involved - cater to it. If they prefer soft food, blend, puree, whatever. Then slowly, over time, introduce the food in a less smooth consistency, more textured, gradually, patiently bringing it back to its normal state. Baby steps. And if rejected go back to the pureeing.
  • Wine. For you, not them. Pour yourself a glass, sit, breathe. Kids grow up eating far, far less than yours. Seriously. (And yes, this is the same advice The Gourmet Girlfriend suggested, but it is what I have followed for many moons too: wine for the whine.)
And that is it. 

P.S. If this blog post had any impact or helped, please let me know. For I am still pondering on the future of this blog as the comments diminish.