Tag Archives: autism awareness

When winter turns to spring

We realized spring had wandered far off,  the day snowflakes covered much of what moved and breathed. Goldi wondered at the first signs of winter. Though much of life was asleep,  she knew an adventure in winter wonderland awaited.

“Can we go sledding?” she asks.

“Let’s go” I answer.

“Can we make a snowman?” she asks

“Let’s do it.” I answer.

Fun had endless possibilities. Everything was white and bright. Though all the world was  sleeping, we were awakened with the change of season.  There were times of just laying in the snow and staring at the silvery sky. There were times of making a snow fort. There were new experiences of snow shoeing which energized us when our spirits were just plain tired of the season.

After a few months of winter, Goldi seemed to strip down in desperation when she’d return from school. The heavy weight of clothes and the repeated on and off, was pressing down and crushing her footloose and fancy free spirit. Being surrounded constantly by four walls and a ceiling was like prison. But the bitter cold warned us that winter was not done. It came and came again.  It was overstaying its welcome.

Goldi looked out the window one day and stared at out into the world.  It was dark, gray, and quiet. Though the meaning of the word “dead” is not  in this bouncy girl’s vocabulary, she realized life was at a standstill.

“Mommy, we have to turn winter into spring!” she said racing for her wings and magic wand.

She tried various wishful words to make it happen.

“Mom, it just doesn’t work out that way.” she sighed.

Spring became a far away hope. So far away, it was hard to see. How could barefoot in the grass, picking tulips, chasing butterflies, riding a bike spring ever be again? How can we be sure of something we can only faintly see in our memories? The more it snowed the more blurry the memory of spring.

Goldi became confused as the storms kept coming.  Each day was different. School was on or school was off. Too cold at times to even go out. Goldi was unsettled. She began to pace up and down in between bites of her dinner. Goldi felt confined. She wanted to swing, turn upside down, climb high, and move about as much as possible. But it was sit and be still time after time.

Then winter brought sickness. The flu hit just on the brink of when winter was actually leaving. The germiness of winter hit Goldi and she is worn out, annoyed, uncomfortable, and frustrated. It is enough to kill all life in her. There has been crying, screaming, and numbness to anything that once made her smile.

Goldi needs spring.  She needs to have the wide open space to run and feel the wind comb her hair. She needs to look around and see the wonderful differences only spring can bring. She wants the “fly a kite, do somersaults in the grass, blow bubbles on the driveway, play hopscotch “spring.  Winter is threatening to lock up this girl’s  zealous, dreamy, bouncy girl’s spirit.

So with mustard seed faith, I muster up hope that I cannot see. The hope that spring will come as promised. ( even here in Michigan) I say – See Goldi  tiny shoots are coming up.    See Goldi- the sun is shining today.  See Goldi- the snow is almost all gone.   ( a HUGE accomplishment I might add)  See Goldi- I see a robin hopping around.

Soon Spring will arrive with all its newness to color our days.  Goldi will fly her kite. She will run barefoot in the grass. She will swing as high as possible. She will race around on her bike. She will smell tulips. She will burst out the door and relish in the arms of the sweet smelling air.  When Spring finally arrives, Goldi will be full of life again!

With mustard seed faith, the promise of that New Great Day,  when the Life Giver appears and the snows that wash away life, will forever disappear,  Goldi will be made new. Goldi will only have spring,  without the germs of her autism.  No more restlessness. No more screaming. No more crying. No more confusion. No more confinement. No weighing down. No gray. Goldi will be made new.  On the brink of spring arriving, I hope for what I cannot see. Without hope,  I am doomed forever in winter’s dormancy. It is a hope that I look forward to, on that New Great day, when winter turns to spring.

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding Goldi’s Way

God puts a night light in the sky each night.  Goldi and her brother notice a  glowing, white, round, brightnening of the darkness. It’s a wonder that inspires Goldi.  It’s noticed nearly every night and early morning.  God displays light in the darkness.  It’s possible.

“Daddy, could you please get that moon for me?” Goldi asks her Daddy.  It’s right out of  Eric Carl’s story.  Goldi has heard and read it with me a dozen times. The day she asked her Daddy for the moon, she was serious. She wanted the moon. She had hopes for the impossible.

“Shall I get my rope and lasso it down for you honey!” Daddy responded lovingly.

“No, get your ladder and climb up and get it.  See it’s right there.” Goldi tells him while pointing up.

“Well, I’d better get the biggest ladder I can find. ” Daddy says  in “It’s possible tone”.

Knowing the story so well, she must figure something so impossible must be possible. It’s as easy as getting a ladder.   What would Goldi do with the moon? The girl gets her moon in the story and dances with it. Then she flings it up to the sky and it is out of her hands once again.  Having the moon in your hands wasn’t really practical.

When we learned Goldi had austim, getting the moon seemed like just a dream. An impossible dream.  All the “she’ll nevers” came to  mind.  All the excuses one puts out there when there is a forever obstacle in the way were all too automatic.

If I  thought as Goldi did.  Getting the moon would not be out of reach. It wouldn’t just be a dream never to come true.  If I thought like Goldi did, getting the moon would be possible.

“With God all things are possible! ” she says often with strong expression.

I realize her soul felt belief in this and I am in awe.  She’s believed that the “Sky is the limit” for her and that  the impossible can be possible! Even for her.

She’s had big victories worth recounting. At a family reunion, she shared in front of 20 people.  She’s adjusted to a whole day of kindergarten. She’s conversed with the beauty parlor gal just like a regular customer. No flinching during the haircut.  The things I thought impossible have proved a piece of cake. Things like having a two way conversation with her,   standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people and singing, riding a bike on two wheels, and going to the dentist without any screams. I thought  how in the world this could ever be? They happened. All things are possible. With her heavenly Father as the Light in this deep darkness of a world, all things are possible.

“Daddy, please get the moon for me.” she asks her Earthly Daddy.

“Daddy, please get the moon for her!” I ask my heavenly Father.

Someday Goldi may just hold the moon in her hand and dance with it.

 

 

 

Spoiling the Someday Secret

Maybe we should have told him back when we discovered he would be 69 tomorrow.  He’s one of those old soul types.  He’s always accepted his sister as “she is who she is.” But surely this smarty pants of a brother knows something is up. A friend mentioned she heard a psychologist say, that by 18 months, siblings of autistic children develop suspicions and if they’re not explained, they make up things in their heads.  Mums been the word for all his “five years in the making” life.

He’s kept secret his thoughts when we went to the strawberry farm. She wouldn’t leave the car at first. He and dad went on ahead. I had to pry her off the car seat and tell her “We’re going to pick strawberries and it’s going to be fun!” He and dad had already picked strawberries and were on to the petting farm. She was still looking under strawberry plant leaves with a bit of scary anticipation and flap your hands excitement.

He must ponder the time she screamed after coming home from the grocery store. After waking up from a solid 20 minute nap in the car, she was transitioning back from sweet dreams to real world. He and dad brought in groceries while I squeezed her tight on the couch and she yelled “No! Mommy No!”

He must remember with bewilderment the time we had a play date with two young boys. One was just learning to walk. He enjoyed the conversation with someone close to his own age.  She spent awhile on mom’s lap. “Mommy, shhh! He’s coming! Shhh!” she’d say.  The spontaneity and freedom of a new young explorer was too much.

He must have puzzled over the time she uttered “I’m just straightening to do it” over and over again. “You are not making sense!” he declared. “Stop saying that.”

“Be quiet!” she said. “You’re not talking about anything and I’m straightening to do it so don’t talk about it!” she says in perfect articulation, expression, and “What in the world ?”muttering.

He kept no secret his frustration when she got so excited about a scene in a movie  that she hit him.   “She really hurt me.” he says in tears. “She can’t just hit me like that.  Do something mom!”

We’ve not spilled the beans yet. We’ve held off until Someday…. We’ve not told him the reason for all the  kooky twists to many family experiences. We’ve not told him the awful truth that at times has pricked our lives enough to make us weep. We’ve not told him – “Son, your sister has autism. ”

With his imagination and thought process at times more sophisticated than mine,  I’m certain he has some sensible conclusion for coping until that Someday. Perhaps he will be the one to spill the beans first and say:  This is my sister. There’s  something wrong at times, but not wrong enough to make me  want  to wave a magic wand and make it go away forever. She makes me laugh, cry, wrestle, race, jump, and most of all- strong. Without her, I am not who I am. Without her, our family would not be who we need to be.

Someday may come sooner. “We’ve got to tell him! We’ve got to tell both of them. ”  I say to my husband. “But how?”  

“We sit them down and we say  “This is the best idea of God’s. God made you this way and your sister this way. ” he replies.

Yet, because of all the crazy, living, and learning days leading to that all important Someday of full explanation, “This Way” and “That way” are more like THE WAY and not knowing any other way.  Spoiling the secret, could result in many ways forward. But that is the only way to move when you are living with autism.  Once the Someday Secret is finally revealed, we may only simply continue on with Our Way, the way God authored. The way leading to the Ultimate Someday of all secrets revealed and we experience a forever life of no secrets only marvelous and joyous – answers. Someday.