April 5th! Autism awareness month continues …
Chris went away for a couple of days scuba diving this week – well actually it turned into just one day and night due to inclement weather. One of us being away always throws things into disarray to a degree. Chris’ folks generously offered to take the boys all day Wednesday and then overnight Wednesday night so that I could have a break. How wonderful!!!
I spoke to the boys about the plans the evening before and everything was sorted and organised. Clothes were packed, medication was sorted and labelled, and everything was ready to go. My parents in law and sister in law arrived to collect the boys and James fled into his room in meltdown mode. All of a sudden he experienced overwhelming anxiety about going with them. He seemed very concerned about the sleep over so I assured him that if he didn’t want to sleep over, that I would come and pick him up early. He was still stressed. This is so difficult on many levels. I felt so concerned that he was hurting the feelings of my parents in law due to his behaviour. I know I can’t own his behaviour but it’s hard. I then worry about handing him over to them in that state because I don’t want him to be really hard work for them.
Then because James was stressed out, Tom completed fell apart as well. He thought that James was no longer going to go, so then he didn’t want to go either. In the end, we all ended up getting the wrong end of the stick all together. Eventually, both boys pulled it together with promises of adventures including mini golf (wow!) and they left happily enough.
So I had 4-5 hours completely on my own at home and I vowed that I would try hard to do nothing – absolutely nothing! Do you know how hard that is to do? I am so unused to doing nothing that I really struggled to just sit. It made me realise that I need to develop some more down time strategies for myself and to actually schedule in time to just sit every now and again. My mind goes to washing, ironing, cooking, work and all kinds of other ‘things’ that I should really be doing rather than just sitting doing nothing. But I’m learning that there is value in just being and enjoying a few nothing moments every now and again.
James was worried about me all day apparently and really missed me, so my lovely mother in law brought the cherubs home to me apologetically at about 5pm – they were just too uptight to stay overnight. You know, even a few hours to yourself is such a blessing and is so appreciated by me. As I’ve said many times, we wouldn’t manage half as well without the support of our families. Autism impacts on more than just your core family unit, it radiates out from your family. Building a community of care around your child is so important. Having family to walk the road with you makes such a huge difference and the relationships that the boys have created with their relatives is just beautiful to see.