Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I love it when something new exceeds expectations. We spent a lovely Sunday afternoon attending church--all three of us, together the whole time.

That's a big deal, and quite overdue (as in years--ahem). 

The service is a new one, at a local Episcopalian church. I think what convinced me to try it out was this description of the service:

"The monthly gathering, with all the elements of an Episcopal Eucharist, is a “safe space” where all manifestations of interacting with God are not just acceptable but enthusiastically welcomed. All kinds of kids are welcome to worship in this grace-filled and Spirit-laden way – from those with special needs to those who are especially wiggly."

The service was exactly what we needed:
  • No expectations about when to speak (or not to speak) or make noise.
  • No expectations about where to sit or stand, or whether you can pace or even prance.
  • Plenty of hands-on activities like coloring and drumming to cater to all interests and attention spans.
  • Communion for all of us, and even gluten-free wafers for those on special diets.
I should say that I still love our home church, and the pastors and lay leaders have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome (and welcome back). But to figure out what to do with Soren during the main service (get a high school volunteer to watch him with his class? have one of us step out with him after the children's message? or have just one adult go to church each Sunday) was just another decision to make, something else to manage. I'm kind of full up with decisions and accommodations, frankly. I anticipate that as I grow more in my role as advocate for my child and as I grow less interested in offending others, I will be ready to find a solution for our family to attend our home church regularly.

But for now, it's just great to have a space where all of us are welcomed and all of us can worship with ease--together.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Things we CAN do

We focus a lot of deficits around here. It's hard not to. We address them in therapy, we talk about them in goal-setting in school, we try to ignore them as others point them out in public. And I occasionally feel sorry for our family because of the activities that we can't do and the abilities we don't have: We can't go easily to Costco or the grocery store, travel on a long airplane ride, play with others in the standard way, have a meal with all of us sitting down, go to a movie, and so on.

But we can do so many things, meaningful things that families get to do. Some of these may seem small, but they are all important because we can do them together. I need to remember these "cans."
  • We can all savor pizza and ice cream entirely too much.
  • We all love a good car ride.
  • We love a good swim.
  • We can all walk to the coffee shop and wait maybe 5 minutes for a very rewarding hot chocolate.
  • Erik and I can make a fancy dinner while Soren is occupied by the iPad.
  • We can all snuggle in bed.
  • We can have friends and family over to our place.
  • We can go on hikes (our boy is a hiker of Boy Scout material!)
  • We can tickle, chase, swing, and run.
  • We can pick and eat strawberries from our backyard patch, and sometimes the picked ones are even ripe.
I got to snuggle my little guy on the couch before school today. That's big. And I'm thankful.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Where we are

It's been quite a September for all of us. I visited Houston to visit my ailing grandfather and extended family; he died less than a week later. And Soren has been experiencing extreme anxiety, we think related to school. We've been visiting even more specialists to find a way to give him some peace. And his anxiety becomes my anxiety, in a very enmeshed way.

Galveston marsh at dusk

I'm pausing today to acknowledge how hard this month has been. So much of my parenting has been powering through the tough stuff, out of necessity. I don't have time or energy to decompress much. There's lots of action to take, which sometimes is a blessing. The tough stuff then catches up; doesn't it always? I feel like I've been hit in the gut, and I'm forced to feel the tough stuff, but a compressed, intense version of it all.

So I'm trying to avoid that explosion right now by just being here, not trying to dismiss the fact that this is hard. And that this will all pass.


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