autism

Get Over Yourself.

Someone said that to me in a comment on this blog a while back. I didn’t think it really bugged me. But it keeps bubbling back up to the surface.

Get over yourself.

Instead of being some snarky comment, it’s morphed into something new. Like a slogan. Like something I’m working to do:

Get over myself.

Today I let the kids stay after school to play. We do this just about every day. I usually have Abby with me, so I don’t get to just watch like I did today. Lance was home sick, so I left her home with him (revenge? Maybe. He didn’t see it as such, so I guess it doesn’t count).  And then I watched.

I watched as Carter played basketball. That kid has a lot of talent. But he has a lot of love, too. He stays and plays after school with his friends for at least an hour every single day. He’d stay as long as there was someone to play with and light in the sky, if we’d let him. Probably later.

I had to watch as Peyton made more weapons out of sticks and stones he found. No kidding. Turns out that’s what he does during recess, too. I could NOT watch because if I stopped paying attention to what he was doing and saying to me, he’d seek out a new mom to bug about it. And that just made us both look bad.

And then I watched Casey. By himself. He had his hands up and and was sort of flittering his fingers as he does. He’d run this way and that, not really paying attention to where he was going or what was going on around him. A couple of times, he ran right into another basketball game that was going on. Kids and balls would bounce off of him, someone would yell, and he’d absently flitter away.  It made me sad to see him playing alone. Really sad. The tears came.

So there I was, the crazy mom, sitting on a stump crying while her youngest son sat at her feet making shivs.

“Get over yourself” I heard in my head.

So I went over to Casey and asked him what he was doing.

In the video:
Me: Are you having fun?
Casey: Mhmm (yes)
Me: What are you doing?
Casey: Looking for some butterflies
Me: Did you find one?
Casey: Mhm! Look! There’s one right there!
Me: Are you happy?
Casey: Mhm! 

It was sad for me. He was alone. He didn’t care about telling me what was going on, and certainly didn’t care about the other kids. I felt so sad for my little boy. He wasn’t sad.

Granted, he’s not very convincing when he says he’s happy, but keep in mind, he has autism. Emotions don’t have to be convincing to be true.  He was FINE. He was in his element. He was chasing the butterflies. The only one who wasn’t fine with the entire situation was me.

For right now, the battle over the sadness that comes with his autism is ONLY mine. He doesn’t care.   Casey was doing what HE wanted to do. And it didn’t matter who was watching or who thought he was weird. HE was happy. And that’s why I need to get over myself and see what I find.

Because it’s good stuff.

 

30 thoughts on “Get Over Yourself.

  1. I love this post so much. I had a similar experience recently with Danny. I have been trying to get it down in writing for my blog, but haven't quite been able to capture what I mean. Your post sums it up perfectly.

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  2. Just copy and paste, Patty, Copy and paste. Add your own pictures. Change the age. Viola. or just write your own. I'm really no help at all.

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  3. Lexi,I know the feeling. I still go through it and Max is 12. And I have aspergers, too! I mean, I get it. But I still want to know that my kid is happy and doing what I *expect* him to do. I had to let it go and realize it's about HIM and what HE wants to do. Not me and what I expect.Anyway, just wanted you to know you're not alone. 🙂

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  4. What a great lesson that I need to work on too. And I couldn't comment back about your comment about Kamdyn and Abbey looking alike, because the thread is closed. But I have often thought the same thing when I see Abbey. And I have also thought that Abbey is the cutest EVER. Thanks for saying that about my girl too.

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  5. I struggle with this too when David tells me that he plays by himself at recess. It makes me want to cry every. single. time. we talk about it. But he never comes home from school and says he's sad – its' me who gets sad. I need to constantly remind myself of that.KimTheSimpsonSix.blogspot.com

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  6. What an amazing perspective! Really! I thought it may have been a little bit easier for you to have taken that aspect of it, but we're all moms, right? Really. You sort of just blew my mind.

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  7. First I want to say I love your post, but, now i'm going to get ticked for you over the comment.Don't get over yourself, you are, infact, yourself. You'll never get away from you. You can put others needs first(which you do), but there's still gonna be you in there making you feel sad if somethings sad. There is nothing wrong with feeling, maybe you'll learn to feel differently later on, but don't let some bonehead come and tell you what to do. in my opinion.

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  8. This hit me hard in the heart. My granddaughter's "autism has been showing" the older she gets (age 6 now) and I fear for her. However, she seems to be happy. It's that imaginary friend she's always talking to, and who she voices back, that worries me. I fear she might go into that world and not come back. I have nothing to back that up but the fear is here. heavy sighHope everyone is healthy again at your house, Lexi.

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  9. Whoever said that can get over themselves. And my mom is hanging over my shoulder….really??? Anyway, I will continue and ignore it….sometimes it's sad when we really see our kids fluttering about by themselves because it becomes sooooo apparent. Having come from the second grade program I know what you are talking about. It was like he was there with the group but not. Thing is—in his own way he had fun. And I'll take that.

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  10. This post is wonderful, and so familiar to me too! I have twin daughters on the spectrum, so I get it. I work at the elementary school where they attend second grade and it KILLS me to watch my Princess (who has ventured farther into Autismland than her sister Birdie) walk around the edges of the playground, interacting very little with her peers. My experience and her body language tell me she is not sad, but the visual of a lone child– MY child– on a playground with dozens of other children playing together, is hard to swallow sometimes. But usually, when I am feeling the most "fragile" about her social status amongst her peers, I get to witness her genuine smile or a look of excitement from afar and I realize *I'm* the only one not having fun.

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  11. Was your mother hanging over your shoulder as you wrote that? FUN!Does she get mad at the things you write about on your blog? I find this all very interesting. I just need to remember that Casey IS happy. That's what matters most.

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  12. Any time I meet someone with more than one kid on the spectrum, I want to give them a three limbed hug (I need to draw a diagram of this, two arms, one leg, embrace) because a normal hug just doesn't cut it. Having one with Down syndrome and one with autism you'd think I'd be able to say that I could imagine what life is like for you. I cannot. Autism is HARD! Not that Down syndrome isn't, but it's hard in it's own ways and it pays out a lot more often than autism did with Casey.But with both, it's that same thing. It's not about me. It's about them. If they are happy, then I should be okay, too. Most of the time.

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  13. We went to a birthday yesterday and, while there was a lot of engagement, there was also a little boy who went more and more into himself as the party got louder and louder. And one good moment where he looked at me like, "What the hell." Happiness is relative, and very very personal. It's a lesson I feel like I re-learn all the time.

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  14. Thank you. Thank you for posting this. I needed it and I'm sure many others did too. I recently read something about not projecting your emotions on to your children and I know in my head it's true, but it's really hard to do sometimes. I love my boys, and yeah, my oldest has Autism and doesn't play the way his brother does, but he's happy, in his element, and that trumps my feelings every single time. Love reading your blog!

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  15. I liked this. Way to take a snarky comment and use it in a positive way. It's hard for me to remember to get over myself and how I feel about the situation sometimes. So thanks.

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  16. That's a good question. One that I totally struggle with. It's okay for him to be the kid that would rather catch butterflies than play with other kids right now. But will it be in a year? In five? If it never is going to matter to him, should it matter to me? I worry about kids making fun of him, but again, he's totally oblivious to anything like that…and I wonder if he'll ever NOT be. I struggle with that one. I don't have an answer.

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  17. Thank you. It really is tough. I don't think we should dismiss our feelings though. It's hard. It's supposed to be. Because this isn't at all what we planned! Adjusting. Adjusting is hard.

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  18. I LOVE this post. Love it.I think as parents, not even necessarily parents of kids who are perceived as "different", it's easy to get wrapped up in what our kids are/aren't doing and what other people's kids are/aren't doing. It's pretty cool to be able to think to yourself (or ask your kid) "Is he/she happy?" If the answer is yes, then we're doing our job and doing it well!

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  19. Casey has found what has and will always make him happy. Butterflies. Nothing anyone can or will do to him will take that away from him. As moms we want to fix it, or make it better,and sometimes we can't. Finding JOY in what make our children happy is sometimes all that we can do. If we constantly worry about what happens next won't enjoy that moment of happieness they are experiencing. Thank you Lexi for posting about your boys today.

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  20. wait, did someone really tell you to "get over yourself?" that irritates me! i would not describe you as someone who needs to "get over yourself" at all. and the way you turned that comment into something positive illustrates how amazing you are. i think you are amazing in many ways 🙂 LOVE this post, as I love them all. you are authentic, and part of being authentic is the ability to be vulnerable enough to put all the pieces of yourself out there.

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  21. Thank you for this post. I'm forever worrying about my son's happiness when his "autism is showing." What's hard for me to remember and accept is that this is something I can't control and I can't protect him from his own exclusion… also I have to let go and trust in him to show me when he's not happy. Believe me, he's an expert in that area… it's SO hard to relax about that. But it always helps to know I'm not alone there…

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  22. Thank you for this post. I'm forever worrying about my son's happiness when his "autism is showing." What's hard for me to remember and accept is that this is something I can't control and I can't protect him from his own exclusion… also I have to let go and trust in him to show me when he's not happy. Believe me, he's an expert in that area… it's SO hard to relax about that. But it always helps to know I'm not alone there…

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  23. I am a new reader to your blog,going back now and reading pages and pages. This one got me, as this is where I am with my boy. He is fine, and I am the one who wants more for him. Thank you. I am also wondering if I need some good meds….

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