1. If nothing else, having some time to just be 'mom' this summer, has made me realize how precious this time is. I love getting to see the ins and outs of my darling boy's day. I love the way he loves to read, to sing (complete with . . . piano . . . accompaniment?) - the way he's learning a new word daily (usually 3-4), the way he giggles, the way he knows who his favorite people are, the way he dances, the way he jumps, the way he has moments of pure sweetness.
Just today, I was sitting on the couch after working at the hospital. He climbed up, and say "ees" which translates to "squeeze" and proceeded to give me a big hug. Then he snuggled his way down between me and the couch and just laid with his head on my arm, like we were the best of pals.
Tonight, as we were driving home from Brent's mom's house, Bruce was babbling in the back. All of a sudden I heard him say, "Happy, blsi bla sgli, meow meow, li bifel pomef, 'du' (meaning 'juice') sdljlj weml 'Ene' (meaning Jene)." A loose transcription - forgive the gibberish in between. I marveled at the way he was trying to tell me that he was happy, and then proceeded to tell me why he was happy. (Jene is Brent's mom's husband, and he's one of Bruce's absolute most favorite people on the earth). It was a moment of connection for me and my boy. He has such a sweet, happy personality.
2. Jene has graciously been helping us with our challenges of late. Basically, we're having car trouble. Not major, but enough that we probably shouldn't drive the thing until it's fixed. It's due for a tune-up anyway (much to my husband's denial). For the past few days, I've been pondering the wisdom of Jene. He said, off-handedly, that when you're facing a problem with the car, it's always smart to pursue the easiest solution first.
I think this little gem is a life lesson that I need to ponder more deeply. I think, far too often, when faced with a problem, I look at every possible solution, and I'm usually guilty of trying the difficult ones first. What a waste of energy! This is definitely something I'm going to have to work on.
3. Speaking of pondering, I've had several interesting experiences lately to remind me of the value of taking time to be still. Brent graduated a couple of weeks ago (Huzzah! [pictures to come as soon as I find that camera charger . . . ]), and the commencement speaker mentioned specifically the importance of taking time to be quiet. To be free of distraction. I know that, for myself, when I spend even ten minutes quietly contemplating, I always feel more centered and focused. Ten minutes. I do even better with longer. That's one reason I love to journal. It's a time for me to stop, and ponder, and feel, and breathe.
I'm concerned that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to make the time and mental space to do this. There are plenty of things to distract us. Both external and internal. I've been interested to see self-help books all over about being 'mindful' or 'fully present.' The biggest way for me to do this is to un-plug. To turn off the television, to close my laptop, to put my phone on silent and just focus on what is right in front of me - be that my garden, my projects, my son, my patients/students, my husband, my friend, my sister, my mother, my father, my brother, my neighbor, or even myself. Technology is amazing! There is so much we are enabled to do because of what we have at our fingertips. But if we can't be away from it for more than an hour, then it's an addiction. And addictions limit our capacity. Addictions bind us in chains that grow thicker the more we feed them. (Audrey II, anyone?)
All I know is, if we don't engage with our lives, we miss out - on the chance to learn, to form friendships and bonds that last longer than the time you spend perusing Facebook. I see it all the time in my line of work. As a Speech Pathologist, especially one who works with children with autism, I constantly aim to connect with my students. To teach them how to connect with another human being. Some people have to work so hard to gain a basic skill that is intrinsic in others. Others who too often let that skill lie dormant, unused, under-developed.
But engagement benefits all of my students, not just those with autism. If a student becomes an active participant in their treatment, they improve faster. When we become active participants in our lives, we are able to grow and become more than we ever could passively sitting on the sidelines. "Your life is an occasion: Rise to it!"
I suppose the simplest solution is to consciously make time every day to be still. To ponder. To commune. To connect to another human being - spirit to spirit, not across wires. Make time to rise to the occasion that is your life. I know, for me, the more I consciously make time to be still, the easier it becomes. Like all things, I have to plan for it, or it is far less likely to happen. I'm sure there will be more to come on this topic as I study it out, but in the meantime, thank you for being patient with my ramblings.