I am writing this post a bit later than the actual day of New Year, as we were on vacation last week.
We took a vacation to the beach, a LONG car ride to the beach….we had not been away in a while and as I am who I am, I did quite the bit of reflecting and comparing of where we (Elizabeth and her life) were last time we went to the beach…to where we are now. I know, wouldn’t it have been nice if I could stop this, but I know that the odds of that are pretty much nil. So with that said, I have nice list of positives and a list of constants. I won’t say negatives as I have come to see that certains parts of what affects Elizabeth’s day and life are really things that are just “HER”, personality traits, temperament, sense of humor etc…
I watched her and enjoyed seeing her enjoy the ocean, beach, waves and breeze…all such good sensory inputs. She does a move when she is really enjoying the ocean that we call her “Moses pose” arms up and out to the side while facing the ocean, her feet firmly in the sand. Kind of like she is parting the Red Sea….she LOVES all that the ocean brings. She has a great laugh and we heard it so often when she was in the ocean.
But something I have learned on this trip, is that so much of what I see in Elizabeth, perhaps things I have even thought we could attribute to her disorders of SPD and dyspraxia, are just really parts of her personality. Things we maybe wish we could modify or that would we wish would disappear are simply part of her! Just like there are parts in all of our personalities that we wish could be changed or disappear, but probably won’t. Perhaps, for me, I could work on being a bit less OCD before we pack for a trip…such as making the house tip on its side to find the one thing I just KNOW we will need…. This whole personality things is actually something I had mentioned to Roe, our beloved friend and tutor and she agreed. We laughingly said if Elizabeth did not have her disorders, we know that she would just be a typical…dare I say, “moody teenager” Sometimes, as you know, it is hard to separate typical behavior from behaviors caused by their disorders.
Elizabeth did let us know when she was tired or needed a break. She let us know when she wanted to go somewhere and she definitely let us know when she did not like a place such as the outside art show we walked through. Want to know how many times I heard “This is fun, right Mom, we should probably go now” or ” This has been fun, are we ready to leave yet?” plus four or five other versions of the above. Well I would say probably 25 would be a fair guess. We did leave and do something she wanted …I think it was get ice cream but my thought here is SHE did not like the art show…her SPD and dyspraxia had NOTHING to do with it. SHE did not like it. I know you are probably saying.”OK, Michele, she did not like the art show, we get that already” But my point is maybe somewhat of an “Ah-Ha” one for me. I think I have spent so much time watching and thinking and assessing, then planning a new therapy or adjusting the old, that I forget to factor in to the equation the part that is simply HER. I need to do this more often. I learned something on this trip. I guess because Elizabeth arrived on this earth wired in such a complicated fashion, we are in the habit of looking at her disorders to explain many things…so now perhaps is the time to look at the part we overlook…which is the “simply HER part.
I was not looking for a New Year’s resolution at all when we went on this trip, but I came away with one…so that is not a bad deal after all. I wish you all a good start to the new year. May you have a moment like mine to guide you a bit more on your journey with you child. And may you and I keep learning…..
Just like I learned that art show are a big no-no….have a good week