Normal is a four letter word. Extraordinary is the new black.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This is Graysen

This is Graysen. He is Graysen first and foremost.

He is funny, kind, smart, and truly magical. If you are lucky enough to hear him giggle, it's musical, and it will make your heart float.

Graysen works hard to understand this world. He doesn't often understand people's actions, facial expressions or tone. His world is black and white, and yet he sees things I miss. He is brave, he is strong, he loves with his whole heart and we are so very proud of the person he is becoming.

As his mom, I celebrate him, and I try to enjoy every second of his childhood. Sometimes, I worry about what the adult world holds for him. I worry about understanding for him, because as a child his quirks, his meltdowns, his challenges, sit on a sliding scale of understanding. He still rests on the line of understanding, but as each year passes, his peers mature in some areas that will always be a struggle for him. That understanding falters because Graysen doesn't have a flashing light on his head to request understanding. All he has is his hard work, and the tools we give him, to navigate this world when he gets to that age where understanding falls off.

This is Graysen, our #magicman, he is a bright joyful light, and he has Autism. Today, don't just look at the blue lights around the world. Sure they are there to bring awareness to Autism, but as Graysen's mom, as someone who loves a lot of amazing humans who just happen to be Autistic, take a minute to learn and understand instead of just being aware. Take a minute to see what these kids can do, and understand that while they may be different, they are absolutely not less. #autism #asd #worldautismday

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Under Pressure

Every year about this time, I go underground for a little while. My time is spent volunteering for a youth theatre company in some large and unbalanced fashion. Theatre, is a passion of mine, and being able to work with kids that are truly amazing, is a gift.

Within this volunteer time, lies a lot of sleep deprivation, some fairly high stress levels and perhaps a few tears. Aside from that, there is also laughter, beauty in the chaos, and working with some truly devoted, awesome human beings.

It is said that there is no true selfless act. That broken down, everything we do, no matter how philanthropic, pays us back personally in some way, and it rings true to me. Not only do I gain inspiration from these kids and the people working from them, I also gain knowledge. I learn every single year.

In this life, I want to try to be a better me than the me that came the day before. I want to know myself better, learn more, understand people more, give more. Taking on a new role this year, as stage manager of a large show, learning was absolutely what I did. The me that came ten years before would not have pulled it off. She would have cracked under pressure. She would have made excuses. She would have dug deep down when the going got tough and come up empty. For all the surprises that life has brought, and all the paths unexpected, it has landed me here and this is exactly where I want to be.

Along the way, there were some triumphs, there were hurdles refused, but there were also some failures. Some moments that during decompression, I look at and make note to choose differently next time.

Under pressure, there are choices to be made. Always learning, always growing, it is my hope that I will not only choose to find areas where I can adjust and improve my contribution, but also that our children enter this world recognizing that it's okay to err. It's important to take responsibility for what you contribute, and always, always welcome the learning.