Well- I started trying to do gratitude moments a while ago (on my facebook page), but I think I only manage 3 before the stress of just plain holding it together everyday made me forget my project. So now that it’s November, and a lot of friends are posting gratitude thoughts, it’s a perfect time to remember and start again.
So- what do you say to be all inspiring and profound, when it’s just a regular morning? I know- let’s just follow an ordinary day, and see what we get…..
*5:30 a.m. My body just can’t stay laying down any longer, and I stumble into the kitchen for some Ibuprophen… Gratitude #1 = I am really grateful for modern medicine. I realize that I’m also grateful for sleeping that long, usually it’s only 2 to 4 hour chunks, this time was a whole 6 hours- wow (#2.), and it’s not more than a moment before I realize (#3) that my oldest has been careful to keep his music quiet so I can sleep. Not a bad piece of caring-for-others for a HFAutistic teenager. Hmmm- 3 things to be grateful for, and it’s only 5:30 and I’m not even fully awake yet. 🙂
So- I sit on the edge of my bed, and start my usual morning prayer–” Please, please, please (please, please) help me to wake up and be able to keep going today, and Please help me remember what I need to do next as I move thru the day”
*My alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. and I realize I have falllen asleep there… so up I get, and start the kids’ morning routine. As I move thru the house, turning on lights and my music, a stray memory flits by of the recent comments by church leaders about getting your young sons ready for early missions– the part that said something like, “parents, if your boys are in high school, and you are still waking them up for school, you are in trouble.” I have to laugh a little sarcastically to myself as I stand up one child and walk them into the other room to wake up, and go back for another, and I think “Mister, if you have kids on the Autism Spectrum, you’re ALREADY in trouble.” Ah well, moving on…
*6:30 a.m.- and everyone is dressed and starting breakfast. Little one is curled up in big a brother’s lap getting warm, or maybe it’s getting him warm… 🙂 and I breath, As I try to apologize for not having any bread today–blaming 504, Migraine and Halloween all in one week- the kids stop me, and say it’s ok, no big deal. And I am grateful for their love (#4).
I do not believe the philsophy that Autistic kids do not know love. My kids have more love in their little finger than most people I know have in their whole bodies. They just don’t know how to show it, or see it in others, and need to be taught how the long, slow way. So (#5) I am grateful for being given the gift of patience to teach forgiveness, thinking about other people’s feelings, and how to show true kindness- over and over and over (and over, day in and day out) again. And (#6) the fortitude to nail their hides to the wall when they forget– as in sticking with the appropriate consequences no matter how much they tantrum when it is truly important. I mean, sure we have the odd, unexplained melt-down, with it’s accompanying domino effect to the other AS family members; and when they are stressed, the kids seem to forget everything you tried to teach. But much of the time, I have really good, kind kids. Today is one of those days, and I am very, very grateful for a good, peaceful morning (#7).
*6:40- and it’s time to get everyone packed up to go. My DK needs lunch money. So I get out my wallet for the small bills I have started to keep there. When he started Jr. high this year, we had a real unexpected problem with him zapping thru lunch funds at twice the rate of the others, and had to sit him down and find out why. Turns out, he had discovered that he could get a pile of cookies with his lunch card, and have a personal stash to munch on the rest of the day… I had a flash of insight, and I pulled the plug on the card, and handed him single bills every day, just enough for lunch and one cookie. It gave him the visual cue to see just where the money was going- and we have worked up to giving him enough cash for a week, and he even saves some of it to give back to me by not getting treats sometimes. He feels so grown-up, and trusted, and understands a whole lot more about money now. And (#8) I am really and truly grateful for the Holy Ghost and his bits of help right in the moment when we need it!!!
The Holy Ghost also helped me find a way to replace the stolen key-chain. My sweet TeaRose had used it as a tactile-visual reminder through the day, that she could be strong enough to make it thru high school that day and that my love is with her (that really gets her thru to know that- visually as well as spoken.) We have started braiding a small, hidden, lock of her gorgeous long blonde hair, that she can grab whenever she needs a mommy-hug. It’s amazing sometimes, how important the little things are- and it’s a real testimony that the Lord is really there watching; when we notice that the moments he sparks the tiny inspirations are as often, and maybe even more so than the big ones. (#9) Thanks for this one.
Well- How about that? 9 gratitudes before 7 a.m.! Now the kids are all in school… Hubby is at work, and I have really strengthened my heart with this gratitude reflection. I think I’m ready to even get a bit of house-work done. Who would have believed it?!
Have a great day!