The Did You Knows of #Autism #Parenting: Stress Levels
Give him space: check – Empty backpack and suitcase: check – Laundries (3 or 4): check – Store addresses: check I guess… A long day, that started at 4:00 am to get to JFK and pick-up the returning traveler.
Five weeks: they went so fast. Truth to the matter I certainly never had time to miss him. I told him so, because it does not mean I don’t love him, and that his presence in the family dynamics is not necessary, and that I don’t need to have him around, and that when he is away I miss having the moments we share, and that are priceless.
It just went crazy fast because I am busy with my own life, and because I was especially confident that he was having the adventure of a lifetime. And also, and above all because the organization is so flawless, that every plan was stored, that I could “follow” where he must have been, because the information-control-freak in me had everything in check from tracking the air travels to measuring the time of the day or the night with the time differences, to checking the weather. Not mentioning the scrutinizing each posted picture to decipher whether the proper shoes were on, that there was no sign of a broken limb or dehydrated body in the heat of the desert…
Reading the multiple blogposts published on NFTY Israel’s blog was also a treat. From what others -adults and teenagers alike- were writing, gave me the proper perspective I needed to follow, to imagine places I have never been to, and to make me dream or think of what it could be like for a sixteen year-old young man to be going through, coming from the relative comfort of a very privileged life in twenty-first century United States, when hitting that stage in life when you really need to confront your idealism to real life far, far away from the parental hovering and sheltering.
It also gave me so many opportunities to remember that I have been sixteen, some decades ago (centuries? oy veyz mir!) and what happened when I left, when I went on other sides of the world, and discovered my self without being a child anymore, how I came back transformed for ever and what a transition it had been, with so many points of no return…
Not anything to calm down any parental anxiety, that is for sure, but just because I could remember, I was so determined to let it happen, for the better and with joyful anticipation: my son is not me, and my experiences are not his, can’t be, but they can still educate me in listening, understanding, and being there for him when he needs it: and I am well aware that the cultural shock of coming back to the sameness that is left in the comfort of his home needs time and patience to set in.
Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.
So, I have been looking at this week’s prompts, and they feel like work in school and I have little remembrance on how easy or difficult I was finding the exercise.
I suddenly feel very old and unable to write essays on literature, and the quote seems to be from a particular author (why is he or she not credited?) that I have no idea of, and of course, I had never heard the quote myself, so what do you expect? It is not changing my understanding from any prior understanding!
The wings of independence: flying on your own. It is a powerful dream. Teenagers are eager to reach that moment. My youngest son is leaving in less than two weeks now, and will be flying on his own – with peers and chaperones, for safety of my mind – into unknown territories. Going to place I have never gone, experiencing new adventures, and growing responsible. We have talked about it at length, and I brought up several of my expectations that he would be respectful and responsible young man, making right choices and remembering that there are always the easy and the right way and that they are not the same.
Have I given him a seed that grew roots strong enough? Only the future will now tell me. I tried to remember my own teenage years and how lost I felt often, especially looking at what I did in hindsight. I can’t remember anything that I am proud of today even if most of the memories I have are extremely vivid and like strong foundations in my life. I just feel I made a lot of wrong choices, even though I can’t revisit those choices and imagine the “what if”s. I desperately wanted to be independent and I did not fly safely. At the time, I did not have any root to feel grounded: I returned to them much later in my life.
It’s been a very intense year.
I wanted to recap what personal events will stay in my mind as the touchstones of 2011. I listed ten of the most prominent themes that dominated my life this past year. What would be yours?
This is the year when I worked on reuniting all my online identities and reclaiming my narrative.
9. – [Moodscope]
Thanks to this simple tool, I have managed my depression and mood swings like never before. Also thanks to the fabulous friends who were my “buddies” with the system!
As the recap says it in the article, our town has been the theater of so many tragedies and other events, that touched people that were my neighbors and acquaintances. It has often been shattering and will leave long lasting traces.
7.- [Lose It!]
I happily lost all my “American weight”! the pounds that I had steadily gained since I started living in the States thirteen years ago. All gone! good riddance 🙂
I am finally gaining enough self-confidence to feel creative again. I also regained enough liberty to find more time to devote to my projects thanks to my boys becoming more independent!
Beyond getting the news of the world, I am keeping friendships alive and following their news, when they blog or write to me.
4.- [ Jewish Family Congregation ]
Our congregation is experiencing a crisis and I am devoting as much time as I can because I love it (and yes, there is an ambivalent meaning in this sentence, which is totally intentional!)
This has still remained a priority focus: balancing my life so that I can be the best parent to my sons, and raising them to become the best they can. And they make me proud.
2.- [Angel Wings Web]
A new adventure, that will soon be one year-old, and that keeps me stoked and energized. I am also so proud of myself at last! This lean start-up will soon launch online, stay tuned! (and sign up for the news when it comes!).
1.- [Action for Happiness]
And it’s time to wish you all to be happy in 2012: and to know that it takes action, because it is an attitude, to work for!