Michael likes things loud. He always has. He talks loud, watches tv and videos loud, and recently has started listening to music loud in the car. “Blast it Mommy!” He has been known to say when some of his favorite songs come up, most notably Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk” and Taylor Swift “Style”. He also likes Katy Perry, Izzy Azalea and a whole slew of others. What can I say? The kid has good taste. 🙂 My worry lately though, is the fact that everything has to be at TOP volume. He has always sought out noise and stimulation, part of the sensory issues he has, but lately, it’s as if he is on overdrive. I think it is the strange cold, then mild, then cold weather, being out of routine on Spring Break, but it is also him, his nervous system and the type of character he is. Michael is an all or nothing kid, either loving and laughing and gentle, or crying and impatient and fast. He is rarely in between, and if so, Johnny and I usually check if he’s getting sick. Seriously, we do because it usually means he is.
Autism and GDD aside though, I’ve been been thinking that a lot of his character comes from the genetic makeup that are his parents, and the genes that we are made up of. Johnny and I are both very intense, disciplined and anxious people, so should it be a surprise that our child is like that also? Over the years, we have learned coping mechanisms for our stress, and are now teaching them to Michael. It is not always easy to have that kind of patience however. I try and remember that all of us are a work in progress, and we have to learn to be patient with ourselves and each other taking life day by day. I, for one, have been learning to play more. This has made the world of difference to my mental state.
What also has been working for me and us as a family, is giving Michael the space he needs to be Michael. He needs to be loud (in designated places), to talk about navigating and directions (MUCH more on this in a future blog), and to ask LOTS of why questions. I am showing him how I need my space to be Joanne. I need to meditate, do yoga, be alone for a bit, write. “Are you mad Mommy? Why are you meditating? Why are you writing?” And I will explain that this helps me be calm and to deal better with things when I am nervous. I sing a lot too. “Why are you singing Mommy?” And I will answer, “Because it makes me feel happy, Michael!”
What makes you feel happy, alive, present? What makes your life precious to you and those around you? It’s really important that we ask ourselves these questions. Life doesn’t stop. If anything it picks up speed sometimes. So we have to slow it down, slow ourselves down enough to say, this is who I am, this is who I need to be, and those around me who love me need to accept me for who I am. Today, I wish all you Moms out there peace, love and acceptance of yourself, and the unique person you are. Only by embracing that uniqueness are you showing the world that you are a gift. You are also showing your child that they are a gift too. Until next time.