Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Feedback, Growth & Emotion

This morning was my very first time putting Miles on the bus by myself. I did it once before with the family, and have been there every day to see him off, but today was the first to see him leave without me. It's quite an emotional thing and I didn't think it was going to gut punch me as hard as it did. My little boy is getting older, wiser and a bit more independent. And he is doing so good at all of it. As we all collectively catch our breath day by day after the move and raucous summer, it's delightful to see the pieces coming together. I got two very promising e-mails regarding Miles yesterday that compounded our notions of his growth and charm. The first was from the Occupational Therapist at Grace Early Childhood that lauded Miles for his ability to follow directions and complete tasks. She was very impressed with his day yesterday, and overall is delighted with his progress. She said that he sat in his chair unprovoked for about 20 minutes. All without a wimper and following direction well. Then, I got another e-mail for the ABC Behavioral Clinic wishing Miles well and saying how much they missed his energy. Miles is a little force and he's bounding so well in the right direction. My morning drive was a wet eyed event becuase of all the changes and amazement of how far Miles is moving in the right direction. As hard as it all can be, it's these mornings of polar opposites that keeps everything in perspective and the sun spreads and spills just right over earth.

Monday, January 7, 2008

First Bus Trip

Today was a big day for Miles to take a small step towards independence. He loaded up on the school bus for his first full day of riding to and from school. The initial load into the bus was a very, very hard thing for Carrie and I to go through. Miles had a huge crocodile tear streaking down his cheek as we left him in his harness and his first ride to school in a strange vessel. This is the first time that Carrie and I had ever left him in a car of someone other than family or very close friends. It was a hard string to cut loose. But, he did get a rousing note from his teacher and bus driver saying that he was delightful on the ride. We were greatly relieved as thoughts of abandoning the whole bus notion went through our brains at a very rapid pace. Again, our small Miles boy surprises us with his tiny body of courage, guts and sheer enjoyment of life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year Blog

Words seem to mean so much and so little. There are so many concepts that words seem necessary for and then so many ideas that language can’t possible express or even contain. Quotes, those pithy, little expressions of human understanding that seem to explain everything so effortlessly often end up meaningless. Khali Gabrin writes that your cup of happiness can only be as full as your cup of sorrow is deep…The reason I like this idea is that it means that our capacity for love and joy grow with experiences of difficulty. It is so optimistic and hopeful but unfortunately it sounds a little bit (but for some reason does not at all contain the same idea) like those people who say that God only gives you what you can handle…Which by the way, I usually want to smack these people…they never have any “real” problems in their lives so they don’t actually know what they can or can’t handle…I actually find it insulting…it is almost as if because I am a “strong, kind, person” I have to have “extra special burdens,” just to show the rest of the “poor, weak people” how it is possible to be “strong” in the face of adversity. I never, ever in my life have met a person suffering from cancer or grieving from loss who has said God is just giving it to me because I am strong enough to handle it. Which leads me to,” What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Nietzsche certainly had a dour philosophical streak running through his blood. What I find funny about this quote is how lovingly we Americans have latched onto this adage with such gusto. When you really think about it is quite silly…there are many things that don’t kill us but weaken us both emotionally and physically. This all bring me to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, which has to be the perfect example of the transcendence of the spoken word. A true exploration of faith, suffering and the journey of life through music rather than word. Coltrane dreamed, literally, the entire album in four parts: acknowledgement, resolution, pursuance, and psalm. I could go into a discussion of how similar language is to math, and thus to music…but that is not the purpose here. I’d rather discuss meditation, or breathing or even yoga. The silence that has eluded me since Miles came into our lives…That same silence that won’t go away…The concept of something being constant yet entirely elusive is something I can’t possibly express in language, or music, or math. Yet those are the places I find comfort when words are not nearly enough…In prayer…which in its most powerful state can’t possibly contain language, in love (indefinable… Every single person experiences it differently therefore there can’t possibly have a common definition), in the comfort of numbers and that sense of a shared experience that we call “genetic memory.” I suppose that it is pertinent that I am trying to write about how words don’t mean much this third New Year that Miles welcomes into his silently deafening world. I wonder if this will be the year he speaks and what he will say. I wonder how many words I’ll read about language, autism, speech...how many discussions, explanations and stories I’ll get to share about the complex joy that comes communicating without words. So, then a toast (what a stupid word) to all of the people who must transcend the spoken word to live in this life…Truly, your world is infinitely more fascinating than mine.