Thursday, February 26, 2015

What would you tell yourself?

I just realized that I've been writing in this space for nearly ten years. Ten years. I've only gone back and read older posts on occasion. I don't like to be reminded of the fear that underlined my first year or so of posts. But yesterday I indulged in a little trip down memory lane and found myself surprised that in some very basic ways my thinking hasn't changed all that much. Overall, I feel pretty thankful for the road I've traveled, despite how rocky it felt at the start.

Here's a post that I wrote back in the beginning of 2009 when Oliver was seven. I might now have chosen slightly different language, but the message is one that I still need reminding about from time to time!

A Spoonful of Carrot

If I could go back in time and tell my early-diagnosis-self a thing or two, I know just what I'd say: don't sweat the small stuff. Of course I'd probably also want to take my shoulders in my more wizened hands and shake good and hard. I could have used that back then. But this business about the small stuff? So important. When I look back over the countless things that occupied me, that took up emotional space that I was borrowing from something more important, well, I see that those things weren't worth the amount of upset that I caused myself, Oliver, and the rest of the family. The list is long and varied: wearing shoes and socks, wearing a coat, eating with utensils, biting fingernails, picking the nose, licking this, that and the other thing. ... um, that poop thing. ... well, you get the idea. Some of you may know that while you are in the midst of these things they feel like such a very big deal. In the midst of it there were times when I felt at war. I felt that I needed to conquer or -- in the terms of ABA -- to extinguish. Now I can only shake my head at myself. This was my child, not my enemy.

I'm reflecting on this lately because Oliver is newly interested in utensils. Yes, you read that right: spoons, forks, knives, ladles, whisks -- you name it. At first I didn't really pay much attention, Oliver just seemed to always have a fork or a spoon in his hand. But we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. Then I slowly realized that our meals were without drama. They were without the monitoring and reminding. (Oliver, don't forget to use your fork. Your fork, Oliver!) And it only smacked me in the head when I realized that Oliver was now using utensils for everything. And I mean everything. Witness this photo (that I took especially for Keen):

. ... to read the rest, click on through to the original post, here.  Then come on back and tell me what it is that you would tell yourself if you could.

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