Tag - endings

1
The Hardest Thing
2
Fresh Start
3
Deja View
4
One Year
5
Days Creep
6
Knotless
7
Moving on
8
Count Your Blessings
9
Granite Days
10
Contracts

The Hardest Thing

Today, the day the world sits up and dresses in blue, I will sit up too. I will sit up and give you a glimpse: I am a single mom to two amazing beings who confound and astound. It is hard, but Autism is not the hardest thing.

The hardest thing is being both for them: mother, father; sweet and soft; sharp and strong; all of the angles their geometry requires. Hardest is staying calm when the tide comes in with a rush — a skinned knee, a tantrum of protest in the post office line and I am sinking — as alone with this responsibility as a sea stone swept out to drown.

They run and zing, darting like human triangles keening to their own music. Their music is one, although they are each themselves, two sides of a happy sing-song, my sons.

But as a single mom, I bear witness alone.

The hardest thing is letting them be who they are meant to be. The hardest thing is letting them go and hoping that they’ve memorized the soft and sweet, the sharp and strong, and forgive me for not filling in all the empty spaces in between.

Fresh Start

Each day after I drop the boys off at their bus, I return home on a one-lane dirt road. The early morning sun chases me to this one spot where literally, I am unable to see and the light bleeds through the trees like a stain.

This lightness is heavy and it momentarily blinds me.

I keep my foot on the gas, and it’s only for five seconds but it’s five seconds of pure faith. Faith that if autismtwins.comI move slowly enough I will repeat yesterday’s safe journey home and avoid the calamity of the unexpected: a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle. he one with the barking Lab and a racing Land Rover). (Perhaps the neighbor, the one with the errant cows or t

Out here in the country this is not out of the question.

The light this time of year crackles and makes me feel slightly off-balance, like I’ve been missing something. If I knew what the something was I wouldn’t be missing it, but this is exactly how blogging has been for me. Missing it and dreading it and needing it. I’ve let so much of my life fly away with the wind, free and undocumented.

There is both so much and so little to say. I am still catching my breath. ♥

Deja View

The silence smacked me down this morning. The quiet of an empty house, my babies gone — it’s his weekend, you see. I stood at the kitchen sink and looked out the window, a mug of coffee like a hug. The memories come unbidden as we prepare to leave this place. I remember being a new mom and being scared of you both, so soft and precious and small. Before you were big enough to bathe in the pink tub upstairs, I’d bathe you here in this sink, then dry you atop a mountain of blankets on the countertop.

Of course that was like, three thousand baths ago.

I look out at the faded blooms of my garden and remember watching your father mow the lawn. Hot and sweaty and resolute because he hated chores like this, hated working in the yard, hated the ties that bind.

When we moved into this house, I was as big as one—seven months pregnant and ready to pop. The walls were peach and I thought it would kill me to be surrounded by the color of putrid fruit, so your father painted them white. Clean walls, a fresh beginning.

I don’t know how well you can ever really know someone and perhaps this is the lesson here. You must grow up and know yourselves best so that you have a compass. Count on each other.

I remember when the rhythm of our days included a 25-minute walk after lunch. The two of you would light up when I’d get the stroller ready. So many memories and although it is bittersweet to leave this place, this place we’ve called home for eight years, a place I’ve called home for 24 years — I am okay. More importantly, my dear sons, we are okay. Adventure awaits.

One Year

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes.
How do you measure, measure a year?
In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.
—From Rent, Seasons of Love

One year. One long year measured by tears and anger, pain and sorrow and yes, love. You could not take that away — it blankets and comforts me when the chill of you blows in and I am stronger for it. Two boys, amazing beings I could never have imagined and will ever adore. Autism is nothing in the face of this. Divorce and the end of us is nothing in the face of this. This is pure and honest.

When one door closes, another opens. I’m so glad to close this door, this door on one year, one year without you.

Days Creep

When your marriage ends you look within. You struggle, you grieve, you mourn what you thought you had and then you mourn that you never did. Days creep, creep by — every minute drips with heaviness. Once there was never enough time — now the days are long, the nights longer and sleep is something that happens for other people. You awake at 3 a.m., 4 a.m., rise and pad through the rooms of your home. You stop in your boys’ bedroom doorway and listen to their gentle snores.

You cry a lot and often.

You stop eating. You lose an unbelievable 20 pounds without even trying. You can’t even cheer the silver lining of misery. The long days stretch to weeks and then months. You are in the thick of it and it is crazy time. CRAZY time.

Then one morning, so many months later (eleven!), you wake up and the clock says 7:10. You are sleeping again and the first thought that assaults you is not the shock, not the sadness, not the pain — finally. Instead you think about the day ahead, lunch you’ll have with a dear friend, a walk in the park. And even though you are still in the thick of it and will be in the thick of it until you are pronounced Done, you get on with it and you thank your lucky stars that at least you are alone, at least you are no longer a bit player on the stage of a lie.

You are done being a puppet in his drama. You are like a bird with a broken wing — you can’t yet fly, but at least you are intact.

Surely the end of every marriage that ends is unique. Obviously none of it is pain-free. Holy fuck, is there pain. But some people drift apart, some people are on the same page, some people see it coming.

You were blindsided. The truth you uncover is unfathomable, impossible, and flies in the face of every I love you. You remember the day you took vows in front of everyone you loved and while marriage is hard, no doubt, you worked at it and assumed the man you chose, who chose you, would work at it too. You assumed because you trusted. You did not know, how could you? — that your trust was simply his carte blanche.

Along the way to this morning — this morning when you awake to sun pouring in your window at 7:10 — you will learn many things, not the least of which is that some people deserve an Academy Award. They’ve charmed their way through life; taking, always taking, because it’s easy and they can.

You vow never ever to trust like that again. More than a decade of deceit, of platitudes and false moments. How you loathe the fact that this will always be part of your story. You are hurt and you are mad and you ache for your kids whose lives will forever be altered by these events.

But most of all, you are strong. You always were. And in the way that counts most, you are free.

Knotless

We are off at the beach, sandy and sated by the sun. Being here is healing me day by day, even if this place, like most, is riddled with memories of a life long gone. How do you summarize 14 years of your life, what kind of burial do you give it? I sit by the water and offer chunks of it to the sound. The sunlight ripples on the water and I imagine my old life drift away, dappled and unrecognizable.

Later I lie in the hammock under a canopy of trees, the sky immense and clear. John races around me, up and down into the garden, while Sam reads in the grass (The Evolution of Man!). So much is possible but still impossible is to forgive in the absence of remorse.

I think about what I knew and what I know and the two blend together into one big knot and all I want is to be knot-less, to be stripped of all I knew and all I know. You can’t stay away, you’re drawn here. He’s no prize, I want to tell you. Who does what he did and for so long. Who does what you did and for so long? Well, then. I guess you’re each other’s prize.

In the meantime, I hold my children close and try to love the hurt out of them. Some days I think I am that powerful. Other days I know the truth. What else is there to do then, but to work this knot, worry and work and pull it. Try to untie it, turn it over and over, until the knot is undone, until I am undone and in the undone-ness, done with you.

Knotless.

So here we are at the beach, sandy and sated by the sun. We create new memories. John runs barefoot through the tall grass, his long legs wet with dew. He stops and turns his face to the sun, does finger puppets in the air. Sam goes fishing with my dad and despite the frustration of waiting… waiting… is so happy when he catches his first tiny fish. I watch my two long-legged boys, so full of love and joy and know that even if undoing this knot takes days, months, years — they are my prize.

Moving on

Tonight cackles with the past. I walk through these rooms, this house, this shell and remember bathing you side by side in the pink bathtub, rumpling your hair with towels of stripes and frogs. Back then you slept at the other end of the house in beds under tents, the end where the fire broke out four years ago tonight. Such sweet little boys (of course you still are!), but you were only three then. I remember how you piled onto my lap to read a goodnight story, your hair soft and wet — your father on one side, me on another.

We love you if not each other.

I kiss you both goodnight and tell you how very proud I am of you, how independent you’ve both become. Sam, you see my face and say, “Does it make you sad too?” and I tell you that indeed it does, but that it’s happy-sad, a mix.

I realize, with a start, that this is it exactly. “Do you know how much Mommy loves you?I say. [THIS big, as big as the universe…?] you answer with a question. “Even bigger,” I reply and you laugh.

Later I watch you sleep, your faces pressed into pillows, almost eight. I know it’s pointless to ask, but how did time creep up on us like this? The things this shell could share if sharing were possible. Here we are then, a family of three roaming rooms on our way to somewhere new. I am haunted by the memory of who you were, who I was. This shell, this shell that is no longer a home, has many secrets to tell but I’m no longer interested in the telling, just the moving on. 

Of course in the moving on, there is the telling.

Count Your Blessings

I’m not sure when I stopped paying attention to what was playing on the radio — no, that’s not true. I stopped once I had kids and was more concerned with what dangers lurk outside — as if I monitored it all, I could keep my boys safe. NPR, news stations, weather and traffic updates.

I’ve started listening to music again. Adele? Love her. How did I live without her?

Throw your soul through every open door
Count your blessings to find what you look for
Turn my sorrow into treasured gold
You pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow.
—”Rolling Back the Deep”

I think the toughest thing I’ve faced as a mother was John’s heart surgery when he was a baby. And although autism has been a rocky ride? It is this holiday season that takes second place. Count your blessings, and I do. I must. I’m so grateful for family and friends who swoop down and envelop me with love, and for each of you who reads — thank you.

Granite Days

I feel my way through the days, I am parting sheets of granite with my bare hands. Sometimes the effort it takes feels both herculean and insufficient. Everywhere I look there are things to be done, things to look at. I feel my power surge and fall and with it my ability to sleep. But I am strong. I feel this as an absolute. It can be no other way.

My children show me this every day.

A little boy who has always insisted others draw for him, whose grasp on a crayon or a marker has always been hesitant and weak — this boy has accomplished the herculean. Drawing by himself. Sometimes with prompts but more and more often self-motivated. Finding his power, his ability, his strength.

Contracts

We are a household of contracts — some sacred, some broken. I love you is one. The day you marry, they are binding and loud and carry the punch of possibility. Eventually I love you rolls off your tongue like a habit, Working late. Sorry. Love you. Old and familiar meant to quiet and reassure. You hear I love you and think He loves me, not He loves someone else.

But you should be listening to the subtext. You should be on high alert and why is it you have not been on high alert? Oh, trust? Yeah. Well.

I think I love you is overused.

It is different when it comes to my children. My I love you for them is a song my entire being knows by heart. I love you is not a habit or a manipulation or a ruse. My I love you is my compass, my truth.

Sam has his own ideas about contracts. I’m not clear on how or why he organized his thoughts under the heading of a “contract,” and am only slightly concerned that under traits for John he came up with “tormented.”

(When asked what he means, he explains, “You know, when I torment him?” Yes, of course. Terrific.).

I ask him, “And what else is here under John? ARTISTIC? Did you mean AUTISTIC? and he sighs and says, “No, Mom. I mean ARTISTIC, that’s what it says.” Well, I guess it does.

Sometimes, we say what we mean and mean what we say. I don’t know what to do, though, when words are the places we hide behind.

 

Copyright © 2006-2016 Autism Twins. All content protected.