Ohhh the places you’ll go…On being his mom

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Just the other day, we were in the car (where 50% or more of our conversations happens) and we were listening to this “7years” song.  The guy said something about how “he hopes his kids will come and visit maybe once or twice a month”.  Owen, on one of those few times who is actually paying attention to his surroundings was listening on loading mode. Then comes the comment: “wow, dying without having children must be very sad”.  He went deep.  I just look at him and said, “Yes, must be. Its the best thing in the world” to what he smiled.

I completely agree with him. Never in my life i imagined myself married, I always saw myself with kids but never married, I never dreamed of a wedding (cant even stand them!)

Let me be clear here, I completely understand and agree with people who don’t want kids.  Its not for everyone. There’s too many mothers and fathers that should had never happened.  But at the same time, I feel sorry for them.

Because, you see…as limited, as difficult, as sacrificing, as uncertain as this road is, is one you don’t take alone. Is a road you have to share, it forces you to see things different, you have to see everything with different views, all at the same time. Because you are not only choosing something for you, you are affecting your kids.  But like I said, as sacrificing as it is, I cannot imagine, the thought of a person going through his/her whole existence without knowing the meaning of real, unconditional, unquestionable love is, just makes me sad.  For me, this is the BEST feeling and lesson you can get as a human being.

You can be a free soul, have million of awesome experiences seeing and traveling the world, having a great job and tons of money, and believe you me, I will envy you enormously.  But I would NEVER change the greatness of the world, for the feeling of true unconditional love. To hear those words “I love you”, and know without a doubt in my heart, that is sincere and that will ALWAYS be there, even after I am gone.

The lessons and feelings that comes with those beings that we create is something too great and powerful for words….

Ohhh the places you’ll go….and all the places they can take you!

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People ask me why l don’t a knowledge the April autism month. Well, is very simple. I have a blog that I share with strangers on a weekly basis. I don’t need one month to a knowledge it. I do it every day….. not even acknowledge, I live with it. Big difference…

Today he skipped school cause his little sister is sick and he is a little too, so we decided to stay and do homeshool ( he does both, home school and go to a center for math and other classes).  Among the many topics on his head, those random and sometimes exhausting long themes, he mix his stories on his head with worries about his life. He is aware of other kids having girlfriends and doing teenagers stuff, and he worries about it, still he goes to his la la land mode and storytelling. But today is different, non weird, but unusual, he is in a non stop chatting mode, and even sat down with me to talk about ideas and making a story in one of his many books.  I love these moments, even though I am trying to study.  But when he takes those moments to empty his mind, I have to be around….I have to listen.  So here I am, listening……….

As you can see, I live with this awesome ideas human machine, I don’t have to acknowledge, I live with it. Is like my own book of stories that talks to me, and I love it. You should be this lucky!

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Ohhh The Places You’ll Go… Experiences That Are Worth More Than What We Paid For

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…”life takes you where it takes you. You can steer so much. Sometimes,not at all…instead of fighting, live your life. the current may know something you don’t..”

I have been questioned, twice, how was I crazy enough to pay to be trapped on a train for days and with the kids.  I must admit the ignorance of the question surprised me, but its quickly replaced by the feeling of sadness for them.

You see, I did not paid to be “trapped” on a train. I paid for the thrill of making new friends, maybe fleeting, sporadic or maybe a life long ones, on a very unlikely place. I paid to be amazed by all the new places and sceneries I will probably won’t see again and were too great for just words so I had to take pictures to show people so they can get a glimpse of what I saw and was amazed by.

I was forced to absorbed its splendor and just take a photo and move to the next great one; to be impressed and away from all I know, from all the technology, from all news good or bad.  I escape from people on the world that cast a shadow on my existence with their misery. And I had never felt more alive or clear.

On one of the days, we witnessed as there was an emergency on the train and we had to make a emergency stop at one little town. We saw how this nurse came in a car, parked and jump on the train.

And the kids? as much as they did not enjoyed been without internet, they learned, a lot. We saw some parks and a guide was telling us all kinds of stories as we watched where it all happened.  And I know that years from now when they are older and understand all that it takes to get away, they will appreciate and be happy that they had those experiences. No school will teach them that. We also figured out what we love about out trips; we can just get out and walk in any direction, take a little train and be somewhere exiting and fun. Not like in home.

At some point on the trip we saw something, I don’t remember what it was, but Owen exclaimed “woooa” which is highly unusual for him, to actually express excitement. That’s why we do those trips, for the “woa” moments, and the lessons. There is always lessons!

As  you can see, not only did I not feel trapped on the train, on the contrary, I had never felt more at peace being away from all.   The purity of untouched and incredibly beautiful places filled my soul with peace. It was a necessary and welcomed pause. (And on an interesting note, those people who called me crazy loved the pictures of those awesome places)

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I received this note when we got back home. It was waiting for me on the bed. Like I said, those experiences are worth way more than we paid for!

Ohhh the places you’ll go…train trip

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Back to school? We never stopped! One of the beauties of homeschooling. We just took a couple of weeks trip that teached US a whole lot more about the world and life that many kids will not learn in a whole academic year. We saw many wonderful places, make friends living on a train with strangers for days. Visited some national parks and learned the history of such places with a guide. And learned how to live and have fun on a foreign country with next to no money and work as a team to make it work…..no school will teach them that…

Ohhh the places you’ll go…In search of a Great Perhaps

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Another trip is coming up in a few days and he is already anxious. He starts looking worried and gives me a lot of hugs. He will say “I need a hug.” As much as we like to go out of our tiny island, is always a nightmare, at least the airplane part. Once we cross the Ocean is all good. But those days before and that flight, dear God, I will give my soul to skip those.

It is so bad that once we land there, the rest of the trip, it doesn’t matter where is always and completely by train. We will go from NY to Seattle and it will take around 3 days just to avoid that 6 hours trip.Thank God we love the trains experiences and as long as we have movies and books to read its all good.

This trip is a little unlike all the others, we are going on search of the great perhaps as they say. We are looking for some college with a program for Aspies and some other programs. He is just going to 10th grade now, but we need to know the steps and what will required of us, of him, to do that big steps if the opportunity arises in the future. It is better to be safe than sorry right? Here in our little island there are not programs for him. He could of course do the online programs, but he wants to go to college. He wants to experience it. And as long as he wants to, I will do anything in my power to help him.

I love travel, for the obvious reasons, but also because always, always, something very unexpected happens and we learn a lot about ourselves and how to work as a team. I am a little  nervous and exited at the same time to find out what is going to be. Last time I forget some important documents on a room we stayed and we were waiting for a bus to take us to the train station with very little time. I started crying and saying those curse words and literally lost it. He tried to calm me and looking for options. It took him out of his bubble and he thought of US and I was so proud, once we resolved and got to the train barely on time for departure I just kept telling him “thank you, thank you”.  That is a bad experience that ironically has been one of the best tests for us a a team yet.

Ohhh the places you’ll go….Teenagers

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We usually discuss things and we either agree on some point or find a middle ground.  Teenage-hood is NOT one of them.  Oh boy!

Every time we discuss this particular subject, it usually comes because I am at school or with a group and I will go “I hate teenagers” and he will laugh, tell me I am crazy and then get all defensive about it.  And no, its not an age thing, I always hated them even when I was one, but then again I was always old.

He will go and keep telling me stuff about teenagers that i don’t know (because you know, i just materialized one day and just became a mom!).  He will go on and on on how adults are too serious and full of problems and stuff that we can’t stand them being happy and loud and ridicule.

Even though my Aspie guy is very mature and I am very lucky, he still wants to be a teenager, his mind cant wrap his mind around the idea of being an old 20 year old and leave Never land behind.

And then, the inevitably subject of older people acting like children (not in the best sense) comes along.  At that point, i can’t argue with him anymore, because  been around grownups who didn’t grew up its way worst. The world is full of Peter Pan alike that I hate even more than teenagers.

Ohhh the places you’ll go…On Geeks vs Nerds

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Leave it to this guy to answer a this or that question with yet another thing, because of course, I didn’t knew about that other option!. So here I was watching and reading some memes and it bothered me that these person calls themselves Nerds but are talking about Star Wars and related stuff…It infuriated me… I just tell him: “what is the difference between Nerd and Geek?” and proceed to explain how liking that kind of stuff does NOT make you a NERD, it makes you a GEEK….to what he answered: “well, nerds are very intelligent people, who study a lot. Geeks are more into Anime and all those kind of stuff”….and of course then he throw another new word for me, OTAKU, (in Japan) a young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills……so he saw my confusion and proceeded to explain before putting his headsets on again and off to his la la land……

Ohhh the places you’ll go…the agony of flying

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The things you shouldn’t take for granted when you have “normal” kids….We will have to take a 17 hour train from NY to CHI and another 23 hour train from CHI to DFW a week later, just to spare Owen the agony of a plane ride…don’t get me wrong….we will enjoy it too…we are adventurers, and even he is still in his own world most of the time, he loves it….the trips, the new places… Sadly being from a small island, we have to take a plane to cross the water, after that, is all by train. The agony is more than this pic shows; usually he is on my lap, with one of his hands holding mine. That is how the time on the airplane goes…its torture…but, is a price to pay for adventures, so we endure it. Let it come, and let it be!

This post is from last year, but i haven’t post it here. Still we look forwards our next adventure next month and its always the same thing. It does not get easier. This time the trip will be from NY to Seattle by train…almost 3 days. But a difference this time is that is for a perspective purposes. We are looking to see some programs and an university that has an Asperger’s program. We are looking forwards the future. Wish us luck!

Ohhh the places you’ll go… I can’t see his future, only its possibilities!

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Some things really scare me, like the future, his future.  Is a fear of every parent, but in some special cases, is bigger.  I have always wonder how his future is gonna be. If he will adapt to be on his own.  And lately I have seen the answer to that question in a form of a very old elementary friend who is very special too, her name is Carmen and I see her almost every day.

I remember her in school, what is her condition I don’t know, but they were always taken away to special classes.  Now, all grown up I can see her walking with her bag and a lunch bag going on.  Judging by her clothes, I know she is working somewhere.  And that makes me feel so great. To see her being independent and well.

Every time I see Carmen, I breathe deeper and in hope, I will always be there for my guy whatever he needs, but I want to know he will be ok on his own…

Ohhh the places you’ll go…lifelong friends (for those lucky enough)

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Studying J.K. Rowling first book of Harry Potter got me curious enough to see the movie. In 3 days I saw them all 8 of them. Even though wizards and teenagers are not my thing, I did liked it. But the thing is, it was not because of all the magic or the fact that Rick Allan was there. It was the concept of “FRIENDS”. Harry was lucky enough to make friends from the very first day that never left his side. Is the kind of friendship I have never know and don’t know if I will ever will.  Don’t get me wrong, I do have a few of them, but all dispersed all over and far away. The kind of friendship that goes to get some drinks or go to eat or have fun, that’s something I don’t know anymore. And I don’t have friends from my childhood either. A price to pay on adulthood when most of your friends are childless and go on with their adventures.

This makes me kind of sad, but not for me. I keep thinking of my kids. Owen with his particularity does not have any friend that he goes out with or spend time outside the school hours. Maybe he has one that calls him from time to time.  They are very alike and so they understand each other. They only  I can’t help but wonder if they will last, if they will grow up to be adults and stay in each others lives. I really hope they do. I keep telling him how important is to have friends even though I have not given the best example lately. But true and loyal friends are one of the most important things in life we can have and we can be.

Ohhh the places you’ll go…graduation day

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“…Imagine having all five senses multiplied by one hundred. Many people with autism, myself included, have never experienced complete silence. We always hear the humming of the lights, or a bird outside, or even the sound of our own breath. We always hear this loud and clear, even in noise-filled crowded room…Even smiling and saying hello in the corridor. Small gestures matter. Often, they can speak louder than words ever could…..”

I read those words from an article a long time ago and saved those words, but failed to write down the name of the girl. I loved the whole article.  Today as in some special days, I get slapped with his autism. What I mean by that is that is just our way of living, so for me is normal. Just in some days I get that “wait, he is his own world” feeling.  Today is graduation day, but since they are home schooled at a center is not the same as in regular schools. And we are picking up a shirt for him to wear, something nice between those worn off  super heroes shirts and buttons shirts, there’s no way he would wear buttons shirt!.  We are looking for something in between, well, I am looking for something. He could not care less about how he dress or how he looks. As he clearly told me time and time again: “well mother, that is only important to you”.

His simplicity amazed me, that way he doesn’t care about what people think or see him. He genuinely does not care. And I love it. But just for today I want him to be a little more presentable. It is his 9th grade graduation. And we managed to find something he doesn’t hate and say yes to. Even if it was a “its ok” decision.  He will wear it, we will go to the activity, he will receive his awards of the year, he would not really care, I will be exited, we will share with his friends for a while and we will come back home and continue the day into the things he is interested in.