In any given moment, the universe is primed to give us new life, to begin again, to create new opportunities, to miraculously heal situations, to change all darkness to light & fear to love. ~Marianne Williamson
18 Jan 2012 4 Comments
13 Jan 2012 6 Comments
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
~ Albert Einstein
About a week ago I saw this quote for the first time. It struck me in such a profound way that an entire expanded blog post has been wandering around in my head since then, unpacking & rearranging & dissecting & analyzing & marveling at these words.
A fish. With a tree. Climbing, not climbing. Pondering the situation. Wondering maybe why the heck someone would expect it to climb? Maybe a slightly annoyed fish waiting for someone to recognize its fins are for swimming. Like, duh! … Or maybe a fish not really caring about trees, just being a fish and being content. Not caring if someone else judged its ability at all, as long as it got the water it needed to live. You know what I mean?
Or are you staring at the computer screen with your mouth hanging open, thinking maybe I’ve completely lost my mind? Well, that would be okay too. It’s all good, really it is. See, it comes right back to the beauty of that quote in the first place:
We judge because our minds are constantly trying to make sense of our world. Einstein’s quote is perfect to me because it clearly illustrates how ridiculous and imperfect our judgements of others really are, and then gives a gentle reminder of our silliness and sends us back out into the world to look at others through a new lens.
Can you see it?
I smile as I write this because I can see it, and I can feel it. And just being able to do that brings a whole universe closer to me somehow. I believe there’s a higher power who created the world, and I believe that everyone is special and important, every living thing has its place, things happen for a reason, and that we have lessons to learn in life. Seeing that fish, imagining that tree, makes me realize the immensity of ALL of this. I’m only one part, and me with my own judgements and ways of seeing the world…. well, maybe I have a lot more to learn, too.
Are you with me? So to take this quote one step further into my life…
My son is a fish. He can swim like nobody’s business. He loves the trees– all the typical stuff– but he’s not good at a lot of it. For years I thought I’d find the “cure” that would change his fins to feet, would make him be able to survive without water, so that he could live in the trees with his little sister (whom I’ve always affectionately referred to as my “monkey”) and be happy. Then I realized the key to everything, the key to really being a good mother (in my humble opinion) was to recognize his fishy-ness, to get him what he innately needs for the way he was created to live. So that’s what I’ve tried to do.
But about a week ago, Albert Einstein reminded me that I missed another important part:
If in my world of trees, I had missed an obvious point entirely about the abilities of my little fish and about my own judgements of others, then what else could I learn from a fish? What else was I missing about what fish *can* do?
As often happens in my life, an answer to these silent questions swirling around in my curious brain came to me in a truly beautiful and touching way. Alex’s former ABA teacher Steph (of “Tigger Takes a Swim“) emailed me out of the blue yesterday:
“I’ve been thinking about Alex a lot lately… I just started doing consulting work and I’ve been going back over my years of doing therapy [with kids] and I keep coming back to him. … I don’t think [that’s] because of what and how we taught him during his [early intervention] days, but more about what he taught us and reminded us. …
“Alex taught me that answers aren’t always in books. He taught me that patience and love get you a lot further than sitting at a table and doing things by the rules. He taught me that sometimes you have to look beyond the obvious and search for the deeper meaning… And even after searching if you still can’t find something, then just act goofy and laugh because laughter makes everything okay, at least for a bit.
I owe you a much needed thank you for allowing me to be a part of his life and learn from him. I honestly believe it has taught me to be the best I can be in my job and that when A and B don’t add up, then maybe they aren’t supposed to so just move along! I hope beyond hope that he is doing well in his new environment and learns all he can and continues to teach and inspire those around him.”
It seems my beautiful boy fish is already doing much more than I had expected — he is making impressions, teaching lessons, causing people to pause & reflect & remember. And because of him, lives of other little fish have been and will continue to be changed for the better.
Thanks, Steph, for showing me the deeper meaning of my new favorite quote. And thanks Alex, as always, for swimming to your own beat.
11 Jan 2012 1 Comment
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
~ Thorton Wilder
05 Jan 2012 1 Comment
… because that’s what this picture is worth:
This is Alex looking out over his new playground, content with his current circumstances, asserting his independence, looking more confident and comfortable. This picture is my autism inspiration piece for today. Although Alex still asks to come home, the residential staff and teachers report he enjoys living with his new friends. I am grateful for that.