Today I am grateful for:
Hope. Plain and simple. Sometimes I don’t realize that I’ve lost touch with hope. I have all these quotes taped to my computer (“All is well, out of this experience only good will come” and “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement” and “Leap and the net will appear” etc.) and sometimes I think I do have optimism and faith and I am trusting and leaping freely. But then I realize somewhere along the line hope has actually slipped to the back of my mind, that I’m not as free as I had thought, there’s something heavy in the background sitting on a small but growing patch of anxieties. When hope appears again, the relief I feel is like a cool breeze from the ocean on a hot beach day– I don’t realize how I had missed it or how sheerly *good* it feels until it comes again and reminds me. This week I saw the movie “Wretches & Jabberers“ for the first time. It brought that feeling of hope back to me. Not because of the story or the specifics, but because as I watched this film another window opened in my mind. My proverbial “house” where God closes doors and opens windows became bigger and through the new open window created by these filmmakers came a gentle ocean breeze which awakened hope again in me.
Rainbows & nail polish. I painted my toenails last night, each toe a different color like a rainbow, because Aubrey & I will be attending the Pride festivities in San Francisco. Why something so mundane on a gratitude list? Because I like pretty toes, because I can afford five different bottles of colors (cheap colors, but colors nonetheless!), because I like sandal weather. And most importantly, because I live and work in a place where I can be open about who I am and I can show it on my toes. How grateful I am for openness and acceptance!
Bedtime prayers & Alex’s words. “Wretches & Jabberers” had a profound effect on the way I see the whole autism world. One of the two main characters in that film, when asked what people with autism are like, responds: “More like you than not.” I know that. Of course I know that. But deep down that line stirred something in me. It brought all the advocating, writing, fighting, learning, stretching, wanting, waiting, worrying, trying & planning & crying & wishing I do for Alex back to the realm of typical mother. I do all that because I am mom, not because the autism needs to be solved. The communication gaps need to be bridged, the awareness needs to rise. But my beautiful boy is still– definitively– more like me than not. Looking through this new, hope-full window last night, I cuddled up with Alex for bedtime prayers. We said our usual stuff, we said thank you, we asked God to keep the people we love happy & healthy & safe. I told Alex I am proud of him & I know how smart he is, that I’ve known it all his life, I have always believed in him and always will. Then I asked if he had anything else to add to prayers. He paused a minute, looked at me thoughtfully and said:
“God bless our whole life together.”