Be Gentle

I was trying to make dinner, the raviolis were just about to come out of the water when it hit. Claire got stiff and needed oxygen to help fight off what was trying to take over her brain. It quickly passed but she needed more oxygen as the timer beeped in the kitchen to get the pasta out of the water. Chloe, being the amazing little super hero side kick that she is offered to be in charge of the oxygen and I figured why not? As I drained the pasta I watched the amazing bond between the two of them, it was so surreal, Chloe slowly wiping the hair out of Claire’s eyes, it felt more like a movie than my life, stuff like this shouldn’t happen in real life. As Claire slowly came back and we were about to sit down to eat Jared got home. I can’t remember what I said to him or what his response was but it was wrong. Sure, it might have been a little insensitive but not to the level that I shot back with my venomous words. My heart raced as he walked away, I shook with anger. As he sat down to feed the girls I stepped out for a minute as I became uneasy and felt like I was going to puke. As I focused on breathing and finding my calm I tried to figure out what happened. This wasn’t the first incident. Earlier in the day I freaked out when somebody parked in the disabled spot at school only to find out that it was the mom of the new kid in Claire’s class who was in fact disabled and perfectly qualified to be parked there. I’ve been jumpy in general, my nerves are just shot. I put all this crazy out there to say this. Be gentle with yourself. If you are a parent of a somebody who requires insane levels of care, you may become insane and that’s alright. If you know somebody who does this, be gentle with them. Transitioning back to school is hard for us all and maybe even harder than we realize.

9 thoughts on “Be Gentle

  1. Thank you SO much for sharing that reminder. While I will never say I know how you feel, I do know the levels of care that our son with autism requires. I was in such need of this reminder to be gentle with myself right now.

    Our back to school transition went a million times better than we ever expected and now that we are two weeks in and things aren’t going quite so smoothly, I have spent the past few days feeling sorry for myself and at the same time feeling guilty for feeling sorry for myself.

    As I read about Clair breathing in that life giving oxygen and Chloe being the amazing care giver that she is, I felt myself start to take deeper breaths and just let that sit. Thanks so much, Colleen!

    1. Heather, I am so glad that you got a few extra deep breathes to sit with, that is always a good thing. I was thinking about a paper I read that stated that parents to austistic kids have chemical levels similar to those of soliders coming home from extended periods of war. I hope that things level out a bit and you give yourself lots of grace. So thankful to have met you along this start journey.

  2. I totally needed to hear this today. I convinced Aiden we should go swimming today after school. We pull up to the pool and no one was there, yay! Sometimes we like the pool all to ourselves. Then we get to the gate. It’s chained shut. I’m slightly irritated and feel the need to call the HOA to let out some frustration. I then see the sign that says “Pool closed Wednesday for chemical cleaning.” Even more irritated because our pool was closed Monday for that reason. At this point Aiden hasn’t started the meltdown but I know it’s coming. I’m racking my brain trying to think of another pool we can go to and stupidly offer the splash park…..there it was…the meltdown. I was so angry I wanted to call and chew the HOA people out. Didn’t they understand that kids with special needs would be looking forward to the pool today and don’t handle change very well. In that moment I was angrier than any one person should be and I’m not proud of it. Thank you for the beautiful picture of your daughters and the love and patience they have. Today I was a little insane and thankfully the phone call was never made 🙂

  3. Colleen,
    Thank you for posting this. I have a 17 yo with autism and read this post out loud to DH. He and I agreed that we had been there, experienced that. The reminder is timely and needed. #startbloggers

  4. Silvia Baker says:

    I love you my Friend and send you a great big hug. Our girls are so very blessed to have the amazing sisters they have. We, as their parents, walk around wanting to scream from the mountain tops that our daughters have THE MOST AMAZING SISTERS BECAUSE THEY just know . . . It sucks that they know but I thank GOD everytime Brianna swoops in when I am not nearby. Thank you for the reminder to take a deep breath. LOVE YOU.

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