It goes without saying it’s good to slow down and enjoy the little moments. This time of year it can mean searching out twinkling lights, whether in the sky or along the gutter line of a house. It may mean spending time as a family, lingering over dinner, or smiling at the dog who is trying his best to catch a few runaway scraps. But what about the BIG moments? The ones that don’t come around very often? Things like weddings (ok, so those are stress-bombs for many a bride, I know…) or graduation? Or anything positive that takes gobs of time and/or money? Believe it or not, for some of us it can be hard to slow down, “chill” and relax enough to enjoy even the big moments in life. (Yes, I’m talking about yours, truly!)
A while back, K called me out. I had a blind spot and it was high time I saw it.
“I had a blind spot and it was high time I saw it.”
See, when she was growing up I made sure she and her father had quality daddy-daughter time. We made a point to have regular family time, too, but I wasn’t so good at creating quality mother-daughter moments. We did spend a lot of time together, though. After all I was an at home mom.
Together, we were on the road a lot. We spent hours in the car on the way to the therapist. Then there was time in the car to replace that therapist with another one. Time before and after school making sure that slice of life was as tidy as it could be. Oh – and allergy shots! All that bonding time in the waiting room waiting to see if the cat allergen would, once again, blow her arm up twice its size. Oh, memories…
We did do things around the house that were fun but, as K pointed out, all those things were, well, at home. We never went anywhere (save above). To be honest, our vacation budget was pretty lean, so there wasn’t much choice there. Still, there are things we could have done together and didn’t. Mom, here, was too busy “doing life” and all that goes with raising someone on the Autism Spectrum.
Back to her lecture. She’s graduating from college with no idea what the future will hold, including where she will be living a year from now. Time is no longer on our side. There remains a window for mom-daughter time, but it’s a shrinking one. K being K, she knows how she wants to fill it. K being an Aspie, it involves a Special Interest: Disney, with a side of Harry Potter.
For the first time in a very long time, we will be sharing a “big” moment. K and I are taking a Disney cruise then a day trip to Universal while dad babysits the dog. No, it isn’t a cheap trip, but when you add up all those missed moments, it’s more than fair. And a trip away from work and school is sorely needed by the both of us. She’s coming off finals and I’m struggling with a novel. The Spock-side of me says “no dinner before dessert; finish work, then play.” But the human side of me is trying its best to convince me that work is never done, anyway, is it?
I need to stop, rest, and simply enjoy life, enjoy time with my daughter.
So, no, this post doesn’t really have much to do with Asperger’s. It’s about family, about parenting and blind spots. We need to see our kids as humans with emotional needs, no matter how old they are. And, sometimes, we don’t get it right.
Sometimes, you gotta listen to your kids. Sometimes, you need to stop “parenting” and simply enjoy being a parent, and enjoy your child. It’s ok to make time to relax. Have you done that? Or do you feel guilt? Or simply too overwhelmed with day to day living?
If you can relate take the note from my Aspie. Make time to create “big moments” and do something together that you will both look back on and enjoy years from now.
As for us, I’ll let you know how it goes! Meanwhile, the blog will take a short break until we return.
Wishing you all the best,