Jasan has been all about the lawn mower and related mechanical outdoor items forever. His Grampie is very detailed about his lawn and during the summer, all the cool landscaping tools are out being utilized. I know that being interested in the lawnmower is a typical boy thing, but what I found to be interesting about this recent scenario (pictured above) was how Jasan was interpreting and acting out the mowing experience now that he is older.
This was one of those afternoons where all of the Cherry Street kids were out on their bikes and Jasan was no exception. As soon as Matt (a.k.a. Grampie/my stepfather) started mowing, he immediately started following alongside his every pass up and down the lawn. It was adorable. The kids surrounding him were now of no interest, and all of his focus was on that lawnmower and Matt’s every move. (The image above makes me laugh because I am the distraction here. He is looking at right at me in this moment because I was about to be in the way, practically laying in the grass to get my shot…otherwise his eyes were locked on the lawnmower and his Grampie!)
What I found to be mesmerizing is, for example, how he was waiting for the EXACT moment to turn his bike the same direction Matt would move the lawnmower…EVERY TIME. Jasan learns so much by acting out his experiences. It’s almost as if he puts his body and mind into what is happening literally right next to what is actually going on. He is taking in new information, studying it, and simultaneously acting it out with his body no matter what he may be doing (like riding his bicycle.) He does this often in so many different areas of life and it’s fascinating!
Then…this happened a few days ago. Matt started mowing again and Jasan immediately dropped what he was doing, grabbed his little lawnmower and mimicked every little thing Matt did. Not just for part of the lawn and then lost interest, but for the whole thing. Every time Matt pushed a button or moved a lever, Jasan did the exact same movement on his little mower.
We have now entered a new level of sensory awareness. Both of us.
In the past month or so, Jasan has been having a really hard time with sounds. (Hence the noise reducing headphones.) It doesn’t even matter if they are loud…or if he has heard them before and knows what to expect.
At first I was confused. Why, all of the sudden, was he having a hard time flushing the toilet in our house? He has heard that sound a million times. At my friend’s home where the beloved washer & dryer Whirlpool Duet lives (see this past post) the sounds are now a startling issue. He has literally spent hours in that room watching the cycles and has every sound perfectly memorized and can mimic the machine flawlessly. What’s going on with my little man?
Well, he’s growing up. His awareness of the world is heightening. And so is mine. This is something that all parents of children with special needs can relate to. I need to overthink life when we are together. While he is at this young age, I am his protector. I am his hand to hold when things get too loud or surprisingly startling or too bright or too dark or too wet or too smelly…should I keep going?
Things that neurotypical kids regulate without even knowing, our “sensory sensitive” kids don’t. There is a lot going on that I don’t understand, but you know what? I KNOW MY SON. I can learn his patterns and his fears, I can look ahead to foresee possible issues and help avoid or lessen them. This is part of my passion as his mom. His life can be just as comfortable as mine, it will just look a bit different.
Through this journey with Jasan I have become more patient. More kind. More understanding. More compassionate.
It has been way too long since my last blog post. When this happens, I realize that I have become slightly derailed emotionally. When I am on a good path of staying focused on the positive and doing what is best for Jasan and me, these posts flow right out of me. Ideas come and immediately I want to write. I love that feeling, and it is proof that this project is supposed to be happening.
A lot of good has come from sharing my series on Jasan. Before making the decision to even call these photographs a series, I prayed about it. I was also quiet and let myself be open to feel a yes or a no. I discussed it with a couple of very close friends to get their opinions, and the overwhelming “yes!” was seeming apparent from all directions. The more I started to share little bits and pieces of our life together as mother & son, the more personal the words became.
Photographer: George Allen
What I am most loving about this blog is that it really all revolves around my emotional awareness and health. It’s all a part of my journey of going inward, becoming more emotionally aware and realizing how it’s forming a new version of me. Of course this directly affects my parenting. I could not be more thankful for this process and how it is really strengthening my relationship with my son and everyone around me.
My mother (who is a huge inspirational influence on me) gave me a little notecard to read about a week ago. When I started thinking about this post, I realized how well this fits together. This is what it says:
The child is thinking on the day it enters your environment.
And so beliefs are easily transmitted from adults to children…
The child is vibrationally receiving your fears and your beliefs even without your spoken word.
So give thought only to that which you want, and your child will receive from you only the vibration of those wanted thoughts.
Read that a few times and think about how PROFOUND that is.
Now, it is not always easy to have positive thoughts 24-7. We aren’t perfect humans, and life happens. Focusing on the positive takes practice. Lots of practice. And AWARENESS. Being aware of your thoughts is huge. We all have a power that many of us don’t utilize. We all have the CHOICE to pick and choose our thoughts which will then in turn determine what vibrational energy we create.
Because Jasan and I are a little twosome, our relationship is EXTREMELY close. I do not have a partner yet in my life journey, and I do not have any other children that I need to pour energy into. Just Jasan. Therefore, we are almost like one at times. <3 On the flip side, he feels EVERYTHING that’s going on with me. If my head isn’t right, he knows. Even in his 4 year old world.
Because Jasan is autistic, I think his level of awareness is heightened. He is so in tune with me it’s kinda crazy awesome. When I let my mind soak this in, I feel an ever greater need to continue my journey to emotional health for his sake, as well as mine. The stronger I become, the better it is for both of us. I think being able to look inside of me has quieted my thoughts enough to become more grateful of what is around me. All of these photos that I take of Jasan reflect just that. Being in the moment. Instead of being busy in my mind with all of the junk that I used to choose to focus on, I CAN be in the moment. After learning more about who I am and why I used to make the unhealthy choices that I did, thought patterns can be made new. Old behaviors can melt away (with a little practice of course…) but it’s all in my mind. It’s MY CHOICE and MY WORK. It doesn’t just happen.
We can all make it happen. For us as individuals, and AS PARENTS for OUR CHILDREN. They deserve it. Our healthy attitude. Our positive vibration. They feel all of it.
Just for fun, I went through some pre-autism series photos. (a.k.a. Mama & Jasan selfies…mostly. ha)