Monday, December 28, 2009

Beanstalk's Moment

I find I write less about Beanstalk not because less is going on with him, but because he is a seemingly low-key household member if you were to look at him in comparison. He is only learning to talk, so he still exists, amongst all us talkers, in his own thought world and only recently has been punctuating our conversations with "Hey!" or "Hi!" followed at a measured interval by "How are you?" or "I'm fine!" followed at a planned interval by "How are you?" They're almost sung like music at a perfect tone and interval, but always slightly askew because they aren't fit into a neat little interval of conversation that he perceived by all the messages of glances, inhales, exhales and pauses that you and I are so very attuned to. They are a song he's memorized the words to and is only now beginning to understand the way his music fits into the music of the world around him. You see, he's autistic among other things. It's like there's a whole other layer of being that he exists in. A way he's found to exist among non-autistic beings and still enjoy their culture.

Simple activities become major experiences and moments of learning such as this party favor:
And lest you think his actions are random and he isn't really thinking about much, here's what happened when I gave him camera lessons. He
figured out how to use it in two shots. I told him to pick something interesting and snap a picture.
This was the picture:

The neighbor girl's butt. Hmmm. I thought it was just the first thing he saw when he looked around. Nope. I turned him around 180 degrees and let him go. Here's the shot:

Much better, I must add, but note that in a room full
of people he found the same girl. Well, her butt. What's so funny is that he picks where we sit and we always sit near her. She's real nice and likes to play with him and she'll even watch a movie on occasion (by movie, I mean an Andre Rieu video on Strauss or an Andrea Bocelli concert, so this is a major thing for her to do)...he does talk to her, which is funny 'cause he doesn't talk much to anyone. He's 7, so I refuse to give any import to the butt shot, but I'm not writing it off completely. He would NEVER go around to her front side to take the pic, though.

He got five musicals for Christmas...he was in seventh heaven!

But he didn't want to see the devil in the red suit (Santa). Here is the Seventh Geneva Talks on Santa held yearly on this very spot. Results? Honey Bear can attend as Beanstalk's defense and no actual contact with the man in the red suit must be made. Beanstalk was as adamant as an autistic seven-year-old could be. I guaranteed the upholding of all the rules.

So, here we are "NEAR" Santa. I think Santa touched him, but it was out of my control!

Finally, untouched, he could hibernate with first High School Musical, then High School Musical II. Next are the Sound of Music and Singing in the Rain!

Beanstalk's World!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WalMart's One Redeeming Value

Really bouncy balls.

There's just something about a really bouncy ball that appeals to both Beanstalk and Squib. Every year, their doting mother (that would be me for those of you who think I can't dote) makes a Christmas pilgrimage to hell on earth, excuse me, WalMart to retrieve two very bouncy balls for her little ones.

As a true shopping hermit, most of my shopping is done online as it should be. But bouncy balls must be tested and not very many online stores offer them. Especially not the really bouncy ones filled with glitter. Who knew the boys would like those this year?

And for this unearthly pilgrimage, I get a fabulous grin like this:

Totally worth it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Stiff Upper Lip

 I have no idea what the origin of that phrase is: "Keep a stiff upper lip." I know what it means to do it, though. Anymore, it seems we need a red cross hanging on the front door to our house. Baba and Clanpaw are both fighting their cancers admirably. Mimi is undergoing infusion therapy for Lupus. Buddy is soon to have a major hernia surgery. Squib is being put through the mill by the genetics department of Texas Children's Hospital. Beanstalk is maintaining the status quo, but that includes PT, OT, Speech, and auditory impairment therapy.

That leaves me.

I seem to be OK regardless of my Crohn's diagnosis. And I thank God for that!!!

I do wonder, sometimes, about what the heck is going on with the rest of the family. I also have some very frank conversations with the man upstairs about how much is too much for one family to handle.

But we keep on going.

And when it comes right down to it, it's that stiff upper lip. The resolve and determination that you never knew you had until you just HAD to have it.

And I always try to give myself something to look forward to, like...

...the plans and preparations I'm making for our garden this year
...the classes I'm taking in the spring
...the time I spend with Squib and Beanstalk 20th High School reunion in June (hard to believe)!!
...the hiking trips Dad and La Fae and I are going to take after he's recovered from surgery.
...teaching Squib about the Moon (his latest fascination)
...working with Buddy and Clanpaw
...doing a little moonlighting with Attrition

Always, it seems like there are hurdles, but they are merely to be jumped over and then you just keep running the race you were meant to run. Strange and bizarre things do happen, but they no longer have the element of surprise...I merely push on and do what comes next.

I never tire of reading, catching up with people, writing, or listening to new things and am always adding to my libraries of books, movies, music, and written works. I don't think this will ever stop. Every so often I have to purge my shelves and send things to storage to make room for the new, so I dream of one day owning a library area in my home where I can keep all my saved tomes at the ready--especially if I wish to walk down memory lane. I like to see where I've been and where the journey is taking me.

I am always glad that the journey involves learning, meeting new people, and going to new places. I am not the sort of person that can stay in a single rut with the same folks, nothing new, and nothing learned. If I had my way, I'd always be in school. But, in the end, someone has to make money around here eventually. And this year, that someone is it or not...

So I shall, come hell or high water. I'll keep my stiff upper lip and keep running.

On a Melancholy Wednesday,

Friday, December 4, 2009


After urban hike number two today, I finally met with a little bit of success!

I was smarter and dressed better for the elements...that much I got right. The weather was decidedly against me. It wasn't bad or anything, but something happens to Houstonians when snow flurries begin to fall from the sky. It was like every person with a car decided to get out and drive! So, the going was slow (very slow).

But I got all the official paperwork transferred to all the right places and am registered for the Spring semester...

Mind over Matter,