25 January 2011

The Sneaky Message of Change

By winter's end, I will have the ass of a twenty-five year-old. Okay, not really. But I may have the ass of a thirty-five year old, which would make it ten years younger than the ass I am currently dragging up and down my VERY  steep driveway as I climb up, UP, UP  to my van. The Kia is fun, and a little mysterious ( it's Korean, not Japanese!), with many great features, not the least being the reduced cost I paid scooping it up at the end of the model year. But it sucks in the snow. To be fair, my fancy-schmancy Honda sucked too, and my twisty tarmac is a challenge for any vehicle without all-wheel drive. So, the Kia has been parked up at the top of the driveway for an eternity now, because we've been stuck in an endless loop of wintry mixes.

As I was trudging up today, I thought about how, if I didn't slip and fall, this would be great exercise. I could really lift those aging buns, because that's what we all want, isn't it? Less cellulite, fewer wrinkles, yadda yadda. I'm not immune to the messages touting eternal youth. But you know what? There are quite a few things about me that have improved with age. And not just the things we think are important-Self-esteem, Knowledge, Patience-but honest-to-goodness shallow stuff, like looks. I peer in the mirror, and I like my face more than I did when I was thirty-five. Granted, I usually have my glasses off, and everything is a bit Doris Day fuzzy, but even so, I feel more attractive and more confident than I did ten years ago. I'm going with it, and  today you should recognize something about yourself that you like more than you did last decade. Screw eternal youth-I was kind of stupid in my early twenties.

So I've learned to tune-out the change messages for me, but I still haven't given up trying to change my kids. It's an on-going battle between the Zen me and the willful me. As some of you may know, Boys One and Four are both autistic, falling at different points on the spectrum, and each with his own strengths and needs.

Four joined a recreational basketball team this year. Team sports are a challenge, and tonight he was in no mood to practice. I was filling in as the coach for ten minutes, until the real one could arrive, and I was trying to manage the other boys, so I just let Four sit on the court. And then he wandered off to see what Five was playing on the Nintendo DS, and got hit in the mouth with an errant ball. And that was the end of that. He took himself out of practice, I lost track of him, and then he was backstage, opening the curtains. I went to retrieve him, and the situation escalated.

The Zen me would have been very calm, but the willful me thought this just might be the time that threats and intimidation would do the trick. Not so much. Suffice it to say, we left, with Four loudly wishing he could be adopted into a family that didn't have a mother like me, "Missy!", before I "helped" him, (like a Trooper might) climb in and buckle up. He apologized later, and I felt crappy for losing my cool. He is who he is- I know this- and I can really only control my own reactions. I forget this, OFTEN, and not just about him, but all the other penii as well.

I think change is a messy proposition, dressed up like a tarty model, and sent down the runway each season in new clothes to make us want it. This year I'm shopping thrift store, and working on acceptance.


  1. To help you with your acceptance, every Mom has been there-- in every emotion/reaction you described. Like the time Nick was 3 and wouldn't come out of the McDonald's play gym. And I didn't have the other kids with me to go in and get him-- just me. Grace was not what came to anyone's mind :o
    I'm thinking of parking my van down the street so I can have those buns of steel too. xoxo

  2. Acceptance is the hardest thing to achieve. I guess that's why it's generally so far down on our list of options. Still, I think the point isn't just to accept but to acknowledge when that is the best option.

    I did some work on my buns this past Saturday. I'm still walking funny. There must be a better way.

  3. Great message. But incredibly tough to achieve. But it never hurts to remind ourselves that it's always worth it to shoot for acceptance. Even if that seems like an unachievable goal.

    It might also be worth it to accept the fact that your willful self also moonlights as Four's advocate, cheerleader and taskmaster. He needs both halves of you and is very lucky to have them!

    As for my glutes: I guess I should head down to the gym for a little while. Need to work off some frustration!

  4. I don't want to say all things should be accepted wholesale-I want a better body as much as the next girl, and I still hope to learn to play the cello- but that c-section scar is never going away, you know what I mean? Mostly I want to work on accepting my children. Not their lazy work habits or continuing belief that I'm here to serve them, but their core personalities.

  5. Hey cuz -- SO glad you are writing! HUG!!!!

  6. Kathy-so glad you're reading! XO


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