Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The beauty of a short term perspective


R's grandma is on the phone

 " Tell me a story of R" she asks

I know what she is looking for

A story of signs that he is progressing

So I tell her about how he called me to show a yellow submarine on one of his DVD's as we had both enjoyed the Beatles song on youtube yesterday

I tell her a few more stories of how she showed me he knew the months of the year , the date for today and seasons - all through the great teacher internet - via starfall

She listens delightedly

She asks then – what do other people say about him ?

She wants the extra reassurance of these other people !

People outside the circle of enchantment that surrounds R -not his parents, teachers or therapists who all universally dote on him

People who live in the normal world -whose standards are typical children

Those whose reference is not  other autistic children

For that, in some ways is the parallel universe in which we live

The parallel universe of parents of children with special needs -where mothers and fathers boast about first words at the age of 4 and 5( and later ...)

She wants some reassurance  that R will do well in the world of the neurotypical when he grows up

Being the mother of a special needs child herself- this is something that she has spend a lot of her life as a mother thinking  about -(  what will happen to my child ?)

I do understand her worry well

Sometimes when I blog hop – I will encounter a depressing article on autism
But the future is far far away

And there are no guarantees

And I find that thinking too far ahead – in the sense of worry - can hurt your present

Irrevocably drain away your joy

Its like the Ski Slalom that R makes me do on his beloved Wii Fit –

I find you can only keep your eyes on the arrows right in front of you

If you look ahead – you will most likely miss the arrow right in in front of you

Looking  ahead , in fact will make you lose the game

For your attention has shifted

So I tell her that we keep our eyes only on the step right in front of us

And as long as we are headed in generally the right direction…I really think we will be fine

I meet Lucy ( my neighor) on our walk in the evening – I ask her about J– Lucy's friend's son – a delightful young man that we met in July - who has/had ASD. I ask about J

She tells me he is doing great.

She smiles and adds  – "he is probably doing better than her friends' other children" ( the other kids are great – just that they are teenagers )

There are good outcomes in Autism land and there are not so good outcomes
Really there is no telling what will happen in the future ( not just for R – for any one )

All we can do when we want progress is to keep our eye firmly on the next step in front of us.

Keep a short term perspective

For the beauty of the short term perspective is is that it not only helps you achieive your long term goals, it also helps you to enjoy your present fully



For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

                              -Kalidasa

9 comments:

Lisa said...

Sometimes it can be so hard to clear our heads and live right now, in the exact moment. Life is better in the moment!

Great post K!

Kim said...

Wonderful post, so true for me at this moment when the future seems to loom so ominously on the horizon at times. Small steps.

robin said...

So true.....

You have such good insight!! :)

Julie said...

Thank you for this post. I feel the same...but sometimes I need to be reminded. Your words were just what I needed to reaffirm that we're doing the right thing....that living in the present and not worrying about the future isn't denial and when we are not worried we have no reason not to be happy! Thanks!!

((HUGS))

Þorgerður said...

You are so right.
One day and then the next one.
One day only, to its fullest potential.
My mom asks me the same. Asking me to confirm we are moving along, wanting to hear that everything will be OK.
Then there are those that never ask.

Rachel said...

Absolutely true! You have captured a beautiful truth perfectly!

Rebecca said...

Hi K! I am on FaceBook with Julie and she has posted.. she went into labor... well, apparently she had the baby! I see some comments from people who she must have called. I don't know the name yet, but I know the sex... Hmm.. I think I'll let her tell you though (after all, it is her news to tell) - I just wanted to let you know that our friend had her baby, yay!!!!

Jocelyn said...

Seeing things in the short-term keeps me sane. And seeing that tiny victory happen makes it all worthwhile.

How do you know what I think so many times????

blackknightsbrood said...

Yes, it's true and so well written here - the example of Grandma's questions and the wondering of perceptions of others whose love for r does not skew the answer. I love the wording of her request - "Tell me a story of R". You do so beautifully.

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