Sunday, October 17, 2010

Parenthood Matters

The TV show Parenthood is definitely striking a personal heart string. I absolutely relate to the family (specifically the Dad) dealing with autism. I hope they continue to bring poignant storylines on this issue.

Most recently the show helps me realize how life moves fast and I FORGET about dealing with autism and I FORGET how far our family has come (or yet to go) This show brings back a lot of those feelings for me - feelings I need to deal with.

For instance, yesterday D had his first Karate competition. Two highlights for the day were: 1) D was in our backyard practicing his moves (literally breathless) before the competition 2)The utter joy/excitement/happiness I saw on his face when he received his ribbon for competing.

In the 9 years of D's life, I have never seen him this excited in preparation or conclusion of ANYTHING. That, was sad to me. But that is a reality of autism....a distancing of emotional and social connection.

He is connecting with Karate. He knows every move without hesitation. This is expected as he knows every state capital AND knows where every state falls geographically on a US map. Literal, factual stuff is an Aspergers thing.....don't ask him to "wait one minute"....because he will literally wait ONE MINUTE. :-).

I am coming to grips with learning about this world of Karate. I am also coming to grips with the Karate financial commitment (can it really be that expensive for a belt test?) but that is another blog :-)

Seeing him yesterday, he maintained focus - accomplished his 3 moves (i think brilliantly) WHILE being in a noisy hotel room filled with kids and parents is no small feat in his world (or mine). That is our parenthood reality.

For a moment he was connected with life's reality and it was good....really good.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back To The Future

Been thinking about my Dad lately. Specifically thinking about the people who were around me during this time. There were folks outside of my immediate family who supported my family during the time of his sudden death. I am extremely thankful for them and I wanted to ensure I did thank them (even 22 years later) but honestly not sure how to do this - but will give it some thought.

Maybe I wonder how he would handle the challenges I am facing as a father to a child with autism. Maybe I would just like to have that beer with him and speak to him man to man (never got that chance). Maybe I feel cheated that he never did get to meet my wife or my children. Maybe I am grateful for the time I did have with him and more and more grow to appreciate that time. Posting here helps and I need to do that more.

Overall I definitely sense I am a lot like my Dad. But yet there are major differences as well. I am coming to grips with that as I get closer to his age when he died. He was 43.