Robbie is usually a great sleeper, once you get him to go to sleep. We usually get him to sleep by 9:30 at the latest. Summer means sometimes later (remember, he's 12! - early nights are getting harder to accomplish).
Last night, Robbie decided that sleep was overrated.
We finally got him to sleep by 2:45 a.m. <---- not a typo.
Got him up around 9:30. We're trying to not have a repeat. He kept asking to go back to bed this morning. Too bad.
I am exhausted. (I woke up at 5, 6, and finally 8:45 for the day. stupid internal alarm clock.) I have homework assignments to finish and a paper to start before tomorrow night.
I tried to nap. Didn't work out. So I'm trying to get something done now. I have other plans for tomorrow, or maybe that's I had other plans. Oh, well!
May he sleep like normal tonight. Because that's a blessing that I haven't been counting lately. I hope I get to count it tonight!
It started with a dream where my mom and dad were visiting to see Robbie play in a concert. But we kept being late to the various concert sites. And he was getting more and more frustrated with the waiting, and they were just handing him different instruments, none of which he knew how to play.
Then my mom just walked away. I kept following her and she was always just out of reach.
I hate those dreams.
I miss her so much.
Then I woke up, and I had the worst headache and then I realized that Robbie won't have music class anymore. They don't have music once you're in 6th grade, unless you're in band or choir. And don't tell me he can take one of those. He can't.
I started crying and crying until my head was hurting even more. Funny thing - the crying surprised even me. I usually hold it all in. But then the day got worse.
Robbie got home from the last day of extended school year (summer school for special needs), and it was evident from the moment he walked in the door that his day wasn't going well either.
He had a full meltdown, followed by a full rage, followed by the worst behavior I have ever witnessed in him.
That's enough said.
And I decided that life is just not worth it. I give up.
I have no intention of ever hoping or trying to hope anymore.
The funny thing is that I'm not even mentioning the rest of the story. Because it's all bad. Every bit of it.
So I'm sitting staring at a power point lecture, trying to focus on my class and get something done, and realizing it doesn't matter either. I'll do it, because I must. I'll get a job, I'll work hard, I'll try to have moments of joy, but life is horrible and that will never ever change.
I'm so tired.
Edited later to add:
I'm sure that I will change my mind later. Or God will change my mind. There will be hope, there will be joy, there will be more to life than this. But there are days where this is what my life is. I'm being less than honest most of the time in real life. I smile and move on, because I don't know how to talk about this.
So I write.
And maybe you're reading. This is me being honest. I'm sorry if it's not the best I can be. But this is reality. There are good days. There are bad days. And sometimes there is a worst day.
Two weeks ago, we took Robbie to church with us, and he completely melted down.
It's been a while since we have had to make him leave. Because he doesn't want to leave. He wants to stay, but he also wants to scream.
You know... you really haven't lived until you have heard your pastor raise his voice so he can be heard over the sound of your child screaming as you struggle to get him out of the auditorium. Absolutely so much fun.
We got him outside and eventually figured out that he had a headache. We got him settled down, and I left him outside with K, and returned to the auditorium to sit with our daughter, who had come with us to service. I remember crying inside. And a gentle hug from the kind woman sitting behind me.
I don't remember a word the pastor said. I really need to listen to the podcast since I've heard it was excellent.
And now I'm melting down inside as well.
Do we try to take him again? Or do we give up? Our pastors say that it's fine, that they are glad he's there. But... I don't know. Sometimes... I just don't know.
Moving is always so fun. And it takes some time. I had almost 1300 posts on my old blog. Wow.
I've started selecting some content I'd like to put here but that is going to take a lot of time. And time is something that appears to be a finite substance, so I've just gone through and put up a few of my favorites and a few recent posts that I felt like sharing.
I'd rather spend my oh-so-not-abundant free time writing something new.
Something other than this post, even.
But since I am now out of free time today... another time. Soon.
I've been blogging for years at this site (since April 2005, actually). Well, technically on my other blog on this site, but I've password protected it now, and this is now the default blog for www.terelina.typepad.com. I plan on moving over certain posts as I continue blogging, but for now, I'm saving those old posts for my own memories.
But I felt it was time to have a more "public" blog. I've never cared if anyone found me here, but over time, I felt like there was too much of a secret component to my blog. That was never my intention, but still it seems to have happened too much.
I don't want to lose what I've already written, and I do plan on moving several posts from the past. But not today. Today I'm just saying, hi, I'm mostly starting this blog over.
If you're just coming in for the first time, this explanation of the blog's title also lives on my "About" page.
It comes from the verses that I continue to reflect on over and over again, ever since I trusted in Christ as my Lord - Phillippians 4:4-14. The title comes from Phil. 4:12 - "I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little." My goal in life is to try to learn this secret, to follow God in all circumstances of my life, from single life to marriage, from barren woman to the happy mother of children. I wish I could say that I've completely arrived, but it's a work in progress - but one that is worthy to strive for.
Robbie is growing more quickly just now. We're definitely in the midst of puberty now, and that's a hard time. I'd heard that autism plus hormones wouldn't be fun, and that is definitely truth. At the same time, he's making some more progress and I enjoy him more at other times.
Yesterday, he was standing next to Mac, and I had one of those moments where you can see what could have been. It hurt to breathe for a second. Even now, as I remember that moment, my chest hurts with the tears inside me. If only. If only Robbie didn't have severe autism. This is the point where the brothers would be getting closer, instead of the relationship they have now. They have a sweet relationship now but it's just not what should be.
I can't stop wishing and praying. We're not the miracle story. We could be, if God healed him. But at this point... no. We keep pushing and pulling and praying for every inch of progress, trying not to go backwards instead.
We'll get through this time, this time of rapid change and hormones. But I don't mind saying that puberty with basically neurotypical kids had its very hard moments. We know that it is likely that the hard moments are going to be a lot worse with autism. We'll get through, if only because we must.
The common theme of my days is when can I sleep? How long can I sleep? Okay, body, we're in BED, GO TO SLEEP. And if I can actually fall asleep, miracle of miracles... that will be the night that someone (Robbie) will not be able to fall asleep and comes to talk in my bed. Talk. Not communicate.
It's like there is an overload of words in his head, and he has to say them somewhere. He's been making BIG strides in communication skills and academic skills, and that means we've been dealing with some behavior issues... and this.
Seriously. It's like he has to say something. Bed. Okay, we're in the bed. Bear. Orange. President. (???) Blue.
And it's not all at once. No... you start nodding off... and... wait for it. Dog.
I don't know if he's talking about his day? or if he's saying random words? We're treating it like he's saying *something*.
But it's ELEVEN p.m. when this is happening. So DUDE. Go. To. Sleep.
Or he just starts crying, and we can't figure out what is wrong.
Eventually he shows us the little thing on his finger and I go get the neosporin which is the placebo of choice in our household -- "Let me put some medicine on it! All better! Now, SLEEP."
I am buried in classwork since there was a bureacratic snafu and I am just now enrolled, over a week after the start of classes, and I have two weeks of work to finish in one. Or rather in 4 days.
So that seems like the perfect time to fall down the well and realize that whoa, I'm kind of deeply depressed.
That explains some of the insomnia.
The rest is because I'm still sick with this cough thing, and that's not helping. If I take the lovely cough medicine, I feel drugged all night and not as rested.
So... catch 22.
And I am doing the old "I'm not as bad off as X, or Y. I need to count my blessings. I need to ignore my problems! because they aren't as bad off as Z. " Counting my blessings is good, but ignoring MY problems because they aren't as bad off as B's problem is just the old pain Olympics and I need to remember that MY problems are MINE, and they are legitimate.
But that means thinking and most of my thinking cells are currently working on a case study, so... guess ignoring it might work for a few days.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. - 2 Corinthians 5:17
I think this was the first verse I memorized after I trusted in Christ. I liked the idea of becoming new. There was a lot of old that I didn't care to keep around in my life, and who doesn't like the idea of starting over? Guess what - you DO get to start over, you are NEW. And it's wonderful.
But... the old seems to have left ghosts of itself behind. *We* are new, but our old life has left its mark on us. My thought processes, my memories, so many things... still here. One thing that I really wanted to leave behind was my temper... but you know what? God gave me that temper for a reason. It's part of how I am. What I had to learn was how to rein in my temper, how to keep it under control, even how to use its strengths in a good way. And that wasn't easy. Oh, who am I kidding? It's still not easy.
I say a prayer most days that I will be the woman that God wants me to be. I have learned so many tools to keep my tongue under control, but that doesn't mean that my thoughts don't go rogue once in a while. Lately, it's been worse as I have been stressed, and then some of it slips through to my tongue! I used to get upset with *myself* then - but you know what? I don't have to do that. What I need to do is repent, pray for forgiveness, and then pray for peace, patience, understanding, and more grace to keep on trying to be the woman that I am meant to be.
And *that* is the new me. The one that knows that I am His daughter, and that I don't have to be perfect. Instead, I continue to walk this path, and pray to be perfected, day by day by day. Because I am new.
Robbie got a new iPad for his birthday this year. Unlike his original iPad, this one has a camera. And Robbie quickly figured out how to take pictures. At last count there are over 4,100 photos on his iPad. Yes, over four thousand.
In general, there are a ton of pictures because he pushes the camera button over and over again, resulting in 50 similar photos in less than a minute. We have been saving a sampling of them, and trying to get rid of others so he doesn't run out of room eventually, but it's... hard to stay ahead of him.
For today, I am going to share a bit of The World According to Robbie.
From his first self-portrait attempts:
Robbie moved quickly into discovering the different ways to take photos.
He moved on to taking pictures of other things. These came from his favorite "book" - a tourist guide to the Cape Canaveral area.
I call this "doors and ceilings". There are literally hundreds of variations on this theme.
He figured out this filter at some point. It really makes my living room look eerie.
We have observed that he is in love with my bedside clock, with another several hundred variations on the theme that I call "Time".
It is interesting to me that there is only one person (other than himself) who recurs frequently in these. His father - aka Robbie's favorite person in the entire world - shows up in many series.
I really like the perspective of this photo, and enjoy looking through what he's photographed each day. It gives me a bit of insight into what is catching his attention, and how he sees the world. Now it's time to go pick him up - and eventually he'll ask for his iPad and I'll get to see what he sees today.
Grace is something I need. Daily, I pray for it. I sigh for it. I long for it.
Patience is another thing I need. For so many years, I've joked that I am very tired of learning patience. Obviously, I am impatient to be done learning patience.
But the thing I need most is the ability to allow myself to be loved, fully, completely, with a measure beyond measure. I am praying for that lately, not for the gift of love, because I do love others - nor as well as I should, not as well as I could, and I do need to have a better understanding of that. But right now, I think it is more important for me that I pray for the gift of receiving love from our Father.
Because He loves us that completely. Because He loved us first. Because I need that love more than I need breath to live.