I probably have a different take on freedom than my fellow Debs. The Debs who have children pretty much know that when their children turn 21’ish, they will leave the nest, find jobs, perhaps get married and start their own families. The Debs who do not have kids have their own type of freedom right now. That’s not to say folks without children don’t have serious responsibilities.
For my husband and me – there is no “freedom” from parenting. Ever. An that means no freedom from work either. Neither Mark nor I can ever “retire” per se. When you have special needs children, the job simply never ends until someone seals up a shiny overpriced box – with you lying in it. And I’m not quite certain that I won’t come back as a ghost or spectre or general crazy apparition from whatever cloud or sulfur spring I’m living on when the time comes. (Hoping for cloud!)
Freedom comes in small doses here at chez Stag. It’s part of what I call our “petits fours” lifestyle. The girls autism rarely allows us an entire “cake.” Like a full graduation or a wedding (although I have my hopes for Gianna on that one, she’s boy crazy at almost 15!) or even a sleepover with a friend. We’ve never had one. But…. every day we get a tiny petits fours – a plate of tapas if you will of hope, a happy achievement. It might be using an open cup for one. Or getting fully dressed alone for another.
We have small celebrations all the time. Our freedom comes in micro-doses and looks very different from what most of you will think of as freedom.
But we like it.
(PS) If you want to find the greatest petits fours ever, I suggest Divine Delights. Order the mice. For yourself. Hide the box.
8 Replies to “Deb Kim and Freedom”
I love your Petit Four Philosophy of Happiness! I think we can all learn from it. Enjoying — and celebrating — the small victories in life, rather than endlessly obsessing about when the Big Payoff is going to come, makes for a more pleasant and rewarding existence, IMO.
You have a difficult row to hoe in this life, but you’re managing beautifully. The love you must be harvesting is so worth it. 🙂
I say in my book, “It’s a joyful way to live.” And for the most part it is – although I’d be lying if I didn’t say I sure wish the girls would have a fully typical garden variety C student middle of the road life. Their lives have been taken off track so far by autism – it’s painful to see as a parent. But I have to drop “perspective” – there is none when if comes to our kids – and just focus on what I can affect and make better for them. Otherwise I’d be batsh*t cuckoo in a NY minute. Or cuckoo-er…..
This is one of the sweetest posts I have ever read.
I also think it’s a good way to look at things – when we wrote about big breaks a while ago, I was thinking a lot about how we’re so focused on celebrating the big things, we forget to celebrate the small things. And that’s what you’re doing every day.
What a wonderful post. I have a friend, about your age, who has one autistic child. I need to share this with her. She is an amazing mother and will be able to relate.
Love, love, LOVE this post! I was thinking along these lines the other day when I was reflecting on how I really haven’t let my divorce drama get me too far down, while I’ve watched others in the same situation just fall apart. It’s not so much that I’m great at coping, but just that I’ve been able to focus more on the small day-to-day joys instead of the lousy stuff that might otherwise overwhelm me.
Tawna, I almost wish I could get my PhD so I could write about and study who collapses and who just gets stronger when life “lobs lemons at you like grenades” as I say in my book. In the autism world there are Warrior parents who leave no stone unturned – and feel confident in their ability to affect their child’s success, as hard as it is. And there are uber-depressed Eyeores.
We’re Tiggers babe – through and through. Jeez that sounds a lot like cougars doesn’t it? 🙂
Beautiful post, Kim! And gorgeous petit-fours!!! I’m guessing they’re not gluten-free… 🙂
What a touching and sobering post. LOVE. “Our freedom comes in micro-doses.” Beautifully said. Um, and are you writing your novel, honey? You have SUCH A VOICE!!!! I want to be a first reader. Love, Sarah xo
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