1:21 AM and here I am doing dishes and folding laundry. The house is quiet, the kids and hubby in bed. Strolling down memory lane listening to my favorite tunes from my teens- Red Hot Chili Peppers, Santana & 311.. All the throwbacks reminiscing about what a carefree life would look like.. Nothing more than art, music and what living a life of true fulfillment meant. God, the freedom. What it was like to be an 18 year old, walking down South Street.. Seeing the incredible artwork plastered on buildings.. to hear the hopeful, soulful musicians playing on the corner.. Psychics ready to tell your fortune and tattoo artist ready to make it permanent, all within in a hop skip and jump of one another. Meandering through Tower Records appreciating album art and touching live canvases of oil paintings.
Life, what an oyster. What talent and expressive art the world had to offer. A city girl discovering what life had to offer. The people, the experiences, the adventures. I had no idea at the time, what life had in store for me. Just how precious these moments would be.
As I folded the last of the kids clothes from the dryer.. “Comedown” by Bush starting playing. I remembered listing to this song on my headphones as I walked in the city. Seeing all it was.. seeing the history… realizing, that I was born in a special place.. where America was truly born. Where independence was declared. There was nothing in life too great. I knew it then. America was a place you could be all that you could ever dream to be, and that there was no time to waste.
So why do I? Why do we? Why not live a life of ferocity? One that holds no hostages? Fears no outcome? What is life if not ours? Such a gift we have not to exploit all it has to offer. Why go to the grave thinking we left something on the table? Once we accept our true judge, nothing else matters.
Muffins are done.
“Oh, Hi Eric!”, an abrupt visit prompts. It’s not totally uncommon that Eric wakes in the middle of the night, but this one startled me a bit. Here I was, enjoying the quiet, and frankly a bottle deep down memory lane soaking in the tunes from my youth, and here is my son… One that has taught me more about life than I could’ve ever imagined.
Headphones, put on table. Ears, plugged by his fingers. A swift pace to put his wipeboard on the dining room table, to get back to his room. Why? Because. That’s how it is.
I’ve learned to stop questioning things I don’t understand. Those that only God knows. Those that just ARE the way they ARE. To choose my battles.
Everyday Eric comes home from school, his backpack goes in the closet. His jacket as well. His lunchbag STAYS in his backpack. His hat goes on the top shelf. Why? Because. Because that’s the way it is.
I’ve learned that those things we cannot understand, its quite often easier just to accept. To accept that sometimes in life.. we may not know why things are the way they are.. but that they just.., are. That God will do things in this life that have no rational explanation.
Who are we? Who are we to truly question anything? Did we create this world? Did we alone create our children? We are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. All we can ever hope to do, is further His message of love. His message of acceptance and His will.
Art and math were always my thing. I loved numbers and drawing. I loved real life sketches and seeing the beauty in the everyday still life. Understanding the math behind why a 90 degree angle and symmetry made me feel at ease. Why the visual of seeing a model brought to life through a charcoal pencil hugging a canvas made me feel alive.
Art, math.. were very predictable. I knew when there was an equation, there was an outcome. When there was a precise effort, there was a precise outcome. Where there was an abstract, there was a practical view.
But here I am. A son, with one of the most mind boggling conditions of our time. One that outpaces the statistics of all childhood diseases combined. A mother, learning to accept that I will never be enough and that the world will need to fill in on my shortcomings. A world that I know has a far way to go in understanding the needs of a child like my Eric.
My inner hippie, has long died. She was a free artistic spirit that dreamed to travel the world.. see the Mayan ruins.. To feel the volcanic sands of Hawaii between her toes.. To lean on the Eiffel Tower… To grab life by the balls and take all from it I could.
While I buried her a long time ago, I realized that all of it.. all the passion and zest for life I had accrued, was truly for that of others. That while I was of able body and sound mind to still do all the things my heart desired… that there were so many that would be lucky to even have the affection or attention of a neighbor.
I realized.. I am not in control of my life. No one is. We like to believe we are in control.. that we set our own paths and that we have an influence on what is to come.. but the truth is.. the more we lose control and accept that we are NOT in control.. the more we come to learn who we are and what we are MEANT to do.
Sure, I do mortgages for a living. I’ve made a good living in it for that matter. Its one that has afforded me the ability to care for my son and accommodate his schedule. I passed up a scholarship to Penn State and my dreams of being an architect to pursue it… And frankly, I don’t regret a moment of it. But do I have moments of doubt? Sure I do.
From watching my mother struggle as a waitress, being hurt by those she loved most for over a decade. To holding my father while he died from liver cancer after years and years of self indulgence.. the man who abandoned me when I was only 5. I learned that life, is not fair. While you may be dealt a shit hand, or so you think,.. it doesn’t matter.
You have no excuse to be a waste.
You make your own life. There are no excuses not to fulfill all you can be as God has designed you for greatness. While you may work hard to make things right in your life, YOU are not in control. HE is. And the sooner you accept it, and follow HIS lead.. the sooner your life will be made right.
God knows where my path will lead. While I may not know it, I’ll continue to write about it and follow His guidance. To share the special perspectives and experiencs God has given me through my Eric. To pursue progress opposed to change. To accept the hand I’m given yet more importantly to accept that God doesn’t create mediocre. God creates Greatness. And that while I may not understand Autism or how my life experiences weave into it, that it is not a mistake.. I will find the purpose and live each day aware of who I am, who He is, and what He has called me to do.
Who were you? Who are you now? Are you who you thought you would be? If not, are you happy with who you are? Are you allowing life to pass you by while you try to figure out how you will become who you are meant to be? Do you hate that you have lost yourself? How you thought you would be? Take solace in knowing that you are not alone.. and that while it may not seem it… God has a plan for you.
I, am a blessed woman.