Friday, April 30, 2010

What the warm days bring....

I have been finding it more and more difficult to find time to blog. I have things that come up and find myself "writing" in my head, but don't actually get it onto the computer. My work as an advocate has picked up, tis the season, IEP season that is. I know the feeling all too well. Spring always seems to bring up my own anxieties. It may not even be about school, but there always seems to be a combination of stresses that bring out mini panic attacks.

I love the beauty of these spring days, the warm sun finally showing itself after a long winter. But those high 60 degree days with spring flowers blooming also remind me of how much my mother loved those days. It was during these kind of spring days that we also found ourselves in the hospital with her. It was 1993, the year that she died. I remember one of the days my husband and I left the hospital for a few hours. We were driving through the beautiful neighborhood surrounding Blodgett hospital, the sunlight flickering through the trees. The wide boulevard with huge homes flanking either side. It was jarring after spending days and nights at a vigil by my mothers bedside. I already knew that she wasn't really with us anymore, but it wasn't quite "over". I was in a haze from lack of sleep, only 25 years old, and knowing that this would be last time of seeing my mom who was only 20 years older than me. I'm an only child so we had a particularly close relationship. I remember the feeling more than anything. The confusion over feeling the sunshine, the warmth, the rebirth of trees and flowers, but the loss of my mother at the same time. I said aloud, "this is her favorite kind of day" while looking out the car window. Words that I think every year and cause the heaviness in my chest. The toxic combination of loss and panic and sadness, that I often wonder if it will ever go away. It seems to be compounded by the stress of planning for another year of Daniel's school, the crazy schedule at the end of both children's school year, and the promise of summer. What I can't figure out is why I don't see it coming. What can I do to prepare myself?

I have finally thrown down the gauntlet and started exercising again. Not only have I been carrying around an extra 15 pounds, but the feelings that I carry start causing pain in stress points in my back and shoulders. I remembered back to 5 years ago and a Dr. had talked about fibromyalgia possibly beginning. He talked about exercise being a great way to combat the stress and pain. I jumped into it completely and started to feel better, physically, than I had in a long time. When I exercise I do it all or nothing, much like everything else for me. I don't have much middle ground. I can already feel some of the pain lifting from my back. I need to keep it up, but it is definitely taking away from other things, like writing that are also therapeutic for me. Today I chose to stay home from exercise and write this. I didn't have any idea what I would write about when I sat down, sometimes I'm surprised at what I start typing. The exercise needs to continue. It is a great stress reliever.

Writing this also helped me come to a conclusion about summer. Yesterday was the last day of Daniel's Kinesiology swim class. He had a wonderful coach this semester. J, I'll call him. He taught Daniel the breast stroke, they swam LAPS! It's so good for Daniel to get that physical exercise. With the extra anxieties he has, I know that we need to continue the exercise for him too. Maybe it will help him even out his system also. But we all know how difficult it is to get our kids to do this sort of physical exertion. I'm thankful that swimming is a way for Daniel to do this. After swimming yesterday, J, offered to continue to work with Daniel through the summer, either swimming or LIFTING WEIGHTS! My first word was "interesting". He thinks it would be really beneficial for Daniel. His body is so huge and strong, but he could use more toning. I can see how it would help his swimming and possibly help him get more in touch with his body. If anyone could do it, it would be J. They really bonded. After writing this I decided that I'm definitely going to take him up on his offer. I was explaining to Todd and Zachary last night what J's idea was. Zachary looked at me and said, "that's what we need, Daniel to be STRONGER, if he hit me he'd kill me". He was joking, sort of. He doesn't hit Zachary but he will scare him and be aggressive. Zachary noted that Daniel hit his own leg in the car yesterday so hard he yelled out "OUCH!!" afterward. What would happen? Would the added strength be a positive or a negative? Would it help his channel some of his own discomfort and anxiety or make him even stronger and less able to judge his own strength? As usual, I won't know until I do it. That's the way it is with everyone, isn't it?

I can only look forward to summer, hope our plans for next year work out, that Zachary's changing schools next year will be all that he hopes it will be. That the transition into summer will slowly take away the heaviness in my chest. That the spring rebirth continues to bring a new year of hope.


Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your mom and how this time of year makes you feel. I hope the heaviness lifts soon.

P.S. In September, Nigel started doing a weight training class instead of regular P.E., and it's been really good for him. He seems more grounded and aware of his body. Hope it's positive for Daniel as well.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Just stopping in again to wish you a lovely Mother's Day, my friend! Enjoy!