#Liz

A Good Doctor

Everyone needs a good doctor. I stumbled across this one, with a Ph.D. in psychology, in my search for help with my son’s diagnosis of autism. I was paralyzed by what to do or not to do while trying to discipline and raise my two kids and be a wife. Dr. Nancy saved my life.  She rescued me, gave me answers and knowledge about the world of parenting an autistic child.  If I can’t change my child (which I came to realize), then I must change myself.  The enlightenment came over time while I sat with Dr. Nancy who gave me perspective and tools for this new world. I soon felt more free and comfortable with my role. Today, I still reach in my tool belt of knowledge for the many answers and grounding advice she gave me so many years ago.  God sends people to us when we need them the most.  She was the answer to my prayers and I will always be grateful to my Dr. Nancy.

by Liz

 

Ready To Fly

You would think that springtime nesting would long be gone and baby birds had flown away by now. Nope. There is a second family in an existing nest from March still sitting in the eaves at our house.  I have been mesmerized with these tiny creatures as I catch them in their daily routine, the mom feedings and daily visits, her readying them to spread their wings. I believe God sends me these incredible signs to remind me of my own task of releasing my sons over and over again, especially my last “baby bird” who is home for the summer. I need to give them roots, the foundation, then give them wings, to fly.  If they fall, I should not put out a net, for they will gain so much more by landing on their own ground, not some puffy landing that I have produced.  I look forward to watching these baby birds take flight and will hopefully witness it. If not, I will be very aware of the empty nest, just like my own, come September.

by Liz

Social Politics

My son Ben likes history and politics. As he has matured into his autism, he has also matured into talking about politics in a more socially acceptable way. Ben is now moving toward making friendships and what is acceptable in meeting new people and especially meeting women.  So now, we enter the “social politics” zone.  We continually talk to him in terms of scripted conversation, the do’s and don’ts and who his audience is.  It is very difficult to dissect conversation in a factual way, that it, in a back and forth, you say this, she says that then you say this, dialogue. The room for misinterpreting and awkwardness is there but through his honesty and frankness, it is quite refreshing at times to hear him have conversations. God is like this too, speaking truth to the real, the honest part of ourselves, if we choose to really listen and take part in the conversation.  I am reminded of my own truth as I learn a new way to teach my son the ‘social politics’ of everyday talking we take for granted.

by Liz

 

Playing Together

My goddaughter, who is four years old, is visiting from New York and is staying right next door for several weeks. My son is also home from college for summer break. They have two things in common–Legos. So I pulled out the Legos and now I have little buildings and pieces of art sitting on my coffee table from two different generations. When I add my artwork as well we have three generations of Lego building and playing. I am amazed at how this little act of creating brings us all together. We all sit, create, and talk about which piece we are looking for and help each other build our creations. Life is similar in the way we relate to each other and help build each other up. It takes a village to be raised and I am fortunate to have reciprocal relationships with a community of people who have helped raise me and my kids. Now I am helping raise theirs. What a great plan God has if you let Him guide you, to help, to create, to support, to connect and to build Legos.

by Liz

Mumsy Time

When he is feeling endearing, my youngest son calls me “Mumsy.”  Recently, I asked him if he wanted to do something with me after I got off work.  I stopped asking a while ago when his answers back would be, “I’m busy, I’m going to the beach with friends, I’m going to the gym,” etc.  All the right answers, really, for a 20-year-old. The other day when I DID ask if he wanted to do something with me he said, “Sounds good, Mumsy.”  I tried not to show too much excitement but nonetheless, it warmed my heart at the opportunity to spend any time with my son.  We hiked to the top of the world in Laguna Beach.  What a wonderful hike it was as we climbed, sweated and talked our way up. The time was precious and our conversation was connecting our hearts once again. The adult-to-adult transition is one that does not have a clear boundary that you cross. It just happens.  God gave me some talk time to re-connect with my son who calls me “Mumsy.”  The adult connection will be the new normal but the “Mumsy” inside will forever have his heart.

by Liz

On the Boardwalk

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When our family could not afford to go away on a summer vacation when I was young, the ultimate day trip for me and my friends was the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.  We would spend all day at the beach, body surfing and using baby oil to tan. We would then wander up to the arcade to play air hockey and share a candied caramel apple. The thrill for the day was riding the giant roller coaster. We would stay until dusk and enjoy the beach concert on the sand listening to one of our local, favorite rock bands.  While the summer temperatures stayed humid and hot into the night, we would then dare each other to hop the fence of neighboring motels and cool off in their pools. We would end up visiting five or six pools, laughing our way, trying to cool off and not get caught. What a perfect day full of water, sun, candy, music, games, rides and “pool hopping.”  Those kind of days remind me of how God wants us to be, full of wonder, awe and playfulness.

by Liz

Staycation

I woke up to a sunny, cloudy, muggy, morning and the day was freely perfect!  No agenda, no appointments, no plans–a “staycation” day. My hubby and I slept in like teenagers and eased into the morning.  We leisurely did a few things around the house then walked down to the beach with only a towel, our phones and some change to buy a burger at the snack shack.  Salty summer air and charbroiled burgers with the ocean as our playground was the ultimate afternoon delight. After a swim in the 70 degree water, we eased our way to walk Del Mar Street and take in all the sights and sounds of our small town, feeling like kids with no time to be home.  The clouds were building. The rain started to trickle down and then turn into a beautiful shower as we walked home giddy laughing and talking about our day.  What a freedom walking in the rain brings to the spirit!  All I did was smile, look up, close my eyes and let nature bathe me with eternal water. Grateful.

by Liz

Holy Water of Life

It was time! Time to have all five in our family go away on a vacation, time to play and BE. It seems to get harder as our sons get older to clear the calendar of work and obligations to be together. We rented a big pontoon boat and jet ski and frolicked in the clear, cool water of the Colorado River.  The smiles on our sons’ faces were just like when they were ten years old.  The faces and bodies are more mature but the spirits are exactly the same. They had the thrill of tubing behind a boat as Dad thrashed them back and forth across the wake and launched them airborne either right back onto the tube or into the water sideways. It was truly living in the moment and everyone was a kid again.  The vulnerable exchanges of child-like play led to spirit filled moments as God witnessed His children being children, living life.  We embraced the canyons (jumping off cliffs), the sun, the water, the heated (118 degree) air, as we created memories playing in the summer holy water of life.

by Liz