"Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves in the place just right
Twill be in the valley of love and delight"**
This year's Mother's day flew low under the radar. Heck, I haven't even had time to properly celebrate Ed's birthday.
The boys were all too proud to present their gifts: Handmade cards from school, a handmade heart pin (very cool) and a gift bag containing a candle, a fancy soap and some hershey kisses. I even got a coupon book good for chores. It should be interesting to see if I can collect on washing dishes and folding laundry.
I was happy with those gifts, as they'd come from the heart. Ed later surprised me with a sweet card and some dark chocolate truffles.
The best gift of all, though, was on the car ride from the hospital to get the kids some dinner. I got five minutes in the presence of my older son, without the fog that hides the beautful child within. He is funny, he's got a vivid imagination and he was a joy to behold. It was a powerful few minutes to witness-and I wish it weren't so brief. Each time I retell it, I'm brought back into the moment and it brings me to tears.
Something so simple. While I know I can't enjoy this gift all the time, I cherish the memory of a few minutes in the audience of the child behind the fog...
1/10/08 I realized that I wasn't very detailed the first time around, and that some didn't get the email that I sent out that detailed my experience that day. I've decided to add the email to this entry. It goes into further detail.
My mother's day gift
This year,didn't hold a lot of anticipation for me. For my family, money is beyond tight, my sister in law Jane is in the hospital with a staph infection, I was 'railroaded’ into cat sitting, AND my husband started a new job. To say that things have been chaotic would be an understatement.
Today is For the past four days, my husband and I have had about 15 minutes a day with each other, thanks to work schedules and traveling between and to take my mother in law to the hospital and back daily to see my sister in law..
Work was slow today. I got sent home from work early by offering to use a few hours of my vacation time. Ed was to leave for work 20 minutes after my originally scheduled return home tonight, so I thought the use of vacation time would be a pleasant gift to us all.
On my way home from work, I called Ed's mom to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. She asks very sweetly if we could come take her to see Jane at the hospital. I can't say no. So much for 4 hours of 'vacation time' to get a few minutes of family time. Hi honey, bye honey, see ya Tuesday-hope you've got a day off, too.
Of course, the kids aren't hungry until we arrive at Mema's. She and I decide that they'll grab something at the hospital cafeteria, but it had already closed for the evening before we got there. I bring Mom to Jane's room, then head off to dinner with the boys. I am so very glad I did, for on that drive, I got the best gift.
As many of you know, Gameboy has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism characterized by emotional outbursts and inability to interpret or show appropriate emotion. The easiest way to explain this is that Gameboy is stuck in the terrible two’s. This week, though, he's been a trouper with all the chaos he's had to endure.
Many Aspies HATE any change in their routine, and Gameboy definitely falls into this group. He is a very rigid thinker and does not imagine. For instance, he got the top scores on all areas of our state exams EXCEPT creative writing. He just doesn't 'get' imagination. Oh, he adores what other people imagine and fancies that those movie locales really DO exist. For instance, last month, he expected an owl from Hogwarts on the occasion of his 11th birthday.
To draw a comparison, picture a dense fog, so dense you cannot see your hand directly in front of your face. Gameboy's thoughts and actions are behind this fog, crystal clear to him but inpenetrable to others. He comes across to most people as very wooden in demeanor.
We were driving across town to get dinner. Chef Jr mentions a frog in the conversation. Then, Gameboy imitated a frog-one rather authentic sounding and loud frog. We all giggle and something sounded a little different. We had one of those rare 'genuine laughs' from Gameboy. His usual laugh sounds forced and heavy, these rare genuine laughs are lyrical and light.
We continue on. A few moments later, Chef Jr was singing the Star Wars Theme and Gameboy starts croaking like a frog again. Chef Jr pretends to be a movie director who is annoyed that his film take was blown by a frog's interruption. This is classic Chef Jr-all imagination.
Chef Jr begins 'take two' of , and I add to the insanity. A monkey also interrupts the movie director's work. Chef Jr feigns being even more perturbed and my two sons banter back and forth, with the occasionally monkey interruption. There is good hearty laughter emanating from the car, the likes of which come so infrequently. It is a beautiful sound.
All of a sudden, Gameboy pretends he is a Jedi frog with a light sabre and he's ready to do battle with the director because he's the star of the movie. He paints a vivid scene of battling for good, and feeds off of our laughter. His brother at turns, becomes a Jedi Penguin and a Jedi Killer Whale and the two have a battle for control of the 'movie.'
For five glorious minutes, I saw the child that dwells on the other side of the fog. The one full of hope, promise, dreams, and laughter. This doesn't sound like much to the average person, but for all of this to spring forth from my son unbidden brought me to tears.
I saw the child that is behind the fog tonight. He's funny, he's got a quick wit and can keep up with the wild imagination of his younger brother. And tonight, for mother's day, he decided to part the fog to share this gift with me.
**"Simple Gifts", a Shaker hymm composed by Elder Joseph Brackett (the melody is known to one and all of Calhoun Choir as the variation "Lord of the Dance" arranged by Lawrence Fleming, with different lyrics)