Tuesday, March 1, 2011

caught in the act...


photo courtesy of the amazing Thea Coughlin...


... I didn't even realize it had happened until my photographer friend showed me. During one of our photo sessions for an upcoming project, she managed to capture a moment that I failed to even remember occurring. It wasn't until I stepped away from my role as participant into one of an observer did I really get what she was saying, and the emotions it brought about allowed me to feel this moment from both perspectives. My eyes started to "sweat" ( a 5 year old's view on crying), as I found myself completely taken aback. The observer in me had never seen his grabby hands in action, and my role as participant had quickly forgotten it.

... His grabby hands are a part of who he is, and of his daily rhythm. Whether it's the inability to keeps his hands to himself at dinner, or the intense urge to touch every end cap in the store, his hands are forever moving. My role as a mum is to not only teach him how to re-direct/control his hands when necessary, but also steer him to activities that would satisfy his need to use them. It's a role that is new to me, as my initial reactions were more often based on frustration and exhaustion. I didn't understand it, and in the beginning found myself annoyed at his inability to stop.

...But now I get it. As both the observer and participant, I get it. As an observer, I
watch those hands create the most detailed and beautiful sketches in a matter of seconds. The confidence he has when moving the pen around the paper is brilliant, and I often find myself yearning to draw the way he does. If I am lucky, I can sit down with him and become the participant as we draw together. Yes, I may need to reach over and carefully re-direct a hand that may be losing it's way, but that's o.k. It's who he is, and he knows I am there for him.

..Both as and observer and participant.

6 comments:

Thea said...

Oh darling...I love that you are sharing here all the beautiful things and challenges...thank you for letting me photograph parts of your life xoxoxo

tangled sky studio said...

the photo speaks volumes about how your role as both teacher and student are coexist in everyday moments. many of us are there to a lesser degree but there none the less. thank you for sharing bits of your journey here through your imagers and words...xo

mummysam said...

Thea....thank YOU for capturing this moment the way you did xoxoxox (one upped you on the x's)

and Beth...thank you so so much my dear. Your words of encouragement and support are always just what I needed!

Carmen Eva said...

i like to read this mother post, yours, beacause are so real beautiful details...thanks and a lot of energy for our days!

shopgirl said...

you are caught in a place. You try to protect him...let him be free...let him explore... let him express himself...keep him from harm... and somewhere in there, maybe, encourage the "socially appropriate" "space" that others need... And that is just what you do for him. Then, there is what you have to do for you - to keep you sane, and 'present', and engaged. And, patient.
My hat is off to you. Your post is beautiful. A big cup of strength, and a shot of patience, and two or three cubes of support stirred in.

yintibbies said...

Mummysam, I just stumbled onto your blog and I can SO relate! My younger autistic daughter does so many things that are just HER normal, and over the last 8 1/2 years I have learned to let her be. Let her use her squeal when she can't find the words. Let her jump up and down - it isn't hurting anyone. Only when it's the socially harmful or inappropriate things do I redirect or correct such as poking people in the eyes or body slamming an innocent bystander... Thank you for sharing! -Cathleen