Saturday, August 24, 2013

Autism Answer: Lessons in a Nose Piercing!

Years ago I shocked my kids with a nose piercing.

When I was turning thirty I had four small children--and a mini panic attack! I felt that I hadn't accomplished enough to comfortably turn thirty. How could I possibly be a grown-up when I had no career, published books or insightful observations to share with the world?? Heck, not only to share with the world, but with myself?? Well, as my birthday crept ever closer, my thoughts got quietly louder, bringing with them an honesty about me that I figured it must be time to acknowledge. I had a fear of being a grown-up who is EXPECTED to handle life, rather than CELEBRATED when I did. That's kind of pathetic!

So, on my thirtieth birthday I went dancing and got my nose pierced. I had no idea at the time that it may affect my parenting, I just knew that it was important to prove to myself that I could be a responsible grown-up and have fun, all at once!

My boys were quite weird-ed out when I got home! Happy to see me after a night of dancing (I almost never left my children when they were small) they came running with happy hugs and tons of tattling. Almost right away they noticed my newly decorated nose and stepped back. "You were supposed to stay home and not get that thing on you." my three year old announced. His brothers agreed! However, I explained that it was something I'd always wanted and it wouldn't hurt anyone. They would get used to it, I promised. And they have! But it has gifted us with more than just cute conversations!

My sons are all teenagers now, and over the years my piercing has been a comfortable reminder of balance. It's great to have fun and make choices that are different and will make you stand out, but always with a balanced nature. It has reminded us that you never know when someone you love (a child, parent or spouse) may head out the door and return different. What matters is that they return.

And exactly as I'd hoped, only even better, it reminds all of us that it's possible to become a responsible grown-up while having fun, all at once! And this may be the most important reminder because I want to watch my boys become comfortable men. And I want them to want that as well! It's kind of hard to ask them to want something that doesn't look a little bit mysterious, and a lot like fun!

You don't have to get a nose piercing to learn this lesson, I know. But I do think it's important to find ways to show our kids that being grown up is fun! And--lucky us!--in showing them we get to have a bunch of fun ourselves!!

Also, don't be afraid to find life lessons in seemingly silly places. Like nose piercings!!!

Hugs, smiles and love!!!
Autism Answers

Not the greatest pic, but here I am...
Nose piercing and all!!