Thursday, October 30, 2014

Autism Answer: Where We Started

I read a guest post by Sam Sykes, over on Chuck Wendig's blog, and it got me thinking. The post is largely about being embarrassed of our beginnings, being ashamed of where our passions and inspirations originated. 

In my parenting world, some of my inspiration came from Mary Poppins and the movie Annie. Yes, I believed that singing and spoonfuls of sugar and the sun coming out tomorrow was what it took to make a happy home.

I did learn, I'll admit, there is a bit more to it than that!!!! 

But, those beginnings did shape me. Those passions are part of my parenting style. And.... I'm proud of them!! After, of course, years of being embarrassed by them.

The guest post I read, though, was specific to reading and writing. And--again--my beginnings are something I've sometimes tried to hide.

The author who most inspired me was V.C. Andrews. (Ouch! Admitting that feels weird!)

I read Flowers In The Attic at twelve years old and I was reborn. Parts of me felt feelings I didn’t know existed, and parts of me existed that I didn’t know could feel, and thoughts grew in my garden brain that felt as foreign as aliens or decaffeinated coffee.

Who was this author? What was this power that could make me new? Make me more concrete and more malleable, all at once??

I devoured her books for an entire year, wrote her letters and held back tears when she didn’t write back words of surprised admiration for my insightful observations and flowing sentences. Then held back more tears when she didn’t even write back at all.

Eventually I moved on, reading other more eclectic (and less obsessed with incest!) authors.

And I was writing. From the moment I read V.C. Andrews, I was writing. I had to.

So, yes, I’ve been known to throw away answers like “J.D. Salinger” and “John Steinbeck” or “Margaret Laurence” when asked about my beginning; my budding desires to write. Because, seriously…. V.C. Andrews???

Now when I write, I write what I love. I dive in and have so much mother loving fun that I can only imagine changing the world and waking up the feelings and parts of readers around the globe, to thundering appreciation and gifts of caffeinated shade grown organic fair trade coffee!!

My writing isn’t like V.C. Andrews, but the feelings I get and the love I have for the story and tangled emotions my characters fall into are like what she gave me as a twelve year old girl falling in love with the process.

What a foolish thing. To be embarrassed of that.

Don't you think, friends?

So don't be ashamed of your beginnings, in fact remember them proudly! Because it will help you encourage your own children and loved ones to discover passion where they need to. It will help you not judge or worry when you see your daughter moved to tears by an anime drawing you don't understand, or your son rummaging through the cupboards looking for toothpicks and duct tape to build a prop for a random funny video he's just got to put on YouTube.

Our passions grow brighter and more beautiful when given sunlight and room to blossom. As the years pass feel free to toss fertilizer and nutrition at your loved ones, but avoid judgements regarding the items they choose to grow.

Where you started was no more important or better. And where you started gave you exactly what you needed for where you are.

Be proud and excited about that!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!

Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)


Random Addition: I hope you know, friends, that I have nothing against V.C. Andrews. Either as a beginning favorite author or a much later favorite author. I'm a true believer in reading and thinking and feeling and trying on the lives of others. V.C. Andrews offers all of that, and more! As a matter of honesty, I named my oldest son Jory, a name I fell in love with while reading the Flowers in the Attic series. I'm forever a fan of my beginnings! Even if I have to remind myself now and then. Hugs, smiles, and love!!!!