Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Autism Answer: Little Things That Change The World

My sons at the movies!
I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine. She was wondering how it is that all of my boys are so intentional in their thinking, and proactive about going after their dreams with open eyes and a willingness to see the system and society for what it is, while her sons seem uninterested, unhappy, and in need of medication. Heck, my youngest son wants to be both a game designer and the leader of a revolution when he grows up! 

So, I told her about how much I love watching movies with my sons.

We choose what we watch with purpose. We have limited access to television outside of our DVD player, and I have always encouraged a way of watching and experiencing movies that's different than my friend. We use storytelling to point out when characters are letting themselves be led, and when they are seeing things for what they are, and when they are afraid of change and the work involved.

We talk about movies and then relate them to our lives. We have so much fun! But we also learn to become our own storytellers, directors, producers... 

Me watching movies with my sons seems small, and it is. But in the end, it's not. And because I know not to expect my few acts to make all of the difference, I'm able to always keep on doing and speaking and sharing. I don't feel overwhelmed (too often!) or overly self-important, and I'm also willing to see where my actions do make a difference. In my world, in our world, but mostly with my sons. 

And, of course, watching movies with my kids is only one example of the small things I do. I do so many small things that most become simple habits, and then I add more small things... it's a wonderful loop!

So when my friend wonders why my sons have grown to be intentional, aware, awake, and (mostly) happy, I mention these small things that change the world. But then I remind her that in truth, they are who they are because that's who they choose to be.

So if we truly want to know why, we have to ask them! 

Parenting is a chaotic and important mix of mattering so much - our choices create the environment our children become themselves in - yet they will become themselves. And so, we are also not the deciders. When we know this completely it can be a little bit frightening (okay, sometimes a lot frightening!) but it is also a relief. It's not our job to make our children become something, it is our job to nourish and allow them to become themselves. As with nature, we can pollute and harm or nourish and care; either way, a lemon tree is a lemon tree. 

I will continue to forever do the little things that change the world, and I will do my best to be sure the little things are healthy. And when I feel like I don't know for sure what healthy choices are best to make, I can now ask my grown sons! Because, as my friend pointed out, they are amazingly aware, intentional, and filled with ideas!

How smart of me to make them that way! tee hee!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)