Seasons.

It’s the latter half of July in Northern California.  Let me clarify – in the inland portion of Northern California, away from the coast.  It’s raining.  I don’t remember a July when there was rain here.  Perhaps that is because my poor brain has buried that memory amongst others that require more immediate use and attention.  In any event, the rain now, is strange and disconcerting.

The beginning of rainfall on the pavement…in July.

Also, disconcerting is that, for the second time in as many weeks, I’ve learned that a member of my son’s “team” is leaving.  She is a cherished, kind, young woman who has devoted many hours of programs, of hugs and laughter to my child.   Over time, she and my son have built a strong, understanding relationship (she knows him and all his tricks).  She will remain with our ABA provider, closer to the coast and too far away to continue working with my little boy.

This loss comes with the departure of my son’s long time speech therapist who left for a new job working with the elderly.

And the trifecta of these changes will come in less than a month, when my son will transfer to an entirely new school, complete with new classmates, a new teacher and a new member of his ABA team.

A few weeks ago, when I explained his speech therapist was leaving, my son interrupted me and said, “Mommy, quit talking.”

Oh.

He gets it.  Maybe I’m the one who does not.  Perhaps, the more I emphasize it, the more it gets to him.  Yet, I cannot remain quiet.  That would be likeI’m hiding something.

I have to remember that, even if it appears he is not listening, telling him once is enough.  Reassuring myself, that he gets it, may be a bit condescending, even at his tender age of six.  Just because his communication is not the same as mine, I should not assume he needs repetition.

And so I kept this in mind as I told him about the tutor.  He did not respond, although I knew he was listening this time, from watching his eye contact and body language.  Once  I said it, I let it go.  So far, he seems unaffected, emotionally.  I know that, in his own way, he is processing it all.  He will ask when he wants more information.

Today, I am filled with sadness.  Some people like change and spontaneity.   This often appears in feelings about changes of the seasons:  liking the rain, the snow, the budding of tiny flowers in the fragile warming temperatures of spring.  Change can be good, healthy and promote growth.  It often accompanies knowledge, sophistication and makes for a ‘well-rounded’ individual.

But inside the selfish me, I despise change.  I desire consistency, sameness.  I don’t like the change of seasons, especially autumn, purveyor of death to the greenery of summer.  It fills me with regret at the dying leaves of summer, the kiss goodbye to the hot summer sun, the flowering trees, the smell of fresh cut grass and the sound of sprinklers.  Why does it end so fast?

Physically, with unexpected changes, I feel pain in the lining of my stomach.  I  have a heavy heart.  I know it is neither rational nor logical but I feel a sort of sense of ‘abandonment’ of my child by others, who are “supposed to” help me when changes take place!

Yes, I know that people move on.  They have their own lives to live, their own issues that have nothing to do with my son.  At the end of the day, I want to lean on “a village” to help raise my son, but, at times like this, I feel alone.  That feeling is coupled with fear of the new and unknown people who will enter his life.

I understand change and growth, new beginnings and the ends.  I just have difficulty embracing them.  With their passing, I wither a little, age, experience loss.

Maybe I need one of these…

I don’t need a pep talk or a perspective lesson.  I need to raise myself to the challenges that change presents for me.  I must set the example for my child, you know, the one who is expected to have issues with change.  This is a time when I recognize my own traits that fit so coincidentally with my son’s diagnosis.  I want, always, to lessen the load for him.  Yet, I must do that, not by written words, but by actions I take, responses I give, the framing I provide, what I do, and not what I say.

I must learn to teach my son acceptance, to rejoice with him in the beauty of the seasons.  I must embrace them too, wholeheartedly, letting go of the aches, laughing where I fear, and welcoming in the new.  I must teach him to discern between real and false dangers, to accept what cannot be changed.

In teaching him, perhaps I will teach the both of us.

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About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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18 Responses to Seasons.

  1. dixieredmond says:

    I hear you. I understand. You wrote this beautifully. Saying goodbye to good people is always hard. Acceptance is part of the journey.

  2. Lisa says:

    Karen, this is beautifully written. I’m sorry to hear that another team member is moving on. That is hard. We dealt with that earlier this summer. We also have a new school and specialist team this school year–I’m already having stress dreams over it.

    Change is difficult, and I agree that by modeling ways to cope with it and accept it, we help our kids grow, and it helps us, too. Hugs, my friend.

  3. Lizbeth says:

    I’m so with you on this….we’ve had two people leave our team at school and Alex is starting to grasp they won’t be coming back. And its hit me too. Having to start over is hard, for everyone.

    Hugs.

  4. I’m right there with you on the whole change thing. Hate it to the core. I could say some wishy-washy stuff on the opportunity for growth, but it still doesn’t change the fact that change is hard (and even harder still on our kids).

    I’ll be thinking about you and sending my strength as you and T work through this latest round of changes. Hang in there.

    • solodialogue says:

      Wishy-washy is okay, you know? Cuz I’m that kind of girl. 😉 But I thank you for your understanding. It’s stinky. And this is our last week with her. Just have to push ourselves through it!

  5. I have a hard time with change also, I think many people do. I try to frame it as a good thing for them, but I still feel a bit abandoned, even years later. Its not a grudge, it’s more like a loss for what could have been. I also fear for who the new person is going to be, will they measure up? Will they understand SensiGirl as well as her other teachers? I am right with you on this issue. It is a normal part of life though, so it’s a skill worth working on. Kids will see teachers come and go many, many times.

    • solodialogue says:

      You totally get it! I knew you would, Lori. And yes, of course, you are right about teachers coming and going – that’s just logical. So, I guess we just feel it, note it and go on. 🙂

  6. Change is something I often have a hard time dealing with also. As parents, we want to do everything we can to shield our little guys from uncomfortable and painful situations. This post really spoke to me.

  7. I am sorry to hear about another change with Tootles’ team. Change is not something I always welcome, especially with our kiddos. It’s especially difficult to lose someone who knew T so well. I’m glad T listened to what is happening and is processing this information. We will be transitioning as well in the next few months and I wish H will be able to understand. **hugs**

  8. Beautiful words, K. I know this feeling well. That stomach pain…got it, feel it. Huge hugs….rain in July…I remember once way, way back when I was in college….odd weather patterns. We’ve had huge thunder storms…two in the last week…unusual the locals say. I hope the transition/change passes easily and new hope is on the horizon. 🙂 Sam

  9. I think change is hard for all of us and I don’t think you need to worry about not liking it in order to support your Son. It’s ok not to be happy you do a great job & by writing here you are sharing real and valid emotions that help keep a real perspective which is what will help your son learn to deal with change in the best way he can. Good luck. I hope it all works out 🙂

    • solodialogue says:

      Thank you for your supportive words. Change is universal – that’s for sure. I know we will learn from it. It’s just those pesky emotional tugs that get to me. What can I say? 🙂

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