I don't have to tell you the Autism highway is a bumpy one, to say the least. There are pebbles, speed bumps, blind curves and one-ways all over the place and if you're like me, you may not catch those changes until it's too late!
We tried a new activity with an amazing trainer friend of ours, DJ, and as I watched my super hero scale a 50' climbing wall like a Spider Man with an anxiety disorder, metaphors kept popping into my head between the skipping beats of my heart.
Just preparing for the climb there are many, many directions to attend to. You gotta tie the knots really tight, they make a twisty figure-8 (which is a metaphor of it's own), have to be safe with no slack and no pinching anywhere. Someone always need to be there when our super heroes fall to make sure there's a safe landing. We can't always assure the descent will be slow, sometimes we crash, but trusted loved ones handle the ropes with care.
On the way up, the height seems almost insurmountable. It's straight up, sometimes slanted towards you, with slight markings for guidance. Beginning the climb is slow, Jake would place his foot on almost all the rocks near the bottom to see where his footing felt solid. He'd sit back slightly to test his ropes and make sure he'd be safe if he fell. Reminds me of all the days I'd watch his therapy sessions, school classes, and various appointments to make sure they were treating him with care. Ask a million and one questions, then re-ask the same questions never satisfied with the answer!
Higher and higher he climbs. Little shrieks of excitement would pop out every few stones, a couple fearful screams, then coaching.
"Jake grab onto the red bump on the right, put your foot on the yellow and stand up tall... up tall. Hips in, close to the wall."
How many times have you wished someone would just tell you, "Go to Dr A... ask him B... if he answers C, then you ask this... if he answers D... then go back to B!" I have prayed for this type of direction since becoming a parent.
About half-way up the wall, when you're ready to quit, there's a huge knob just past your fingertips.
"Jake, Jake, Jake... look up at that big giant rock above your head! Grab hold of that one with both hands and pull up! Not that one, well that will work, but grab that big one!"
Half-way through this journey, don't we all need one of those huge life-rafts? Something we can grab onto with full confidence, standing up tall and holding both hands. For some that big rock comes in a prescription, others family/friends, some pray, some cry.
The important thing is that you can reach your big rocks along this exhausting journey. Find that person, prayer or pill that can help your super hero be in this world to the fullest extent possible and allow you to 'live' at the same time. If it's been a while between your rocks, stop to breathe. Scan the ocean for the next sand-bar in the surf to allow you that refreshing air!
Grab hold of it with two hands and pull up!
One Minute Miracle Archives