One Last Day of November...

It's the last day of November and I am not finishing NaNo this year. (I stopped writing last week when we took a road trip to Chicago for Thanksgiving.) It makes me a little sad, but not really. I could have kept going but I choose not to and that is ok!

What I got out of attempting this year's NaNo is that I need to be writing more poetry.

And "shoulding" myself a whole lot less.

I seem to be my own worst enemy in this department.

Going into the bleakest time of the year (and my birthday, which is 4 days away) my heart is slightly heavy, but also hopeful. I can do this, can withstand the onslaught of cold and dark and make it through to spring.

That's a first for me, that feeling of strength. I think it has to do with being a mom (and not just any mom, a "special needs mom" or as I prefer to call myself, an "aut mom"). My inner strength is exercised on an hourly basis nowadays. Do I stand firm or do I crumple? If I choose to crumple, my life could literally become a walking hell because my child is just as strongwilled as I am. There is no crumpling allowed. If teeth have to be brushed, teeth have to be brushed. Screaming ensues sometimes. (Lately, not, because we've found a way to make it into a game -- spitting in the sink! Who knew?)

I pick my battles carefully. (That's a cliche but it's the honest truth.) "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" (or eat, or sleep) applies quite a lot to my understanding of Remy. I cannot force food into his body (he's not malnourished). I have to understand his eating and optimize what's in the house for him. (My biggest "win" in this area? Substituting Sunchips for Doritoes. Oh yeah, revoke my crunchy mama license now: I let my toddler gorge on Doritoes. I hate them now, their orangey get-all-over-everything-ness. I used to eat them myself, but not anymore!)

Sleeping is a rant all of it's own. I still -- in four and a half years of being Remy's mom -- have not fully realized (when I am half-awake and tired to the bone) that he's not going to go back to sleep just because I think he "should." When he wakes up at 4 am, and can't fall back asleep, there's a reason, even if I don't have a clue what it is.

That's hard. That's actually the hardest thing about being an Aut Mom (for me): not knowing the reason. For the stroke. For the speech delay/ disorder. (Although the stroke looks like the cause we don't actually know for sure that it is. Nor are we likely to ever know the reason for the stroke, if our first pediatric neurologist is to be believed.) I like to know things. I am curious and resourceful and one of my biggest strengths is my research ability and I can't figure this out because we won't ever know and that's just the flat out truth.

(And that's not even getting into the little daily mysteries I have to solve. Getting dressed this morning, Remy was increasing frustrated because I couldn't find his "gar" (sounded like "car") shirt. Because he HAS no car shirt that I know of. Trains, yes. Trucks, yes. He doesn't call these cars. Then, going through the laundry pile, it hit me: "gar" meant "guitar." He was asking for his guitar hoodie! Whew! That's not a mystery we'd like to remain unsolved, since it involves getting dressed for school and it's effiing cold out there!)

Still, getting comfortable with the Big Mystery (which I try to tell myself I have been, but then why does it still trip me up so...) may be my biggest task. And maybe it was my biggest task all along:

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein

I wrote a love poem to Mike once with that quote as the epigram. How apt my life is. How apropo. How right that even before I was a mom, my life was leading me here to this very moment all along.

Our essence is mystery. I know that deep in my core, even if I forget it sometimes when I am figuring out the "gar" shirts of the hour.