Wednesday, January 18, 2012

iHelene


I must have started this blog a half a dozen times, then gone back and erased the few paragraphs I had written.

Evolution of self is a crazy thing. If you are open to it, it can lead you in some wonderful directions in your life. If you are closed to it, if you find yourself bogged down by fear, anger, aggression...well, before I start sounding too much like Yoda, let's just say that you can very easily just miss out on so many lessons Life tries to teach you.

The reason I kept erasing the text was that I kept starting this post with apologies. I kept apologizing for the delay in getting it written, the delay in wrapping up this Mission 2, the delay in getting set to go with the announcement of Mission 3, for the this and the that.

And I realized...I have done that, and continue to do so, quite often, and not just here. I do it on my own space, I do it on other spaces where I might be invited to guest write. I do it a lot...in my everyday Life.

I think I am beginning to have an understanding as to the 'Why', but I'll talk about it somewhere else since I don't plan to make this post all about me. I will only say this about this place and this space. It's always been and always will be an Open Book. And it will remain so.


It is a reflection, perhaps, of who Heather and I are and whoever else comes to the table, and I like it that way. It is a perpetual Work in Progress, it is in its infancy, and it has much growing yet to do, because it, like all of us, is evolving too.

But it is Good. It does Good. And I think that I don't need to apologize that I can't give it the time I want every day, or every week, right now. I give it what I can, and when I can I'll give it more.

Because I do love it, and man-oh-MAN does it give back TEN-FOLD.


When I first read Suzie's entry regarding her daughter Helene, I recall some of her statements LEAPING out at me. Reminding me, strikingly, of my son Bennett.

'Helene...seemingly flourishes in the confines of a genetic disorder in the family of overgrowth syndromes, while the specific syndrome cannot be pinpointed (probably a mutation of one or more). Helene has Autism, a very limited vocabulary of one-two word phrases...a disregard for many social norms, and unbridled enthusiasm for all things related to sugar.'

'She is clearly creative and funny, with limited avenues for expression. For instance, she recently seemed to find it amusing to watch us find toys she had hidden in food. A small plastic baby found in the simmering tomato sauce, a tiny plush cookie monster upside down in a glass of milk, Dr. Doom staring up at me when I opened up the sour cream.'

I can't explain why, because Bennett does none of those things exactly, but the sense of humor, the ability to HAVE humor, is something that Bennett does not lack, despite his tremendous disabilities. And I just had an...impression, that Helene had a similar disposition.


Humor certainly helps, a lot...and I wish that all of us had more of it in our lives. Especially with our kids. Those of us that do...it is a very special gift. The sound of laughter, especially from a kid, does it get better?

We need to have it as well. Us, the parents I mean.

Suzie certainly does, as this little passage from her e-mail she sent me when they first got the iPad indicates. She was telling me a little about Helene, they had not yet given her the device but were waiting until Christmas. (And again...her description...sounds like she could be writing about Bennett, at least to me.)

'Helene is really beside herself about Christmas, in both good and trying ways. She is a veteran tree-decorator (on and off with those ornaments, again and again), holiday dancer, repetitive Grinch watcher, (Oh, those Whos down in WhoVille, the tall and the small...), cookie tracker and eater, and is exhibiting rather stunning and remarkable self-control over the mailing boxes that are coming in the door. Somehow she is fully aware they are presents, and must wait.'
 

'On the other hand, she has had an alarming number of tantrums, including the lay-on-the-asphalt variety at the Zoo the other day. The gang of kids and moms in attendance labeled it Helene's version of 'Occupy Zoo' behavior.'

'I sat on a bench and sighed...deeply...'

Sounds like a Mom you would want to hang with, right? I think that you ought to write a blog, Suzie, I really do. And of course, there was this little ditty that I got shortly after the iPad was given to Helene as a Christmas present.

'Helene has been waging a passionate love affair with the iPad. I (somewhat haphazardly) loaded some apps that I thought would be useful for her: a few movies, read along books, and several communication apps that include puzzles, word scramble, etc. She has already become so proficient at the word scramble, I have to research one with harder words.'

'She's been running around the house yelling opposites: Up! Down! Inside! Outside! Open! Shut! And spelling p-e-a-c-o-c-k and w-a-t-e-r-m-e-l-o-n! (Well, honestly, the end of watermelon gets lost, but you get the idea.) Mind you, this is from a girl who has VERY little to say generally.'

'The iPad has been a wonderful boon to her, and by extension, our family, and I've signed myself up for an apps class via an Autism task force so I can better meet her needs. We thank you again for making this possible for us. It has all been, as Helene would exclaim, DE-LICIOUS!'

Indeed it was.

PEACE.

-Ken
On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group

3 comments:

Justine said...

I agree...blog needed. I could read that stuff all day. Love it!

Kevin Jordan said...

Nice update Ken! I also love Suzie's stories about Helene. Who wouldn't like to find Dr. Doom in their sour cream :)

Elizabeth said...

I love the update and love that iPossible has helped another worthy family. You are all wonderful.