Time Out

I needed a time out. I got one.

I spent last weekend at the Autism Mothers Time Out Camp. Such a good idea! Friday night until Sunday afternoon was child-free, laughter-full, lazy, indulgent fun. People – mothers, thrown together through circumstance and a common experience.

We didn’t spend too much time talking about autism, our kids, our families. We did things we just can’t normally do. We stayed up a bit late, we went to the wonderful Eumundi Markets, we had a few drinks, we slept in, went out to dinner, had massages, did our nails, read the paper, went back to bed after breakfast for another snooze and we went on a little boat cruise.

We were not in the lap of luxury. It was four to a room, summer camp style accommodation. But the luxury of sleeping through the night, of not having to get up and do things for our kids, our families or our work was beyond luxurious.

The laughter was the cream on top! Oh boy did we laugh! Such a beautiful release of energy to laugh and laugh and laugh till it hurt. I can totally blame (and thank) my roomies for all that fun and madness. Gotta get me some more of that on a regular basis!

 

did a lot of this

Our faces hurt from too much laughing

 

Pumicestone Passage

 

On the boat cruise

 

 

 

 

 

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Soundtrack

Something big happened these holidays. A discovery. A new world.

In my kitchen I have an ipod & speaker set up. It’s gone unnoticed for a good 12 months or so. But my boy (a 5yo with autism), being who he is – someone who is quite fond of pushing buttons and turning things on and off, saw it as if for the first time.

He pressed a button and music played. Pressed another and it stopped. He explored all the different buttons (one which means that an alarm goes off at midnight!). Then he started exploring some of the music he found.

I’ve written before about his limited interest in music. That has been quite hard for me, because music has always been such an important part of my life. It is the filter through which I have experienced the world, explored my creativity, expressed myself and earned my living.

You know what’s coming! He discovered music. In a very real way. Suddenly he was standing mesmerised in front of the speakers, swaying like a stiff piece cardboard from foot to foot. Listening. Really listening. Feeling the music, enjoying it.

Over the first few days of the holidays, he familiarised himself with the buttons. Not totally, but enough to get him where he wanted to go. All of a sudden, he has some favourite pieces of music. He played them every day, sometimes, many times over. It’s given me a new appreciation for some of these pieces of music. I’m also fascinated by his choices.

So here is our soundtrack to the September holidays:

This was from an album of film soundtracks. So I’ve shown it that context. Beautiful work Stanley!

From the same album. I’ve always loved the musical choices Scorsese makes in his films. But for me this music will always be tied to my friend Sarah. It was played at her memorial service against a selection of photos from her life. L has played this one SO many times.

This one was discovered in the second week, but has been a big favourite. Cristina Branco!

He is a boy on his own timetable. I’ve gotten used to that. But I’m so grateful that he has found some music that really moves him. It’s going to be interesting to see where this goes.

One More Day

I’m notoriously bad at organising things to do for the holidays. It’s not that I don’t think about it. It’s just that they come around so quickly and I haven’t really worked out what we will do. That has to change!

We are at the end of our two week holiday. One more day to go. It didn’t start out too auspiciously with some severe meltdowns in public places (me) and at home (my boy). But as you do, you find a rhythm to the day and you do you best to relax into it. Before you know it you are here, at the end of the holidays.

So here is our holiday in pictures and a few words.

The chickens definitely came before the eggs!

 

fun at the local pool – we’ve been getting there before nine, home before 11 = happy, sleepy, relaxed children

Bubs has started climbing everything. Two seconds later he was dancing on the table!

he’s a ham!

We spent the long weekend up at the property (where we have stayed before) with Chris & Karin. It’s ‘boys own fun’ up there. Wonderful!

Plus Chris had the best calendar ever!

L discovered that he could play music on the ipad – big progress!

We had friends over and went over to friends. M & O sure know how to feel the beat!

We couldn’t believe our luck when the neighbours started to have their deck built. We are down there with ‘the guys’ every morning talking about what they’re doing, which tools they’re using and what ‘that noise’ is. Best & cheapest fun!!

Bubs going to sleep. Not quite sure how my hair became his security blanket, but it is, so there you go. Note also my glasses are broken. I got down to having no arms on them by the end of the holiday and L is up to pair #4 for the year!

One more day people!!! ONE MORE DAY!

On A Whim

A year ago on a whim, I started this blog. I had no real theme, no powerful urge to write or share and no idea about blogging. I’d never read or followed one.

In these twelve months I have learnt a lot. Mostly about myself, but also about writing, about blogging and about people. It’s been a big year for many reasons. My three boys have each gone through a lot of changes and challenges. I’ve aged more than the 365 actual days. You can see it on my face. The relentless nature of parenting can really take it out of you!

 

There are days when (as a friend says) I’ve got one nerve left and you guys are jumping on it! But when I get those three little thrashing machines into bed and asleep and at last, my time is my own, I will drag myself to the screen and start to tap at an idea. No longer tired, I’m focussed and alert.

Blogging has given me a wonderful creative outlet. Even though I only write about ordinary things and I leap from subject to subject, it’s feeding me in a way I could never have predicted.

This time last year I was also trying to spend as much time as I could with my very dear friend Sarah. Hard to do when she lived a 2.5 hour flight away and I had a bunch of kids. It will be a year since she died on November 4. We had been through so much throughout our friendship of 26 years I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life. She was a prolific, multidimensional artist who was driven to create. I can feel her urging me on in this venture.

image credit: Sarah Watt (Small Treasures)

I’ve also made some great new friends who I’ve never met. Reading other blogs is occasionally inspirational and sometimes amusing, but every now and then you make a connection that sticks. That has been such a surprise.

To the people who follow, read, comment, like and lurk – thanks a million. Now let’s see if I (and you) can last another year!

Finally, here’s a few tidbits:

  • The search terms that have led the most people to my site?

Mount Everest: Sorry mountaineers, it’s a metaphor.

Letter To A Beautiful Girl: Um…sorry, no romantic mutterings in this post, it’s for a little baby girl.

  • My busiest day?

Sept 23 2012 – just over a week ago!

  • Views by Country? (one of my favourite stats)

People from 70 countries have viewed my little blog.

image credit: momcomm.com