A Weed or a Wish?

Walking along the river with my dog the other day, I was noticing the various plants and flowers along the edge.  I am no gardener so I admit I don’t know the names of them. I just know that they all have qualities about them that are beautiful is some way.  Some are prickly, others delicate and bright.  I’m guessing, most I see are actually weeds, their beauty in the eye of the beholder.

One such weed I came across- possibly a variation of the dandelion- made me think of years gone by when, as a child, we would blow on them and make a wish.  I don’t know if any of those wishes came true,  maybe we were just spreading weeds about the yard.  Seeing the flower now, reminds me that life can take turns as quick as the breeze, and that it sometimes takes more than a wish to fix it.

It would be nice if it were as easy as blowing the seeds off a dandelion to make wishes come true. To provide wishes to those struggling, the firefighters battling to save land and home, or those in need of a medical miracle. I was recently reminded how precious life can be and that even  the power of wishes and prayers may not be enough. I would gladly sit in a field of flowers and scatter the seeds to the wind, if I knew it would grant a

 

miracle.

Weeds, like some people, are hardy, surviving in some of the more  hostile environments, yet they do survive, and many thrive.  I admire those people who thrive in adversity, their strength and determination, the ability to be a bright spot even when seen as something less.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still weeds- like people – who are just prickly mean stickers.  I avoid them, because they don’t add anything I find positive.

I would rather be a dandelion.  A bright spot in a child’s day as they blow the seeds for a wish,  an herbal tea to provide that possible miracle cure, even a landing spot for a bee. Maybe some see the weed, I choose to see the wish.

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My Mother’s Hands

I looked at my mothers hands the other day, and it struck me how much life I saw in them.  I marvel at those hands and recall all the strength and tenderness they have shown throughout the years.

When I was about 10 years old I had long hair, and I remember my mother brushing it into pony tails. She would quickly and softly brush it out and put the rubber bands in.  Also those summer days when I would come home from a day full of swimming and she would carefully untangle those same rubber bands, and brush out my now swimmers green hair.

Those summer evenings spent in the yard playing, watching as my mother would pull weeds out from among the patch of daisies that grew in the beds.  A tug here, a scrape there, the weed came out and the daisies bloomed.

Day after day my mother would fix our lunches for school. An assembly line of sandwiches, fruit and maybe a cookie, lovingly placed in a brown paper lunch bag for each of us.  Maybe not glamorous or our favorite, but always something good.

I remember, not long before my grandfather passed away, we were visiting and had tickets to a play. Because he was not well, he wasn’t going with us   I watched  as my mother took her father’s hands in hers, gently patted his hand as she spoke to him before we left for the evening.

It’s all those little things, the weeding of the garden the brushing of hair, the gentleness of holding her fathers hands in hers and countless other day-to-day activities.  Little things to be sure, but when I recall those moments in time I smile.  My mother’s hands- such strength, such life.

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Decisions

How do you know when your decision is right?  Change can be scary and making the wrong decision can have unintended consequences. So how do you know?

Some things are easy, like getting a haircut.  Oh wait, as I have recently lamented, haircuts are scary and can definitely have adverse repercussions.   What if it’s too short?  What if it is cut so oddly that it takes months to grow back to some semblance of normal? People will stare, will shake their head, will laugh.   Best to stick with the long hair, straight, no chance of mistake hair.

School is easy.  Oh wait, maybe not.  What if it takes 6 years to get that degree? I shall be older then.  Not that I wont be older anyway, in 6 years.   What if I flunk out?  What if I don’t like it?  People will stare, will shake their head, will laugh.  Best to stick with what I know.

Work must be easy then.  Oh wait, maybe not.  I have to spend at least 8 hours A DAY there, sometimes more! I have to be on time, pay attention and do my best.  People will stare, will shake their head, will laugh.

Vacation!  That’s it, the easy one.  Oh wait, maybe not.  I have to have money, a plan, maybe even someone to go with me.  People will stare , will shake their head, will laugh.

Life, it’s not easy.  There are choices to make,  consequences to consider.  People WILL stare, WILL shake their head, WILL laugh.  But in the end, the choices we make are OURS. Not theirs.   They can stare, as you accomplish that goal, shake their head- in agreement- as you explain your latest plan. Laugh -with you- at your funny stories.

Don’t be afraid of change.  As scary as it might be, as hard as it might be, it makes us who we are.

A cut above

Let me start with, I am not a hairdresser.   Well, I have been known to take the clippers to my sons head, but that is to save all hairdressers out there from his fear.  Trust me,  there have been times when you  would have thought I was killing him not just cutting his hair.  That’s a completely different story, so back to the original thought.

Whenever I go to get my hair cut, I have an expectation that the hairdresser knows what to do.  I am hoping today is a good haircut day as I watch the hairdresser assess my hair.   Believe me, I know my hair is difficult, I deal with it on a daily basis. So why, why, why do they ask me- “how would you like it cut”?   I usually fumble around and try to explain what I want, hoping it makes sense.  I try to use the correct lingo, but I think I don’t say it right.  Is it feathered or layered? What’s the difference between tapered and rounded? Thinned?  It’s all so confusing to me.  Really, all I want is it to be cut the way that one guy did, 2 years ago, before he moved away. By the somewhat blank look from today’s hairdresser, I’m guessing today may not be the day.

After the initial fumbling request, she starts in.  That first cut.  Ok, so far so good. Nothing drastic I think she gets it. Pretty soon the scissors are snipping and the hair is falling, hey wait! why are you cutting it like that? That isnt’ what I want- or at least I don’t think it is. It doesn’t feel right. It’s never been done like that. Oh this is going to be bad.  Now it’s too late. I sit and watch in silence hoping it will turn out ok. I do give some direction, now and then, and it seems to be ok.  I wait for the final cut and the reveal.

I tried to explain how I like it cut on the left side so it will fall correctly but I am not sure it’s going to be what I said.  She is finished and I take a look.  Hmmmmmm. I guess it’s ok.   I admit, it’s not horrible.  I worry if it will look the same when I do it myself tomorrow.  No matter, it’s too late now. Any further cuts will just be too short or just wrong.  I agree that’s enough and  she removes the drape.  I head to the counter and pay the fee.

At home I head to the mirror for the obligatory brush and closer inspection.  I figure, it’s shorter it will do, at least for now.  It’s only hair and it will grow back.   Even now, a few days later, I am not thrilled.  Maybe  I should learn how to speak Hairdresser?

I do appreciate a person who knows how to cut hair. It’s nice the have that ability to help people present themselves well.  That’s what we all want, right? To present the best of ourself, to look good.   We judge people on looks and first impression.  Just remember, maybe the person you are judging  just doesn’t speak hairdresser.

So it appears

My youngest son is autistic. Yep, there, I said it!  Out loud and for everyone to know.   He is different than I am, than you are, than most people are.  He’s almost 14, as tall as I am ( though that may not being saying much since I am not all that tall)  and becoming quite a young man.

I think about our judgement on people just by quick appearance. To look at my son, he appears “normal”  In fact, my favorite comment has always been ” he doesn’t LOOK autistic”

It’s a struggle to fit in when you are so different from most people.  Harder still, when you don’t know you are different. I watch as he tries to talk to people.  I see their reaction when he recites some line from a movie or you tube video he has watched. Usually, it is  one of  ???????? puzzled stare.  Case in point.  In the elevator at the baseball stadium ( game 5 A’s vs. Tigers) .  My son turned to the smartly dressed media type man (see, appearances being assumed by me/judgement by his clothes and I.D. lanyard hanging around his neck) and rattled off something in his rapid fire way.  The poor man had no idea what my son said- just stood there, puzzlement on his face, then quiet relief as the elevator door opened and we parted ways.

I try not to judge people by quick appearance, but I know I do. I’m sure I am judged by others the same way.  I bet they wonder why I don’t just go home and take a nap- I clearly look tired!  Some days I wonder that about me too.

So I try to help my son with ways to “fit in” to look less autistic, to become “normal”.  Maybe if I can teach him that people wont judge him.  But, then again , if he’s like everyone else, wouldn’t we miss his uniqueness? That which makes him special? That which is pure joy?