Chill Pill

It was a hard morning. Not that it started out difficult. Jacob was groggy and slow to get moving but he finally got up without extra coercing. Something was a little off though. He was spinning more than usual. Getting him dressed made me dizzy. In the end, all articles of clothing, socks, and shoes remained on so that was a win.

He wouldn’t eat or drink anything before leaving home which isn’t unusual. He didn’t appear to be upset at all. Just nothing interested him. But as we started toward the garage, he became agitated. I still don’t know what set him off. Had I known what the next 30 minutes were going to entail, I could have given him a chill pill. Hindsight is 20/20, right? I have a couple of options in our arsenal that could help calm him but I didn’t see this coming.

For some reason he started chasing our two dogs. He never does that. Neither of them ever bother him but they were underfoot in the hall as we were headed to the garage (which is typically where they are every time we are leaving home). It seemed like he was out to get them and frankly they were frightened by his behavior. Both had their tails tucked. The male is usually pretty cool with any behavior Jacob exhibits. He’ll wait for me at Jacob’s bedroom door even if he is bouncing off the walls. Our female is more ‘sensitive’. Let’s just say, if Jacob is acting out, she goes to the other side of the house to be clear of him. I think this particular day it was a matter of them being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Apparently, he was going to take his agitation out on anyone or anything in his way. They probably could have used a chill pill, too.

As a rule, I have low blood pressure but I could feel it rising! Once I got G & L separated from him, he took it out on me. Grabbing at my clothes and my arms, swatting at me, both of our elbows flying, pictures being knocked off the wall. It. Was. Crazy. Town.

Finally, I got my arms around him in a bear hug and into the garage. Where, you guessed it, he didn’t want to get in the van. Refused. Circled it fussing and pulling on me. At one point, I got in the driver’s seat and cranked it, trying to ignore him. Hoping he’d settle down. Eventually he got in but then would not let me buckle him up. Had me by the wrist, at arm’s length, where fastening the seat belt was impossible. Twice I got back in the driver’s seat to give both of us time to calm down before trying again. Once I got him buckled, I was out of breath and in tears.

I backed out of the garage but just sat in our driveway bewildered at how quickly he was out of control and how helpless I felt. It was one of those moments where I prayed he would forget whatever made him mad to start with. And, that once he was away from home and away from me, all would be well in his world.

I drove the few minutes to his day program in silence. Too angry, too upset, and way too frustrated to even talk to him. On good mornings, he is buckled up without the added safety clasp that keeps him from unbuckling. This wasn’t a good morning so I had made sure to use it. Now that we were at the center and it was time to unbuckle and get out, he wouldn’t let me release the safety device. A wrestling match ensued where after some time, I accomplished what I set out to do. Once unbuckled, I quickly got back in the driver’s seat to give him space to exit. After a while, he tired of sitting in the hot van, got out, opened the driver’s door, and grabbed me. He wasn’t giving up his bad mood easily. Realizing I was not getting out nor giving up my, now, bad mood either, he headed toward the building.

The entrance looked safe enough. No one was standing in the doorway. (LINK – Clear a Path: https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2019/09/12/clear-a-path/.) There were two fellas sitting on the bench outside chatting and enjoying the breeze. He walks past them many mornings without giving them a thought or glance. This wasn’t one of those mornings. He got to the door only to turn around and grab both of them. A staff person on the inside and I saw it at the same time and both hurried to rescue them from Jacob’s grasp. It was upsetting enough that they weren’t doing anything to bother Jacob. But, on top of that, they are legally blind so Jacob’s touch rattled them both terribly. The staff member remained calm assuring the young men that Jacob didn’t mean to scare them and he was going inside. Once they were free of his grip, Jacob started to run away but I grabbed him and literally wrangled him into the building. The staff member took over and escorted him down the hallway toward the kitchen.

I got in the van shaking. Now I needed a chill pill. How did the morning go so wrong? There was nothing to indicate he was sick. Would I get a call to come pick up my disruptive son? His behavior was scary to say the least.

Instead of running the planned errands, I went home to let tears flow. To hug our sweet Golden Retrievers so they’d know all was going to be okay. To pray the day would get better. I didn’t see how it could get much worse. To weigh the pros and cons of letting him stay home and sleep in the next day or take a chance. A chance that there would be a repeat performance.

There are moments when I feel, I know, that what I need most is to rest in peace. To embrace God’s spirit. The spirit that pours over me to sooth my soul was my chill pill that moment. Did you know chill pills come in many forms? Not to be flippant but seek the Holy Spirit when nothing is going right. A few other ‘pills’ that help me – rest, prayer, tears, reaching out to a friend, and one of my favorites, a mocha frappuccino!

I am so very thankful for new mornings. Thankful that the next morning I determined to try again. And he was like a different person. He was fairly cooperative getting dressed and out the door. He tried to keep me from buckling him up but that didn’t last long. Once at his drop off point, he got out within a few minutes and walked in without incident.

Clap your hands all you people, shout unto God with a voice of PRAISE!!!

Serve One Another

That’s a tough one. And, in the name of transparency, one I’ve been convicted of lately. Many years ago, I realized that God gave me the heart of a servant. Finding joy and purpose in helping others is a result of following that call. I also know God gave me Jacob. Meaning, being his mom and serving him would be a life-long task. God made me exactly the way I am to be able to best take care of the gift He gave me 40 years ago.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

Galatians 5:13 NIV

Something I’ve started doing, that has brought me a great deal of pleasure, is hosting tea parties. As I prepare for a party and serve my guests, I have the second part of Galatians 5:13 on my mind. Serve one another humbly in love. My heart is full as I demonstrate that simple act. The first part of the verse talks about being free. Listen closely, being free in Christ doesn’t mean focusing on myself (indulge the flesh) but being free to show Christ to others, by serving. It doesn’t cost me anything to serve in love.

So, here is the ‘confession is good for the soul’ section: Seems like every time I get settled in to read a book, or watch a movie, or watercolor, or …., Jacob realizes I am ‘free’ to serve him. I don’t know how he does it. Waits until I am done in the kitchen. Or sitting with my feet propped up. And he will do whatever it takes to get my attention. Sometimes he will lean in to get close to my face and give me his sweetest, melt his mom, smile. Truly I can hardly say no to that! Or, take an opposite approach. Become demanding and pull me toward his room or the kitchen refusing to let go. Unfortunately, I let those little things get the best of me. Some days I have no patience left to spread. Can’t I just focus on what I want right now? Just a few minutes?

Don’t think so. No, here he comes handing me an empty cup. I let that simple act frustrate me way too much. He’s thirsty and needs my help. What kind of mother am I? One that hears Satan say, ‘you’ve been serving him for 40 years!’ And I’ll think, that’s right. That’s the truth! Not once has he poured himself something to drink.

Then he brings his DVD player wanting to watch another movie. Or the huge case of DVDs. The word wait is not in his vocabulary. I’ll carefully explain to him that I’ve just helped him select another one and to go watch it. He’ll study me seeming to listen intently, then turn and walk away as if he is going to do just that. Mike and I may look at each other and give a thumbs up. He’s actually going to obey. Only to return less than 5 minutes later as if it has been hours. I fully believe he tried to wait. Again, I let his need aggravate me. Bless his heart, why shouldn’t he get to watch another movie? He changes his mind more than anyone I know. But, I change mine, too. What was I doing that was more important? Serving myself, that’s what!

Quickly God called me out on my attitude. It needed adjusting. Was I serving in love? NO. Jacob was gifted to me to grow my faith, my patience, my endurance, and so much more. To stretch me beyond my capabilities so I quit trying to do it on my own. I cannot do it on my own. And, guess what? I don’t have to. God knows it isn’t easy but His arms are open wide to lighten my load.

There’s a fine line between serving Jacob versus taking away his ability to do it himself. “Lord, teach me to know the difference.”

WORDS

This week marks a year since I started blogging. Facebook has been my platform for sharing Jacob stories for a number of years. While those posts were met with support and understanding, I often wondered if there might be a different audience who was walking the same sort of journey. Who had a similar story. Maybe outside of my circle of friends.

Several times my Mom has said, “I wish you’d write a book. Surely, there are others that could be helped by your experiences.” A book isn’t in the works in the foreseeable future. But, if you know of a family, a teacher, a neighbor, or a friend who knows someone, who knows someone, who might take away something positive from Problem Free Philosophy, I hope you’ll share. Thank you for making this first year as a blogger, therapy I didn’t know I needed.

On to today’s post:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Raise your hand if you have ever said that silly children’s rhyme. I know I did. Probably to a kid in my neighborhood who hurled an insult my way. However, we all know that statement is simply not true.

Words can and sometimes do hurt. Immediately and indefinitely. Words cannot be taken back. Words can haunt us for a long long time. Proverbs 12:18 says, thoughtless speech is like the stabs of a sword. Ouch! If you’ve been cut by words you know the wound is deep. And, the sting is oh so very real.

On the flip side though, words can also help and have healing power. Ever be in a hard situation and get a message from a friend? It is amazing what a few genuine words, spoken from the heart, can do to turn our perspective around. Psalms 16:24 says, Kind words are like honey. Sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Yes! Yes, they are!

Recently, I’ve spent time focusing on those healing words. Those words about my son that renew my energy. Bring peace, comfort, and joy. Some of these words, put together into phrases, will not mean anything to you. And, no doubt, I haven’t listed everything wonderful that has blessed my heart. But these words, from friends, have been good medicine when I needed it most. You may see something here that you’ve said to me. Know your words make my heart smile from the inside out.

“I like that Jacob knows what he wants!”

“I enjoyed staying with Jacob today.”

“Jacob cracks me up.”

“I like hanging out with Jacob.”

“He is so smart.”

“I loved getting to see Jacob.”

“Think of Jacob as a gift.”

“I am Jacob’s friend.”

“I love watching Jacob twirl and dance.”

“Jacob is welcome here.”

“Will Jacob give me a rain check so I can visit him another time?”

“I’ll watch your son if you want to fish.”

“I wouldn’t stay with Jacob if those things bothered me.”

“Tell Jacob we missed him.”

“I will be glad to give Jacob a haircut.”

“Jacob had a great day.”

“I love that Jacob!”

“Jacob has the most beautiful eyes.”

“Thank you for sharing Jacob.”

“I added Jacob to the prayer list.”

“Jacob can ride with me.”

“Jacob is listening whether you know it or not.”

“I’ve known of Jacob all these years but I’m finally getting to know Jacob.”

“Jacob just tickles me.”

“Jacob smiled at me!”

“We want to come see Jacob.”

“Good job Jacob!”

“People with autism are my heart.”

“Jacob pays attention even when he seems uninterested.”

“I saw Jacob smile today!”

“Jacob is so handsome!”

“Jacob let me sit by him.”

“Do you need me to stay with Jacob?”

‘Bring Jacob!”

“Can I help?”

“Jacob held my hands.”

“Jacob was glad to see me and I was glad to see him!”

See what I mean? Affirming words go a long, long way in lifting someone’s spirit. In changing their day. You cannot put a price on the value of words. They don’t have to be ‘profound’ to have a profound impact! It’s the little things words that mean the most.

I’ll close with two little words that can have mega power, thank you.

Chauffeur, Yes Sir

I’ve referenced, more than once, that Jacob was a front seat rider until it became dangerous. When I see parents drop off their loved ones at his day program and they arrived riding in the front seat, can’t deny it makes me a little envious. They will probably never be behind the wheel and drive, but, they sure can enjoy being as close as they’ll get. And besides, when there are two adults in the car, the ‘normal’ arrangement is for both to be in the front.

That is, unless, you are royalty. Or rich and famous. And have a chauffeur to drive you around. I don’t have a clue what that would be like but I’ve learned a thing or two from watching T.V. They open the door for you. Make sure you are comfortable before he or she takes their spot in the driver’s seat. Want to take the scenic route? No problem – ‘your wish is my command’ could be the chauffeur’s motto. They proceed with caution carrying precious passengers. If the occupants need something, they get their driver’s attention, as the riders are, of course, in charge. Come to think of it, seems Jacob has been rich and famous for years now because we have been doing all those things as we are his personal drivers!

But there is more to this tale of driving Jacob. Not only can he not be a front seat passenger, his arms or so long, he can make your life miserable if he is sitting on either seat behind. Picture driving along and all of a sudden, the neck of your shirt is being yanked toward the back. Startling to say the least.

So what’s a family to do? Cue Mini Van commercial. Those vehicles were created and marketed for large families. And, I am so glad someone made them popular because they have been life savers for us. Our vehicles have third row seating specifically to meet our needs but the van is just easier for Jacob. And in turn, easier for us. There may be only two of us in our van but the passenger with me sits on the third row. See what I mean? We are definitely his chauffeurs!

This has been the case for years. A few times Jacob has gotten in the driver’s seat before we’d leave home. And I’d let him enjoy sitting there. Wonder what is going through his mind? It must feel crummy to know you can never drive. Or, just maybe he doesn’t care and is happy to know he’ll never have to.

He will clap or wave to get our attention and then it is up to us to guess what he wants. Maybe adjust the volume, or skip that chapter on the DVD, or even ‘hey, can we stop for burgers?’ If he could snap his finger, I have no doubt that he would All of that is okay!

These chauffeurs are ready, willing, and able to transport our famous (in some parts) son with a smile on our face.

Happy Birthday Dad

I’ve written this post for Jacob. It’s really not right for me to assume what he’d want to communicate. Who am I to know what he’d ‘say’? However, after all these years, I have an idea. I think a pretty accurate one and believe it would go something like this:

Today is my dad’s birthday. I want everyone to know he is the best dad ever. I am one lucky dude for sure.

Before I was born, my dad already had my name picked out. If he had a son, he wanted to name him Jacob. So when the doctor said “it’s a boy”, my dad was super excited! His firstborn, called Jacob.

We would have so much fun. Camp in the backyard with flashlights. Teach me to ride a bike. He imagined we’d go to ball games to cheer on our favorite team and ride motorcycles one day. Maybe we would learn and play golf together. And I might graduate from the same college and become an engineer like him. Parents dream big dreams for their children and he probably did for me.

Instead, a neurologist told him I wouldn’t grow and learn like most children. It was a sad day and I watched tears roll down his face. But you know what? My dad has never acted disappointed in what I can’t do. It seems his mission in life is to help me do my best. He tries to set me up for success. I know he wants happiness for me most.

The involved dads help out with their young children. They may feed, give baths, and brush teeth. Read a book before putting them to bed and say night-time prayers. What they don’t do, is consider they may be doing those things for the rest of their life. But my dad has continued to do those things and even more to meet my needs for 40 plus years now. Over and over again. Including praying with and for me every single night.

Dad, today on your birthday, I want to say thanks for always being there for me. Today I want happiness for you the most.

May you have all the chocolate you can eat. Enough for you and enough for me (because you always share).

As you are out on the golf course today, I hope you have a really Happy Happy Birthday Dad!


I love you,
Cooter Bug

Clear a Path

Fairly often when I drop Jacob off in the mornings, the entrance to his building may be blocked or crowded. Not that he can’t enter. But there may be 2, 3, 4, 6 people either in the doorway, at the check-in desk, or in the only available hallway.

It may be staff congregating, parents, or clients arriving. Herein lies a problem. Jacob has an aversion to walking between people. Or, sometimes even walking past a person who may have their back to him and not causing any interference whatsoever. I’d chalk it up as social anxiety. Perhaps. Why is that? Your answer is as good as mine. I don’t know for sure but I do wish it wasn’t an issue for him. It is hard to avoid in so many situations. But, I can tell you this—it helps to clear a path for Mr. Pigford.

By observation, you can determine which people ‘know’ Jacob. They may have experienced his wrath. They move out of his way. It’s sad for me when I see peers scurry away. “Here comes Jacob.” But the truth is, he has gotten his point across to them and they’ve learned to respect his space.

We are taught to use good manners. Hold a door open for someone approaching. Unfortunately, that is not the thing to do when Jacob is headed for the door. Over and over again, I have witnessed a nice mannerly person open the door for him only to receive a very unfriendly ‘thank you’. YIKES!

I feel like I am always apologizing for his behavior. Coffee in your hand? Hold on tight, there’s about to be a spill. “I’m sorry.” Purse on your arm? Not for long as he may grab it and toss into the bushes. “I’m sorry!” Arm full of papers? Watch out, they may go flying. “I’m so sorry!” Nothing between you and him? He’s probably going to pull on your clothing. “I’m sorry!” “He popped buttons off your shirt?” “I am so sorry, bring it back and I’ll sew those on for you!”

Very often I have a feeling of déjà vu as I watch Jacob when people are nearby. Sometimes I’m almost holding my breath. Sometimes praying. It’s like a movie I’ve seen before. I know how it is going to play out. And it’s probably not going to be a happy ending. I can’t decide whether to intervene and warn his intended victim or see if perhaps it doesn’t play out like it has other times.

The good thing about stepping aside and letting Jacob open a door for himself is his focus shifts to the job at hand rather than the person. (Not that he can’t multi-task but your odds are better if he has one hand on the door.)

Doorways are not the only time he may act out. A crowded hallway can feel as threatening to him. You know how dignitaries have security that practically circles them making sure the ’common’ folk don’t get too close to touch? Jacob needs his own shield or security detail to keep everyone at a safe distance. Or maybe porcupine quills …

Make a way, clear a path, he’s coming through!!

Just Like That

When Jacob was little I made him a small book out of fabric. It was before everything kids owned had a monogram or applique. He loved that book. That was close to 40 years ago and would you believe we still have it? Check it out. More like a rag now as it was washed so many times. He hasn’t cared a thing about it in decades but I can’t bring myself to throw it away.

Often children attach to something that becomes their security blanket. Their emotional support. My sister’s silky nightgown became her daughter’s must-have blanket. My granddaughter had a small ‘lovey’ that was her comfort at bedtime. I can’t say Jacob HAD to have the book to go to bed at night, but it was something he held tightly and seemed to know where it was at all times.

There is another thing that he did get attached to many years ago. A toy called Disney Tunes KidClips. Each came with various clips, one song a piece. All were Disney related. The name of this blog is because of his attachment to the Hakuna Matata clip from the movie, Lion King. No matter how many different clips we tried, he always went back to Hakuna Matata.

For more years than I can remember, that toy went with him when he left home. In the car, to his day program, to church, etc. It definitely served the purpose of a security blanket of sorts. Thankfully, it had no volume controls so the sound level wasn’t too bad, or so loud to totally annoy those around him.

Although, in his Sunday School class, it was frustrating for his classmates to voice prayers. “Lord, help my sick” Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase, “brother to get well soon.” “I pray for my grandma” Hakuna Matata ain’t no passing craze. “who has to move.” It means no worries “My dog” for the rest “ran away.” of your days. It’s our problem-free philosophy. “In Jesus name,” Hakuna Matata! “Amen” His whole class was great about having the lesson and prayer time with Jacob playing Hakuna Matata as the background music.

And while it was a sturdy toy and a battery would last a LONG time, they did eventually break or wear out. Or, he’d lose one. Or hide one. And yet, he HAD to have it to carry when he went somewhere. We needed to make sure to have a back-up or four or ten. At some point, they were no longer manufactured and became harder and harder to find. We would scour Ebay to be sure we always had a decent stash. Even then, sometimes there would be mild panic when we couldn’t find one. If we didn’t have a back up we were in trouble. Have you ever experienced a ‘security blanket’ missing moment with your child? Yes, like that with Jacob. Not pretty.

We are nothing if not prepared!! But, perhaps our stash has gotten out of hand.

We kept a tracker fob on the current one he was using because it wasn’t unusual for him to hide it while at his day program. Maybe stick it on a book shelf. A desk and cover it up. Under the couch (a favorite). Then when it was time to leave, multiple staff members would look everywhere with no success. BUT, I knew better than to drive away without it because the next morning, he’d conduct a frantic search for it in the van before leaving home. The tracker with app came in handy more times than I can count.

Then something changed. I’d go to pick him up and one of his teachers would say, “Jacob hasn’t played with his Hakuna Matata all day.” Often it was exactly where he set it down when he entered the building. They were realizing that he may have lost interest in it. At home, he has so many toys and things to keep him entertained that he rarely played with it there. But away from home, it was the one thing he wanted nearby. We decided to do a two week test. Send it with him and note whether or not he looked for it, picked it up, carried it around playing his favorite song.

After the testing period, his teacher said, “you know how kids outgrow their security blanket at some point?” “I think Jacob has outgrown Hakuna Matata.” “He doesn’t need it here anymore.” WOW! Just like that! It was hard to believe he really didn’t ‘need’ it. We decided then to quit sending it. And you know what? My boy has grown up and will go days without it.

I have no idea if he will find a new ‘security blanket’ and if so, what it might be. But for the time being, he’s sure of himself and manages fine without one. Good for you Jacob!!

Join Jacob’s Problem Free Philosophy Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/829255497409630/

The Dreaded Question

Families with special needs have to complete a ridiculous amount of paperwork. We go through yearly evaluations that seem totally unnecessary. Often answering the same questions over and over again. No, he still can’t do this, this, or that. He hasn’t been hospitalized. Yes, he still needs help doing this, this, and that. I get it. Sorta. I understand there is a small chance that a new insight, a developed skill, a different answer might influence a person’s eligibility in a program. But, come on, I want to say, ‘nothing has changed—make a copy from last year and I’ll sign it.’ But the question that has brought me to tears, the one hard, dreaded question that gets me every time is, “does Jacob have friends?”

I remember when Mike and I first got on Facebook, we were literally comparing and competing with each other to see who could get the most friends. All in good fun, right? And honestly, we all have some FB ‘friends’ that don’t even really know us. They may know our mom or dad or dog. But 808 real friends? Hardly.

“If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky.” ― S.E. Hinton

I watch guys that attend the same day program as Jacob and there is a camaraderie among them. Obviously friends. And then when I’m asked the hard question, it seems Jacob doesn’t have those relationships. It would stump me. It would make my eyes water. It would frustrate me. I’d think ‘No, and quit asking me that same question.’ The truth is, he can make it hard to be his friend. He doesn’t want people around him. Most are afraid of him. Friendship requires similar likes and dislikes. Something in common. Communication. Trust.

See, I had a certain view, my own definition of what it means to be a friend. Neighborhood pals. Someone from school to play soccer with on the playground. A person you’d go home with after church and spend the afternoon building forts. Someone who would invite you to their birthday party. I’d picture Jacob’s brother with his gang of friends hanging out together every chance they got. Before and after they could drive, seems they spent every waking minute possible together.

I’d think back to friendships I’ve had that have stood the test of time. And how I aim to be intentional to be a good friend, to make new friends, and develop genuine relationships. Friends are so important. Friends are supportive. Friends know us and love us anyway. A life without friends seems dreary indeed.

Then. Then it dawned on me. Jacob doesn’t have friends in the typical sense but he certainly has friends. I’m sure he considers our family members, friends. His sitters are people I believe he counts as friends. Teachers through the years are definitely friends! We’ve had neighbors who have wholeheartedly ‘friended’ him. I became keenly aware of how blessed he’s been to have long time friends in his life and they are all family, sitters, neighbors, and teachers. I think if Jacob could talk, they are the people in his life he’d name as friends. Those are all people that he looks forward to seeing. I’m sure his heart his smiling when they are around.

When I think about what being Jacob’s friend means, in many ways, it is a one-sided, out-of-balance relationship. There is no confiding with the other of secrets or fears. No going on adventures. No sharing dreams. But there is understanding. There is trust. There is a pure heart with no agenda. And I am reminded that friendship means loving another person at all times.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails –

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

I realized Jacob has the best sort of friends. They are there for him whether he can be there for them or not.

We are blessed beyond measure by our friends and those that are Jacob’s friends. I’d call them angels on earth.

A June Moon

I was in the parking lot at the front door of Jacob’s day program building. Staff saw me pull in and called for my fella, “Jacob, report to the front. Jacob, your mom is here. Report to the front.” While waiting, I watched a lady and her son arrive minutes after I did. They had come to tour the facility. I suppose looking for a good fit.

As Jacob came to the double glass doors to exit, they were approaching from the outside to enter. All of a sudden, Jacob turned around, pulled his pants down and MOONED them. Yes. He. Did. I was horrified. What kind of greeting was that??? ‘WELCOME! You’re going to love it here!’ I couldn’t see the look on their faces but my vivid imagination pictured a lady that was probably shocked and her son that was probably laughing.

I could not get out of my vehicle and to the doors fast enough. At the same time, three staff members were scrambling to get to Jacob. Had it been anyone but my boy, I might have thought it was funny.

In his defense, it wasn’t like he had the thought – ‘I’ll turn around and pull my pants down and show my skinny behind.’ No doubt his thought was, ‘I need to go to the bathroom before I leave this building.’ When ya gotta go, ya gotta go!

I was apologizing and trying to get Jacob’s pants up at the same time. It all happened super fast as we successfully hurried Jacob to the restroom. The lady was understanding and well, the young man was humored. What guy doesn’t find mooning hilarious?

It was a Wednesday in June
When I saw my son moon.
I wouldn’t have looked to see,
But he belonged to me!
He had to go, and couldn’t wait,
All we could do was cooperate.
It could be called Indecent Exposure.
But some had trouble keeping their composure.

In the frenzy, I barely looked at them or made eye contact. Afterwards, I couldn’t even remember what they looked like. So, I have no idea if they enrolled in the program. I was almost afraid to ask. Crossing my fingers that they weren’t offended. Maybe Jacob even made that young man’s day. At least I hope so.

Hello, How Do You Do?

When Jacob was little, the television show, Captain Kangaroo was popular. I looked back to check the air dates. It was the longest running children’s show in its day from 1955 until 1984. Funny that it was on the air from before I was a tiny tot to the time I had toddlers of my own.

The show started with the Good Morning Song. It was a fun song with a catchy tune and quickly I ventured off the original lyrics and made up my own version. Every now and then the song comes to mind and I’ll sing it to Jacob. Doesn’t matter to him that I can’t sing. He’ll want to hear it several times until he tires of my rendition.

Hey, good morning,
Hello how do you do?
Wake up the sunshine,
I want to share this day with you.

I started blogging to share stories about Jacob. I want the universe to know he is a really awesome guy. That is still my purpose. And, because autism is on the rise, I believe there is an audience that could be helped in knowing they are not alone. The spectrum of autism is as varied as the people with the diagnosis. But we all, as family and friends, want so desperately to make life better for those affected.

I follow various bloggers for different reasons. I love DIY, cooking, and art, to name a few. You have probably been overwhelmed at some point by the number of emails in your inbox when you follow a blog. So, I want my blog to be unique. And it is because it is our story. No one else has lived it. Your story may be similar for sure. But there is only one autism story for me to tell. Ours. What am I getting at? Here goes…

It still sounds odd for me to say, “I am a blogger.” It’s a pretty popular thing to do these days, but is altogether new to me. When you set out to blog, the format offers some interesting tools. Tools that I suppose can be useful in growing your audience. If you understand their purpose and how to implement. Those seasoned bloggers already know this but if you are ‘green’ like me, you might not realize there are various stats available to you as an administrator. Things like traffic to your site, number of views or clicks, most popular day, number of words per article, etc. One of the most enjoyable statistics for me, is the Countries information. It shows how many views per country on any given day.

Like it or not, my world is quite small. I truly forget about what is happening on the other side of the planet from us. Recently I was surprised by the number of views Problem-Free Philosophy received around Jacob’s birthday. I realize some of those could be hits that would be considered spam. But overall, when people from countries around the world read my story about my boy, I am blown away.

I want to say welcome aboard with all the southern hospitality you can imagine! Thank you for taking time out of your day to peek into our world. For allowing me to share a few minutes of my thoughts, from my heart, each week. My aim is for my words to give you encouragement and hope. Maybe some amusement and laughs. Perhaps you’ll have some questions answered or a post may raise questions. Or think about someone you know who might like to follow along. Yes, I am writing for my son but for the sons and daughters of others families as well. When I think about the last 40 years, I realize how blessed I am that Jacob is mine. I am determined to make each day of his to be the best it can be. Your presence through cyberspace, has helped me see things differently and smile on the inside!

So here’s a BIG shout out to you all. The United States and United Kingdom view this blog the most. It was truly exciting for me to know that on the day we celebrated Jacob’s birthday this year, that people in these 42 countries knew it was a special day, too.

In order of views on one day.

And, maybe even silently wished him a Happy Birthday.

Thank you for stopping by. Had I known you were coming, I would have greeted you with a song:

Hey Good Morning, hello how do you do? Wake up the sunshine, I want to share this day with you!!