Of broken hearts and acceptance

Few of you around here know that Littleman is dysgraphic.  If truth be told, this is not something I like to talk about.  If you don’t know what the heck dysgraphic means, and please don’t feel alone, I was in your shoes last year, here’s a link for you.

http://www.dyslexiaa2z.com/learning_difficulties/dysgraphia/dysgraphia_checklist.html

Basically, it’s a a problem with fine motor skills that affects writing.  When Littleman writes, he has to concentrate on each and every letter, remember what it is supposed to look like and how it is done.  It is a long, slow and extremely tiring process.  And because so much energy is channeled into writing letters, his spelling is not too good either.  I mean how can you remember if mummy takes one M or 2 when you are trying to remember how the heck an M is done in that lovely cursive writing that is the norm in French primary schools.  And just to make things a little trickier, he also happens to be left-handed…

Since he was diagnosed a year ago, I have been waging a war on dysgraphia.  Littleman has weekly sessions with a graphomotrician to work on his writing, he has regular appointments with an orthoptist to work on eye muscles coordination and now also works with an orthophonist  to fix his spelling.

I hate dysgraphia with a vengeance.  It has made our lives utterly exhausting and complicated.  Homework often feels like making our way through a minefield.  And school for him is the tenth circle of hell.

While Littleman’s writing is showing huge improvement, the battle is far from won and I am forever trying new things to find the fix-all that will boot the dysgraphia out.

Tonight, after a long and painful post-school homework session, I picked up The Dance by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.  As I read the opening poem, a line jumped at me “What if who you essentially are right now is all that you are ever going to be?”  As I was pondering this in relations to my life, my thoughts drifted to Littleman.  And I got ambushed by a tadam moment.

I have been trying so hard to eradicate dysgraphia as you would a flu bug, a virus, a foreign thing because I feel it is ruining his life.  And I have been so wrong.  His dysgraphia is not something alien on the outside, it is a part of who he is.   All this time I thought I was helping him,  when I have actually been sending him the message there is something wrong with a part of him.

The war stops tonight.  I have surrendered all weapons.  The remediation work will go on because the school system here is that unforgiving.  As for me, I am going to let my heart crack open and drop my need to change him through the cracks.  I am going to let my love for my son take me to a place where I can accept him as he is and embrace him whole, dysgraphia and all.  Changes may follow, or they may not. Righ now, my priority is acceptance.  Here is to vulnerability showing me the way.

Being gentle

Although it is now officially autumn, the weather around where I live has trouble catching up.  The mornings are starting to be cool and fresh, with a crispness that warrants a jumper but the afternoons are still stir-crazy hot, with bright blue skies and a beach like feel.  We’ve started to get the odd shower and spell of grey skies but it is still difficult to fathom that next week, we’re moving into October.

With kids being back at school and the weather being what it is, germs and bugs abound.  And two weeks ago, I caught one.  A deceptively simple cold, which has left me knocked for six.

If truth be told, I didn’t exactly stop to nurse my cold.  I ran a 5 k race two days after getting sick.  It was my first race and a couple of friends came down especially to run it with me so I couldn’t really back out of it.  Running is hard work.  Running in beach-hot weather is hard work.  Running with a blocked nose and about 2 hours sleep is harder still.  I made it to the finish line, walking when I couldn’t run anymore, and resuming running when things got better.  Proud of myself…but the cost was high.

I should have rested then but I still turned up for our every-other day run twice, which, added to my run-around schedule of walking to school 4 times a day (6 on a Monday) in between work and remediation sessions for Littleman, basically ran me into the ground.

I forfeited my run on Friday night and when I woke up on Saturday morning, my body let me know that it would appreciate it tremendously if I could just stay put for, let’s say, a day or two.  My monthly meditation workshop took place that very morning and I had so been looking forward to it but my body made it very clear that if I pushed myself and dragged it to the workshop, I would end up paying a much higher price.

So for once, I listened to my body, gave the workshop a miss, snuggled in bed and rested for the rest of the day.  I did sneak in two rounds of washing that needed doing but basically shirted everything else.  Today, I feel a little better but I still feel in need of rest.  Next week is going to be taxing so I’ve decided to be gentle and give my body some more time to recuperate.  I have a couple of chores on my to-do list but other than that, I’m going to park myself on the couch and veg.

I can’t help but wonder why we find it so difficult to listen to our bodies and be gentle with ourselves.  We are willing to push our bodies to their limits in order to keep up and perform what we want them to do but when our bodies need us, we are strangely deaf to their cries.  I firmly believe there is a lesson in everything.  Today, I am learning to be gentle with myself and listen to my body.  It will be a slow process, undoing years of running my body ragged and ignoring its cries.  But it is essential work.  And I am worth it.  Wish me luck!

At the moment

The beginning of the school year had us all whipped and it’s taken about two weeks to get into some sort of schedule.  We are still working out some kinks but things should start to settle down as of next week.

LittleMan is going through a growth spurt, suddenly being all arms and legs, as well as a creativity spurt.

Things like this have been appearing all over the house with ominous signs that spell “Please do not touch”

MaskWEb

Upon enquiry, we got a shrug and this cryptic answer “It’s a monster mask”.  This one is taped on the side of the bookshelf next to the front door.  Hubby and I are wondering if this is some kind of emergency monster grab mask for such occasions as would warrant the use of a monster mask….like before leaving for school.  I may able to tell you more after tomorrow morning….

Since we are on the subject of detecting, our cunning detective skills have finally provided the answer to a question that had us gripped all summer “Why are there holes in our kitchen curtains?”  Fascinating stuff as you can imagine, the kind that keeps you up at night.

The culprit was caught this morning red-handed, or should I say, curtain-wrapped.  Claws are being used in the wrapping process and when trapped, pulled vigorously until something (ie the curtain) gives….Never would have imagined that such a small cat could cause such damage…

Catcurtain

I’ll finish this post on a sneak peak of a painting I did for a very good friend’s birthday.

Detail-humming-bird-2              Detail-humming-bird-3

It was done on a square canvas and I enjoyed every minute of the experience, even though I was very pressed for time.  I have to confess it’s one of my favourites.

Keep on running….

Last summer, just before going to England, I made a huge decision.  I decided to take up jogging.  I used to be fairly sporty when I was at uni but then life got in the way.  Jogging is the least fussy of all sports so I figured out I could do this.  Armed with the Couch potato to 5k program, I ran around a field full of sheep every other day.  I even managed to keep on jogging when we got back home.  Until I made it to a 30 minutes straight run.  And then I did my ankle in on a sneaky root.  And then Hubby did his cross ligaments in during an over-enthusiastic martial art session.  And we stopped running.

One of my goals for our week in England was to take up running again.  And I am happy to report I did.  It sucked every minute of the first run and made me wish I hadn’t quit back in October.  Then I remembered to keep my nose up and look around me.  This view beats the concrete around my place any time.  And the second run was a little easier.  Am looking forward to my next run.  Who’d have thunk?

landscape

Re-emerging

I won’t bore you with the details about where I’ve been for the past few months.  Let’s just say I was busy dealing with a few curved balls and leave it at that.

Latest curved ball to date is a needed radical change to my diet.  Something that isn’t sitting well with me.  Yesterday, as I was sitting down in my in-laws’ kitchen, munching on gluten-free bread, dairy-free cheese and meatless chicken ham, I was feeling pretty irritated and depressed by the whole “free from” thing…and then, I stumbled upon this snack in a supermarket’s aisle.

snacks

The snack was pretty tasty (and no, I’m not unfortunately making any money from saying this) and the box made me laugh.  And then suddenly, the “free from” thing felt a lot better.  Am I happy about my new diet? Nope.  Do I still feel it’s the end of the world? Not on your nelly!

Birthday gift

Last week was my father’s birthday and as usual, we were hit full force with the ohmyGodwhatarewegoingtogethim…. I knew I wanted to make something for him but had a chronic lack of inspiration.  This morning, I surfed on a few websites and was struck again by the dreamy look of white encaustic paint.

Here is my own take on it: vintage papers on strong cardboard, mod podge transfer of a photo, more mod podge, a white wash or two, lots of beeswax and my twist on encaustic paint, beeswax with oil pastel shavings.

I hope my father likes it…if he doesn’t, I’ll steal it back for myself!   And I’ll be making more of these in the future.  That’s for sure!  Only potential glitch: I didn’t use any resin, only pure beeswax…here’s hoping for a cool summer!!!

Thank you for your visit.

Photo courtesy of Kenn W. Kiser

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La semaine dernière, c’était l’anniversaire de mon père et comme d’habitude,  l’éternelle question “maisqu’estcequ’onvabienpouvoirluiprendre” s’est posée à nous.  J’avais envie de lui fabriquer quelque chose mais aucune inspiration.  Ce matin, je me suis promenée sur quelques sites et j’ai été frappée à nouveau par le côté irréel et éthéré de la peinture à l’encaustique blanche.

Voici ma version: de vieux papiers sur du carton fort, un transfer de photo au gel, encore du gel, une ou deux couches de lavis blanc, beaucoup de cire d’abeille et ma version de la peinture encaustique: de la cire d’abeille avec des copeaux de pastel gras.

J’espère que mon père aimera…sinon, je le récupèrerai pour moi!  Et j’en ferai encore d’autres d’ici peu, c’est certain.  Le seul souci, c’est que je n’ai pas utilisé de résine, juste de la cire….j’espère que les températures estivales seront clémentes!!!

Merci de votre visite!

Photo par Kenn W. Kiser