Friday, October 16, 2015

He looks sleepy...

More often than not when Archer encounters something new, be that a new environment or introduced to a new object, even a new onlooker, the most frequent first comment out of one's mouth is "Oh, he looks sleepy." Well, NO he isn't sleepy, this is what I'm so kindly saying to myself. Then its my decision to make a remark OUT loud. At this moment, I decide what will be my response, however there are many factors that go into this next remark. Of course, I strive to be a constant advocate for my child, but first I must check in to my emotional capacity at the moment. Is this worth my time and energy to be frank, and go into the long saga about his visual impairment, teach the lesson? Or do I take a moment to step away from advocacy and completely divert the comment? Do I make up an excuse about his deduced sleepiness? Or do I just gut it, give no comment, and continue on with our day. This is a fine line that I walk on a daily basis, multiple times throughout the day. The little control I have over this is whether I choose to go out in public, even invite people to our home, or to I isolate ourselves from these very important social engagements (which in no way is the healthiest of choices, but happens all to often). I find myself putting off the grocery store, because of the silent looks that make the sharpest of pangs, however these are the ones the shouldn't even get past my bubble. I must learn to build a stronger force field, and teach Archer the same, we must all live with courage in our hearts!



What is your first thought when glancing at this picture of Archer? Hopefully your heart is warmed by the expression on his face, you can't tell me you don't feel his excitement and pure joy to be atop daddy's back, outside, listening to birds, feeling the sun upon his face, smelling the robust autumn foliage, maybe even tasting the dirt billowing around in the wind. Also what you see here is that he is listening to his brain, which is telling him to keep his eyes closed, because it takes tremendous effort to visually piece together this unknown scene. This small action of keeping his eyes closed allows him to create far more endorphin's. He is choosing to live in the moment with 4 of his senses! When adventuring in the outdoors, or really anywhere or with anything novel, his first reactions, may yes be, to hold his eyelids at half mast or even nearly closed in order to allow his other sense to be saturated into the moment. For Archer to navigate in this world he needs novel scenes to be depicted for him and this his not always possible. With novelty, comes visual complexity, and for Archer's brain it takes more navigation to properly interpret the scene. This to is a choice we make, should we have vision integrated into this experience or should we let the little man take it all in with his other senses. So back to the picture and the comments. You give little acknowledgement to all these connections he is making with his other senses and assume that he couldn't possibly be having as much fun as he is expressing, because his eyes are closed? And you have the audacity to make a comment, over all other things going on, "OH, he looks sleepy..." This is a situation where I pull my reigns way in, keep my lips zipped, not expend any effort of grief, and keep walking, reminding myself to be grateful for the vitality our family is getting from this adventure.

We the ABC (Archer, Brandon, and Cheyanne) Sparks family are on a journey, aren't we all for that matter? Some people take the road most traveled, fall into mundane routines, and most often than not, are not living in the moment, rather already a few steps ahead. Have we really allowed society to turn us, as humans, into robots? Do not get me wrong I understand the importance of structure, routine, planning, and schedules. These systems help us be efficient with our time. What is the value you put on your time, and is it balanced? More importantly, my little man with the capital A has taught me how he benefits greatly from continuity. He has taught me that when we create a connection, we hold between each other an energy, and we can create stability in any situation. It's the small things in life that we as humans so often take advantage and hold no regard for.  

Aren't we all thankful for the safety personal that pondered up the idea of a stop sign? I know I am in so many ways, beyond the initial protection for traffic and pedestrian safety. These signs now represent visual targets for Archer when we are outside navigating on the streets, they are reminders for me to STOP and check in with myself. Okay you get my point, instead of a stop sign being a nuance and a time consumer when one's running late, accept a deeper message of the stop sign and allow the focused task of being late to dissolve as this is a moment for you to reset your approach and be gratefully for what lies ahead. Labels are now looked at different through my changing lens, many labels are hurtful, but it's the way we accept these labels that may either control us, destroy us, or strengthen us. So here is a label for you 'neurologically typical individual' and a question. Are you sleepy when you choose to close your eyes for a moment to reset? Or are you listening to your brain, striving to be connected in the moment, but just need a little step back to take it all in?



   

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