Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

Making Your Own Lucky Day

Irish history is filled with difficult times that make the heart weep:  invasion, colonization, exploitation, starvation. Does this suggest that the Luck of Irish is bad luck?

Or, does the phrase “Luck of the Irish” have its origin in the days of the Wild West (in the United States) when many Irish people struck it rich during the Gold Rush or were prosperous in silver mining? Sadly, this metallically auspicious time has a shadow.  Many non-Irish Americans of those days didn’t think the Irish were capable of success through intelligence or hard work, so they attributed the accomplishments of the Irish to luck.

What do you think?  Are some people just lucky, while others are not?

Dictionary.com Says

luck [luhk]

noun

1.  the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person’s life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities: With my luck I’ll probably get pneumonia.
 
2.  good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance: He had no luck finding work.
 

Creating Reality

Lucky me! I have children who are anything but normal. If they were normal, they would have been subject to living slightly improved replicas of my and my husband’s life.

Because my children are not mini-mes or mini-their-daddys, they get to live their own lives. And, their magnificent uniqueness has made me a better me.

Lucky Mothers of Unusual Kids

Rhonda K. Welling posted the following on my Facebook Page and gave me permission to share.  I read similar stories almost daily:  Mothers who, at first, feel unlucky because their children have autism, or ADHD, or a hearing disability, or extreme crankiness, become grateful for the children and lives they have.

Before my son, I lived a life I wasn’t proud of. I took a lot, and I mean a lot, of things for granted. When Anthony was diagnosed with autism, I honestly didn’t know anything about autism and was one of them people who thought I never had to worry about it cause I would never have to deal with it.

My son taught me to look at the world through the eyes of a child with autism. He taught me not to take the small things for granted, for example, rain, sand, grass, trees, clouds. Not to ever take for granted the words a child speaks to you. He actually stopped talking for 2 years. And 3 years after his diagnosis, he said “Anthony love mama this much” and he stretched out his little arms as far as they would go. Just them few words changed my life forever. I didn’t see autism at that point. I seen what a beautiful boy I was blessed with.

You have no idea how much it annoys me to hear someone tell their child to be quiet or even worse..shut up because what these people don’t think about is sometimes they do. I missed hearing his voice, hearing his laugh, seeing his smile.

He is 8 years old now and he has taught me to see beauty in the small things, including autism. It’s amazing to me that they say parents teach their kids, but I think in a true sense Anthony has taught me more then I could ever learn from some book. He has taught me unconditional love and acceptance of everyone and everything around me.

Becoming the Force

“You get what you get and you don’t get upset,” children learn to chant in kindergarten.

The truth is, we do get upset. We grieve. We rage. We yell at our children. We also heal, change, and evolve. We become the Force in our children’s lives, in our own lives, and in the world.

“The force is an energy field created by all living things, it surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.” Obi-Wan to Luke

I became the Force in my life by learning about and using homeopathic remediestapping on my meridian points, and embracing ideas that, at one time, would have been unimaginable for me. I evinced my role as the Conscious Creator of my life.

How are you unleashing the Force in Your Life?

I’d love to know.  Leave a comment or send me a note. Or stop by the Swan Mothers’ Group and start a conversation.  You are not alone.

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What I Wish I’d Been Made Aware of When My Daughter Was Diagnosed With Autism

A great list by Ariane Zurcher that describes what I wish I’d known in the early days (years). My journey to discovering these truths is in the Swan Mothers book.

Emma's Hope Book

What follows are some of the things I wish I’d been told (and given) when we learned Emma was Autistic.  These are the things, in retrospect, I wish all those doctors, specialists, pediatricians, therapists and people who dedicate their lives and careers to autism had told me, but did not.  I believe our lives would have changed dramatically had we been told even a few of these things.  It is my hope that for those of you who may be at the beginning of your journey with an Autistic child, this list might help you avoid some of the many, many mistakes we made and a great deal of unnecessary pain.

1.  Seek out the work of Autistic people ~ most of the work I’ve listed was not available when my daughter was diagnosed, but it is now.  Take advantage of all that is out there, these people are leading…

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Work in Progress

Thirteen years ago, my mother-hero’s journey began. My almost-three-year old’s teacher stopped me at the door. “We’d like to have someone from special ed come in and observe Ellana. She’s not like the other children.” My heart raced. My world whirled. Hours passed and I began to assemble the teacher’s words into meaning. She thought something was wrong with Ellana. I wept. I raged. I decided that Mrs. Francis was wrong. I refused the call to adventure. I rejected the labels the teacher and observer wanted to associate with my beautiful, brilliant girl.

Twelve years ago, I acknowledged that my child was very different from the other preschoolers and accepted the challenge to be the kind of parent (I thought) she needed. I decided to overcome the autism spectrumy thing. I donned my battle gear. I read, researched, and planned. I drove my daughter to therapy appointments and sampled treatments and therapies of many flavors. I had a goal. I would help her to modulate odd behaviors and acclimate to the ordinary world. I would fix the glitches in her system. I would make my child normal.

Eleven years ago, when my second child was two, he was evaluated and given an autism diagnosis. While Ellana’s way of being defied labeling, Daniel had never spoken a word. He pressed the buttons on his toys repeatedly. He flicked his hands in front of his face. He was happy, affectionate, intelligent, and obviously autistic.

Nine years ago, my first grader was in her fifth school in five years, and we were asked to withdraw midyear.  I plunged into the abyss. Amidst deep, dark despair, I experienced moment of insight: I would teach my daughter at home.

After five years of homeschooling, after much yelling, crying, and foot stomping from mother and child, revelation dawned: I did not need to fix my daughter or her brothers. They were not, and never had been, broken. None of them resembled the children I had envisioned, but they were perfectly themselves, and I loved them, no changing required.

Four years ago, my three children went to school. For the first time in eleven years, I was home alone during the day, so I decided to write a book. I interviewed mothers of autistic children and wrote about the transformative power of our parenting journeys. I was healed and enlightened. I recognized my children’s inherent awesomeness. Life was easy and good. And we lived happily ever after.

~ The End ~

Cue the laugh track. While the above is an accurate, though drastically abbreviated, telling of my parenting experience (the whole is here), and though I did feel as if my mother-hero’s journey had come to a natural conclusion, I relaxed on my (virtual) lounge chair on the beach, margarita in hand, rather briefly. The end was not The End, but a curve in the spiral of life, circling into another loop of The Journey. I had arrived . . . somewhere, yet felt more unmoored than ever.

 

Mother,
      a small BIG word, 
       gave my life purpose and meaning.

It was I,
         who knew what my children required.
It was I,
         who fed and healed.
It was I,
         who soothed and strengthened.

I was
     needed,
     heeded,
     indispensable.

Until I was not,
             not needed to fix, for they were not broken,
             not heeded, for they invoked their own wisdom,
             not indispensable, for they were competent and complete.

Mother,
      a BIG small role,
      forged the woman I am today.

It is I,
       who practice non-interference.
It is I,
       who aim to advise less and listen more.
It is I,
       who teach and support.

I was
     heated,
      hammered,
        beaten into shape.

Until I became,
               cool and unrestricted, flowing like water,
               expansive and pliable, open to constant change,
               sovereign and free.

Thirteen years into the journey, I am trying to not try to figure out a new purpose for being, striving to adjust to the flow of life’s currents, and learning to thrive in this uncertain space. I do not remember what I know every day. I relearn lessons I previously mastered. I slip, stumble, and fall. I notice twists, hills, and valleys on own journey honor the journeys of those around me.

I know that in every moment, we are all flawed, and we are all stunningly beautiful. All is perfect, even when it does not seem that way. Everything is in creation. I am a work in progress.

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Swan Maiden Color Shift by Quicksilverfury

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The Story of Writing a Book

I had it in me all along.
Of course.
But I didn’t know.
Didn’t admit it.

Modesty,
sometimes very real,
sometimes really phony,
fell away.
Realization came in flash:
I would write a book.

IMG_6117

Imbued with insight
from an experienced author-coach,
Supported in camaraderie
by a circle of  writers,
I stripped bare
revealing, repeatedly, my Self.

Though I prefer the safety of caves and shadows,
silence deep in the forest,
stillness of night,
though exposure felt odd and new,
writing felt right.
I wrote.

IMG_2262

On October 22, 2012, the paperback edition of Swan Mothers was published.

On October 31, 2012, the Kindle edition was released into the world.

Scan

Publications was . . . anticlimactic. The road to holding the book in my hands had been long, winding, and interspersed with reroutings. And yet, there was a feeling of having arrived. I had accomplished something Big. I had written and published a (really awesome) book. I knew my book would heal mothers and improve the lives of children. I know it will transform the world.

The knowing is ephemeral, slippery.
One day, I know,
KNOW for sure.
The next,
I know nothing at all.

A reviewer writes:
someone has put into words and clarified for me what my soul knows to be true
and my soul sings.

No books sell for a month,
and I wonder why I wrote at all.
Why did You lead me to believe this work was Divinely inspired?
Why did You make me think taking myself and my family public was acceptable?
Why, oh, why, am I here?

One year later:
Exposed.
Stripped.
Exhibited.
Wondering
where to go, now that I’ve arrived,
what to do, now that this work is done.

P1010101

 

Editing to say, you can buy Swan Mothers from Amazon.com.

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