Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

Monday Musings A-Z challenge-Compassion


I was raised to have a compassionate heart. My Mom was a big believer in showing compassion instead of anger. She didn’t have an evil bone in her body and she believed that people judged others by what they saw in themselves. I still carry this belief and honour her memory by teaching my children the same. Some have called me naive because of this truth I hold to dearly. That’s one’s opinion but not my truth.
It will still baffle me as an adult when some members of society don’t show compassion. I see it in daily life when someone driving cuts off another car. I see it in a long lineup when someone throws their money at a cashier. I observe it in a restaurant when dining out with my family when my son becomes disruptive at the table.

The reason is he has autism, and he doesn’t sit still for long. Ten patrons can turn into twenty and he becomes visually overstimulated to his environment. He also “stims” when his body is seeking sensory input to regulate his central nervous system. He does this by jumping, rocking or dancing on the spot. I see the looks, overhear the whispers and take him outside to shake his wiggles out. I don’t attempt to try to shush him out of embarrassment because it can escalate matters quickly when he feels he’s not being understood.

This is why we eat at one restaurant in our town. The food’s amazing and we’ve become wonderful friends with the owners during our time here. They know my family and they know of my son’s autism. If things are loud and crowded in their establishment my husband will go in and order us take out. If we make a plan to phone ahead we put in our order so that it arrives when we walk in the door. I’ve been at this game changing strategy  for awhile now as he had a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder first at the age of 3.

I had to prepare him for the world as it can be too loud, bright, and busy. I don’t feel that anyone owes my son any special favours all I would ask for is compassion. I recently shared on a Autism page of my son’s diagnosis. It was World Autism Awareness day and I felt brave sharing something so personal to our family. I made the mistake of not wearing my armour in sharing my son’s story. I had briefly discussed the judgements that we’ve received and even a personal attack on my parenting him through a sensory meltdown.

What I forgot in that moment of courage was that anything put out there on the Internet can be judged. That came to pass and I was stunned by the commenters lack of compassion. I thought to myself I don’t know this person’s story and yet she believes that she knows mine in one paragraph. I stayed in my #Mommitment mind, I may be judged on my words but I know my spirit. I didn’t reply and I was blessed that the admins of the page deleted the comment and left my story up.

It was liked and shared a few times and I felt relief that I wouldn’t be having to face that hurt again. It was such a strange feeling to be put on the spot like that from another parent. I will admit there’s a lot I still need to learn and not everyone wants to Light it up blue for autism awareness. Not all organizations are everyone’s cup of tea but I learn something from each of these groups and I gain support, understanding, compassion and that virtual hug of not feeling so alone. I just learned today from a amazing blogger friend  that autism by definiton means “to be alone.” This brought tears to my eyes and made me realize I never want that to happen to my sweet son.

My son has autism, but I don’t believe it defines him as a person. His precious giggle when playing hide and seek with his brother. His beautiful smile when he tells me he loves me with a sound, words, or a kiss. These things define him and when the world has gotten to loud and crowded for him and he reacts to his environment by melting down; he’s not being a brat, this is not a temper tantrum, all I ask is for a little compassion and understanding. It helps the eye of the society storm feel a little less scary to navigate.

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday and Be Wow

When life can become a struggle it’s easy to give into the tears and fears. Yesterday I reached out and shared my story of being a special needs parent. I received an outpouring of love and emotional support that it was incredible and it uplifted my heart and spirit! I wrote this before I had opened up my heart and soul and I’m so glad that I was given the gift of compassion and the beauty of friendship. 

 
This has been my submission to Silver Threading for Writer’s Quotes Wednesday and Be Wow please check out all the talent that link up at this special place to be creative. ❤️

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I don’t pretend to be something I’m not

I’m a truthful person I always have been, and always will be. I can be tactful if someone asks me a honest question. I don’t go out my way to be brutally honest but I won’t sugar coat the truth either. I wasn’t raised that way to be a waffler and float between lies and half truths. I don’t go about feigning the truth and pretend to be something I’m not.

 I’m a straight shooter, because that’s who I was raised to be. I was around both kinds of people growing up though the liars and the truth tellers.  I believe it gave me a strong perspective on who I wanted to grow up to be in my life. Recently I was faced with a situation of being honest or being politically correct in a delicate situation. 

I chose honesty and that wasn’t received very well.  Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything, maybe I should’ve just bit my tongue and not voiced my truth. That’s a lot of maybes in a bucket, and honestly that just isn’t me. I never pretend to be something I’m not for anyone. Not my husband, children, family or my friends. That  may make me a weirdo, or quirky, or too hot to handle but I know one thing it does make me, is comfortable in my own skin.

 

 I see a lot of professions based on dishonesty and it turns my stomach. All you have to do is turn on the tv and see and hear all the lies and half truths spewing from any election candidate. We live in the information world and can find out anything we want at a the click of a button. I think politicians should give us the public, credit for being intelligent and educated individuals.

 My son at the tender age of 8 has become interested in politics. I’m breaking one of my rules by discussing politics and religion, but like all his interests I encourage him to learn more. He was quite shocked to find out that he could never be President ! I told him we’re Canadian and we have a Prime Minister that runs our country. I never mentioned he did that well, just that he’s the boss and he has members of parliament for each province that answer to him.  

I won’t get into the checkered past of politicians  Canadian or American,  with him.  I don’t want to take the bloom off the rose just yet. He’ll figure it out in time he’s a smart boy. So here I am encouraging my son’s political aspirations and at the same time keeping him truthful and just. I think children can learn a lot by how the adults in their life treat each other. 

I want my children to know that they count on me as being truthful and supportive. I won’t pull the wool over their eyes and I always encourage the truth. I won’t let them be beguiled and told there’s sunshine when it’s raining. I’m raising them to be thoughtful, compassionate, kind, caring, loving men who will go out and make a difference in this world. I want their hearts, minds, and spirits embroiled in the truth. I was taught that honesty is the best policy. Even if it sounds like an old cliche the truth will really set you free. 

This is my Sunday confession for the lovely More Than Cheese and Beer. Please check out her anonymous confessions and the other talent that link up. Thank you.

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Ten Things of Thankful

It surprises me that Sunday is already here! I feel like the summer days are passing me by too fast. So time to harness some fun and thankfulness out of them before they’re gone. I love this time of week for the tribe of Lizzi’s TTOT who inspire and lift me up with angels wings. ❤️

1. I’m thankful for lessons of respect and compassion learned by both my son’s and myself. We learned we need to use our words more and yell in frustration less. And when we’re feeling vulnerable doing things to fill each other’s kindness bucket is a wonderful way to fix that. 

2. I’m thankful for summer camp and all the cool crafts that my son is making there. He comes home with such pride and smiles which makes me so happy he’s having fun being creative there.

3. I’m thankful for the playtime I get to enjoy at the playground with my youngest son while his brother is in camp. We have made some new friends and reconnected with old ones. He’s so excited to have that one on one time with me again and some am I. 

  
4. I’m thankful for keeping up with my fitness schedule and feeling stronger with each workout. I did some really intense sessions and needed a couple of rest days. I was proud of myself though because interval and plyomeyrics training is something I haven’t done for a long time. 

5. I’m thankful that I was able to catch up on my never ending laundry basket. There’s weeks where I’m her bitch, and days where she’s mine. #winningthisweek. 😉

6. I’m thankful that I had a lazy day yesterday and got to watch a marathon of one of my favourite tv series Hell on Wheels. It was filmed in my province and I look forward to hiking in the country that’s showcased on the series. 

 7. I’m thankful for my family who I love and friends who have become family. I’ve always been a friendly person, but to be told that I’m missed, my words have touched hearts, and I’m the only friend who is still there in the end makes me feel warm and fuzzy with love. 

8. I’m thankful for golden opportunities that are presented to me when I just think positive and believe in myself and my abilities. 

9. I’m thankful that family holidays can begin and my husband and I have been planning ways to surprise our kids and enjoy our time off. 

10. I’m thankful for my husband and his pitching in around the house and rallying our little troops to help. It didn’t look like I had accomplished anything with keeping clean and tidy home. Toys strewn about and popcorn and cereal remnants littered my floors and threatened my patience. So the team went to work and this Mama is a happy camper. 

  

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#1000 speak- My heart Connection to the ones I love 

My story I have to tell is a treasured one, it’s one I think about when I steal away for some quite hours to myself. I’ve moved a lot in my life between parents, Grandparents, and siblings. I have always been searching for that connection I had when I was young when I’d sit around the table drinking cast iron tea (steeped so much it poured out black into my porcelain cup). I would nibble on my Irish scones  and laugh with my elders. They would call me a “little tea Granny” and I would feel this amazing heart connection.
 As I mentioned earlier I had a wandering spirit and then I met and fell in love with another. We have formed this beautiful union made complete with our children. We have moved due to my husband’s job transfers four times in the last 20 years. Three times as a newly married couple and twice as family. We have now lived in our new home for almost a year. Every town that I live at I strive to make a heart connection. I’ve been blessed to work a lot and able to make friends easily, before marriage. After marriage and children I found the opportunities were plentiful, and my life had become all about parks, play dates, and picnics.

 I have met a lot of people and established friendships in every town I’ve lived in. It hasn’t been easy moving so much and making those connections. But I’ve persevered and done my best to socialize with other parents through my son’s schools or sport teams. When I moved from my hometown where I was born and raised, I lived in a town the same size. I worked a lot and my love and I were new to living together. We were in that town for thirteen years and will always feel like home to me. There I was established a heart connection and the best of friends I could ever ask for! 

We got engaged there and spent our first few months as a married couple there. When we moved to the city we had been married, bought our first house, and were expecting our first child. It was a whirlwind of moving in, unpacking and seeing all the things I owned after three months. I met friends through my husband’s work and my own. Then I took my maternity  leave and along came my precious baby. I attended a baby talk group for parents and met a wonderful group of Mom’s. We all remain friends to this day, and have seen our children grow up together. Over the years the circle grew and spread out as a few of us have moved away. There’s still the four of us that remain heart connected  and keep each other in the know of our lives. 

We were blessed to live there for six years and with them I found my sisterhood. I then moved on to a smaller town that charmed me with it’s beautiful mountain air, lakes, and forests and reminded me of my hometown. I met the most wonderful neighbour who filled our heart and home with her generosity, kindness, and love. Who took to my children like Grandma would to Grandchildren. She adored them and they loved and cherished her in return. In this town I met some wonderful parents, attended play group with my youngest, and school with my oldest. I went to the same place almost daily where I felt was a safe little cocoon in my life. 

While I struggled to sell a home, find a home, and survive hotel living for half a year! I have always loved the theatre so I attended a play with my son and I in costume and connected with each performance from this talented cast. We joined up for their next production and in that time the heart connection was made with my new theatre family.  I was blessed with and given a Mom who I fell in love with her giving heart, adorable children, and her strong faith in God and humanity that echoed my own. I found a Mom with incredible visual and artistic talent and a devotion to make a better life for her son then she had for herself.

 It was there in that play group I found the yin to my yang with a Mom who’s children were her life line and they were hers. This woman gave so freely from her heart, loved with her whole being, touched lives and hearts with her beautiful smile and friendly manner. It is because of her that I made it through a very long four month stint of solo parenting when my husband got transferred. 

 She sat with me and laughed and cried over wine, memories of our beloved Mom’s, and the dreams for our children. She looked after my children so I could attend theatre practices, loving them like her own. I was given the gift of friendship with her brilliant mind, heart, and love. Our hearts connected and I’ve never been the same since. And it fills me with great sadness that I have to attend her funeral tomorrow instead of hugging her hello. She flies with the angels now, talks with them, and looks down upon her loved ones with a joy and pride. Fly gently onto thee rest my sweet angel friend. Heaven was made a greater place with your entrance. Until I see you again, I offer this simple prayer. 

  

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#1000Speak-Building from  Bullying 

I’ve been through a lot in my life but you wouldn’t know it unless you read my blog, or I decided to share with you. I’ve lived my life to be a kind, honest, and caring person. I was taught to be loving and patient even when others were not. I was taught to protect the weak and vulnerable, and cheer for the underdog. I’ve learned to turn the other cheek, and push through the pain and turn it into power. 

When I became a victim of bullying it turned my world upside down. I lived in a very small community so if anyone found out you were doing things outside of this bubble you became local gossip fodder. It wasn’t like I was doing anything wrong I was hanging out with my cousin in a bigger town, going to hockey games, and dating a hockey player. When the kids in my school heard about these things it became a mission to tear me down for having a life outside of my country existence. I can’t even begin to describe what I went through day in and day out with the taunting, teasing, and bullying.

I was only thirteen and the things I had to hear, defend, and ignore about myself were devastating. There was a group of boys and they had a ring leader and he made it his mission to make my life miserable. I wasn’t ugly, mean, ignorant, or self righteous but he was. He had everyone convinced that I was gutter trash and wasn’t worth the kindness of a smile, pat on the back, or acknowledgement for any talent. I was a volleyball player and I was good at my sport. I had all these girls from my grade and one above as my team mates. But no one spoke to me except my coach and my assistant.

If my lead bully saw anyone talking to me then they would suffer his wrath as well. So no one dared incur that, and it was easier to make rude comments or ignore me completely. I still continued to play volleyball and I had a couple friends that would talk to me and be seen in public with me, that were in a grade below me. This disgusting, defeating, behaviour only occurred in my classroom. In between classes I could mix in with the swarm of other kids filling up the hallway to get to their next classes. I enjoyed that anonymity even with however brief it was.  There was this time I went to my locker before gym and had noticed that it  had been tampered with.

Someone had splashed something on it and smeared across the door was the words bitch slut! I was born and raised Catholic so I was the furthest from those derogatory terms. I opened up my locker and saw my binders had all been opened up and papers were everywhere, and my wallet was also missing. I was pissed off and I felt the hot, salty, tears run down my face. My teacher came up behind me and told me to go to the office to report it, so I did. Then I walked out to gym class and in between there and the school was a corridor and I sat there on the steps, trying to process my anger. I had my head in my hands wondering what I was going to do I was ready to cry again, when I felt I was being watched. I looked up and this girl who was a fair weather friend came up to me. She leaned over and said “I saw your locker and it’s too bad that you didn’t get your wallet back, I guess you won’t need this anymore!”

It suddenly clicked in my head that she was responsible as she was holding a picture of my boyfriend in his hockey gear. I flew across the stairs and grabbed her and started punching her in the face. I then grabbed and pushed her into a wall and started banging her face off it. She was frantically trying to fight back but I was possessed with a rage of a thousand moments of being bullied. Classes were ending and people started coming through the corridor. I was still punching and kicking and she began crying and screaming for someone to help her.

Suddenly the principal was there and he was pulling me off of her. He was shocked as well as the school secretary, who always knew me as being kind. This wasn’t the same girl who walked into the school and said good morning to all the staff. In the office, passing them in the hallway, and each of their classrooms. I had attended this school system since Kindergarten so I knew everyone very well. I had to sit in detention with the bitch/thief and she sat there with an ice pack over her eye and glared at me, as we faced each other across the room.

I still wanted to bash her face in as she looked at me smugly as our parents were called to come pick us up. My Dad was working and my Mom didn’t drive, and I refused to go anywhere with my Step Mom so I sat in the office the rest of the day. I had to write out an apology letter to my victim and I was still very angry so I remember wording it as I’m sorry you couldn’t defend yourself after you broke into my locker. I’m sorry that you were such a bitch and I had to kick your ass and I got caught. I was suspended for five days and my Mom sent me to my Grandparents so I could have a break from our community gossip circle jerk.

I welcomed it, attended church, looked after the garden, and helped my Gram with meals. She knew I wasn’t a bad kid I was just tired of being bullied. I just wanted to live my life and not hurt anyone. Enjoy seeing my boyfriend play hockey games, go to his house for homemade Italian meals while his Grandma said “mange, mange your’e too skinny.” While I was at my Grandparents I saw a lot of him. He lived not too far away and he’d walk up and meet me after school. I also went to church and asked God to forgive me for my sins, anger, and bad temper. I was taught by my parents that I didn’t start a fight, but I sure finished one if it was brought to my side of the equation. I didn’t get punished from them as I think they were surprised that their sweet, smiling, studious, daughter finally snapped. The victim that had taken the ignorance, defamation, and horrendous behaviour for a year became the bully.

This is not something I’m proud of but I’m neither ashamed. I feel compassion for that confused, hurt, pissed off, teenager I was. I learned my lesson and today I’m a stronger, capable, and confident adult. I don’t let anyone step on my feelings or crush my spirit. I know when situations and people aren’t good for me as I trust my intuition a lot more. Now knowing my own child had to experience being teased, hit, and bullied, has ignited the fire of that child I was. I’ve advocated with the office administration, his teacher, and have even reprimanded his bully. I will not let the sins of the Mother, visit the son.

I teach both of my son’s to stand up for themselves, don’t instigate the fight, but definitely protect themselves. Now in the school system students use the W.I.T.S. program. The acronym stands for walk away, ignore, talk to someone, seek help. Since my son has been playing hockey he’s more confident in himself. And no one gets away with hitting him, teasing him, or bullying him. I will be that parent on the playground watching and waiting and he knows that I have his back always. My cup of compassion runs over with my children, and I am that Mama bear protecting my cubs. But my patience bucket is empty when it comes to bullies, their lack of intelligence, their own self hatred, and fear of not measuring up in society. So I pass down the golden wisdom to my kids that my beloved Mama would always say to me, “love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.” I’m spending more of my time doing this. It’s so easy to get wrapped up into who we were in the past. The true courage is surviving that, and thriving with that knowledge in the present. ❤️

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday 

  

This has been my submission to https://silverthreading.com Writer’s quotes Wednesday. Please check out her inspiration and all the other talent that link up. Thank you. 💌

 

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An Angel in Wendy’s

I read a blog tonight that reminded me of an experience I had with a server at a fast food restaurant. I thank you for the inspiration http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.wordpress.com. Reading what you wrote tonight made me remember my story. So here I am to tell it, I went away for the long weekend with my kids and we were out of our routine. With my youngest son having SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) too many transitions, lack of self regulation, and the busy noise of the world can be a lot for him to handle. I try my best to keep us on routine with his sensory “diet” but all the newness of people, places, things, can cause issues for him. We had gone out for lunch to Wendy’s and it was very busy. I was with my brothers so I went up with my kids to order. There was a long line up and I was praying we’d be served quickly. My oldest son was doing his best to keep his brother occupied, by singing and making silly faces. That’s when it all started as my son threw himself on the floor. I felt the judgmental looks, heard the angry whispers, instantly as my out of control child started reacting to his environment. I picked him up and held him the best I could. Holding my toddler is like holding a bag of snakes! Then he started shrieking which starts out as singing, yelling, and then full blown “stimming” as he seeks out sensory input. A sensory meltdown is what ensues if I can’t help regulate and calm him. It’s hard for me not to be embarrassed even though I’ve been through it before. I avoid restaurants for this very reason, as well as all the judgement that follows.

And then our server appeared and she smiled and said “you look like you could use some help Mom.” I smiled and said “you have no idea how much I’d appreciate that.” She took our order and talked to my son like he was the most fascinating person she’d had ever seen. She also gave him a cup to play with. He just beamed at her with his sweet smile and stopped shrieking. I breathed a sigh of relief and I felt everyone around me did as well. I got my food and sat down to eat and my brother said “I don’t know how you do it.” I replied “I don’t think about it, I just get it done.” After we ate I went up to say thank you, and my server said she had been there before, and remembered what it was like. I smiled and said it was a blessing all the same and she was making a difference in the world. I left the restaurant and buckled my kids in their seats, and I heard someone calling my name. I turned around and it was wonderful her, she came up to thank me. She asked me if I’d fill out a comment card, as her boss said she needed to be recognized. I agreed not only for her excellent customer service, but her compassion as well. I looked at her name tag after introducing myself and saw her name was Angel. I gave her a big hug and went on my way hopeful that I could get through another tough day. When I wanted to cry and run away and hide my son from all that negativity. It takes seconds to return a smile, and a lifetime to forget ones never given. Thank you Angel for being an angel that day, and your cup of kindness. ❤️

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