I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.
So now that my son has started high school, he’s in an entirely new school environment, one that he’s not been exposed to much before.
Kids his age.
Kids who are now adults.
Kids wearing grown up attire.
Kids with beards.
Kids in mini skirts.
Kids dating and openly showing affection.
We had an opportunity to attend Princeton High School’s first Football game last night under their first Friday Night Lights.
Earlier in the day my son had attended the school pep rally wearing his blue and white school colors as most all of the students were.
Friday was the end of “Spirit Week” which included students coming in one day dressed as superheroes, another day wearing pajamas, another dressing as twins, etc. etc. I was able to encourage him to participate in this way, though I don’t ever recall doing this stuff in high school (I’d have been petrified).
I long to give him every moment and opportunity to meet friends, meet new people, forge new friendships, but the introvert in me remembers how difficult it was for me to do what he seems to do so easily: walk up to new people, introduce himself, shake hands, have a conversation asking them their names, given and last, sometimes even birthdays, but then finishing up with a “nice to meet you.”
I can see that with his Autism, he aches emotionally for normalcy, for friendships, for inclusion.
I can also see that his tears, when they fall, are from the sense of his being different and of his earnest desire to belong. That he may be aware of perceived, if not actual, limitations.
So what’s a father to do, if at the football game he is less interested in the game and entertainment, and much more interested in meeting the senior guy on the school stoop, and the senior gal lying down affectionately on his leg - well of course let him go up to them and shake their hands and engage in polite conversation (thanks “D” and “N”).
Or what to do when he wants to frantically scan the crowd until he sees familiar faces from Riverside Elementary or John Witherspoon Middle School - well of course let him stop them to shake their hands and engage in short polite talk.
Or what to do when there are SO MANY people in the bleechers and the railings that you need to find a ‘better spot’ to see what’s going on? - you keep walking until you find a better spot, but keep reminding him that he can’t tell people to move out of his way so that he can have a better view, and instead wait your turn for a better vantage point.
Or what to do when he desperately wants to get down there to say hi to the cheerleaders - he tried most earnestly for this one. I told him he could wave, which he did almost frantically for a few minutes to get the girls’ attention. But high school girls aren’t celebrities and not used to a freshman trying to get their attention I would think…? I felt my heart straining a bit on this one so I decided to join in on his fun, waved until one of the ladies looked and I got her attention briefly enough to wave her over. Thanks Brianna for being such a good sport and giving my son a high five. A little gesture can make a day.
Or what to do when he wants to break away from you, and your constant overlooking daddy self, to be independent and say hi to friends on his own, even if in his excitement he’s not fully certain about WHAT to talk about? You let him go and try, but then you let your heart break for the hundredth time when you see him strive awkwardly, only to be told by the ‘friend’ that she’s busy right now ‘cuz she’s with another friend. And that’s how he learns. And how he keeps learning, about perhaps what a friend is - or is not…
Or what to do when he desperately wants to go on the field to meet the football players? Well that’s when you stop right there and let him know he can’t do EVERYTHING he wants, and would need to wait until the game was over if he really wanted to meet them face to face, or see them in high school.
This was our first Friday Night Lights.
I don’t think it will be our last.
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~
Today, I noticed the way that grass lies in a field. I observed how only the taller grasses are shifted by the wind. I noticed how quiet the outdoors can be. I saw that the butterflies like to zig and zag consistently as they take flight. I noticed how a bead of perspiration joins another bead - until it joins to form a drop of sweat that moves down the skin - from the force of gravity. I noticed how high a bird can fly in the sky, really quite high. I observed how a jet flying high in the air can pass by leaving no evidence that it was ever there. Yet at times it might toss a cloud aside and cause it to create a new strand of cloud stuff. I noticed how regular and consistent it is - this constant flow of traffic - of people driving their cars going from here to there - non-stop.
TEN BOOKS THAT HAVE STAYED WITH ME
I don’t normally do these.
But I really do like books.
I decided to put my list down in the order I’d read them.