I’m constantly trying to figure out how Easton sees the world.
I do know he sees and hears it differently than you and I do. He is fascinated by the simplest things. I’ve tried to actually get down on his level and see what he’s looking at because I want to be as fascinated as he is. He walks back and forth looking at the way the light comes through the boards of a fence. He stares, smiling, at sun spots on the floor. He looks in awe at his own hand moving back and forth. He likes to listen to the garage door close from a VERY specific spot (and trust me, if I close it too soon and he’s not there yet, he gets PISSED. I’ve actually re-opened it and closed it again for this reason.) He can literally watch a sink drip for an hour. The best way I’ve heard it described to me by his speech therapist is that these types of things are stimulating his senses, and it simply makes him feel happy. I WISH I was as intrigued by the little things as he is.
Right away this morning at Gallup (where I work and where Easton starts his day before getting on his bus), he saw these transparent blocks that were red, yellow, and blue and started looking through them. I snapped the above picture of him looking through the red one. I looked at the photo and immediately thought, “He sees the world through rose-colored glasses”…and decided it may just be the perfect photo to inspire this blog post.
Just out of curiosity, I wanted to check out how the internet (you know, Google University) would define the saying, “rose-colored glasses.” One of the first ones that came up said, “cheerful and optimistic, especially to an excessive degree.” Okay. I didn’t really like how that was worded. An excessive degree? I mean, I get it. Some people would call this excessive positivity, instead of a realistic view of situations and how the world works. I guess I would call that optimism. So…I kept looking for a definition of rose-colored glasses that I liked. I found “a cheerful or optimistic view of things”…YES…”usually without valid basis.”…NO.
And then…”Having a positive attitude lets you see things from a different perspective. Looking through ‘rose-colored glasses’ is an optimistic way of viewing the situation or the world.”
That was more like it.
Because, here’s the thing: EVERYONE faces challenges. It’s the way we handle these challenges that make us stronger. I COULD be really sad that my 3 year-old son is still not saying “Mommy.” Or…I could realize that I’M the one he goes to when he needs help, wants something, gets hurt, looks at for recognition and applause when he has accomplished something, is ready to hear his bedtime song, is sad, or just wants to be held. He doesn’t need to say “Mom” to let me know he loves me. I COULD get really frustrated that he won’t use a fork or a spoon. Or…I could just be happy he’s allowing the utensils to be in a 6-inch radius of his plate without throwing them. I COULD feel envious of other parents who have children reaching every milestone right when they’re supposed to (I’m not going to lie…I’ve had to check myself on this one). Or…I could look at the child I have in front of me and realize he is teaching me more than I will ever teach him.
Is that optimism to “an excessive degree”? I don’t think so. I think it’s having a perspective on the challenge I’m faced with that allows me to realize how damn GOOD I have it.
Now, let me clarify. There WILL be blog posts from me about the meltdowns, the freak-outs, the food issues, the looks from strangers, the days I feel like pulling my hair out, the nights I feel like drinking.
But this particular post is here to remind ME how lucky I am to have Easton because he reminds me to take a little more time to see the world through rose-colored glasses and enjoy the simple things in life.
We try so hard to get kids with autism to come into our world, but maybe it would do us all a little bit of good to go into theirs every once in a while.