Friday, February 28, 2014

The Act of True Love

Okay, so there was that weird blog rant of that lady about Frozen?  (I don't really want to give her traffic, but if you google "Frozen Mormon Gay", you should pull it up or at least a link that addresses it.)  That post saddened and perplexed me...and I replied to someone that using the argument she did, then you could argue Frozen was a symbol of learning disabilities, Autism, and pretty much anything that separates us from those we love and live with.

And so I have assigned myself to address the idea that literally hit AS I watched the movie "Frozen" the first time and has continued to haunt me as I have watched it a billion times with my kids...

I am totally reaching, here, and I know it, but I'd love for you to feel the parallels between Frozen and those who live with profound disabilities:

First of all, as the girls grow up together...Anna thinks absolutely nothing of Elsa's "powers".  As children, Anna loves Elsa and accepts her, and uses her unique abilities to increase their fun and their relationship.  They are not separated by their differences at all.

When there was a misjudgement by little girls, the parents tried to protect them both by separating the girls, and pressing Elsa into the publicly acceptable mold.  Rather than becoming comfortable with the publicly safe version of herself, Elsa panicked, became afraid of herself and any relationship, and isolated herself, hurting herself and her sister deeply.

This isolation expanded to her family and any intimate circle she had.  Their life was completely cut off from everyone else.  The barriers made nothing easy.  It prevented not only Elsa from making friendships or relationships, but Anna as well.  And ultimately the lack of comfortable relationships drove Anna to mistake coincidences and parallels for compatibility and damaged her judgement of love.  (You could even take the "symbolism" as far as saying that the oppression of keeping her true self locked down, killed the relationship with her parents.)

When Elsa let her guard down and she "slipped" out of the carefully molded public persona that she had created, she felt relief and freedom with herself being open and honest.  She discovered that the "curse" that she had lived under for her whole life, was beautiful and unique.  It created beauty and originality.

Anna, in her love for her sister, followed her, believing that communication was all it would take to open the doors and have a relationship again.  Also, because she was also broken free from the emotional lockdown by her sister's freedom, Anna was able to begin to form healthy outside relationships again.  Those relationships broadened her wisdom and experience and offered yet more relationships to enter her life offering more wisdom...I will go so far as to say that the lyrics of "Fixer Upper" are possibly the healthiest view on love that Disney has ever set forth:

"We aren't saying you can change him
'Cause people don't really change
We're only saying that love's a force that's powerful and strange
People make bad choices if they're mad or scared or stressed
But throw a little love their way, and you'll bring out their best
True love brings out the best

Everyone's a bit of a fixer upper
That's what it's all about
Father, sister, brother
We need each other
To raise us up and round us out"

Ultimately, Elsa never was forced to beat her "oddities" into submission.  She did not have her kingdom taken away.  Instead, her sister saved the slowly freezing petrification of their sisterhood, by sacrificing her happiness and entire future for her sister, AS IS.  That love allowed Elsa rejoin her life and, in the movie's case, her kingdom.  She was able to use her experiences to be a beloved queen, without hiding her core, and that very core, became a source of magic, and enchantment even, among others.

The "sacrifice" turned out not to destroy Anna's life at all.  It began healing them all, the sisters, all they come into contact with, and even further circles reaching exponentially...

Now.  Instead of "crazy ice magic" put in Autism, Down Syndrome, giftedness, Asperger's, and any disabilities and unique perspectives....and see the ice melt away from some of even your potential friendships...

YOUR act of true brotherly or sisterly love to your family members, friends, or those in your path, could be the gesture that frees someone from fear and self loathing and oppression.

True love is so much more than romantic love on major card-giving holidays.

Think about it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Puppy Power

Okay.  It's for real now.

We are stepping up for a dog for Elise.  We have decided on a Therapy Dog personality, teenager dog, and training him into a pal.  Her sisters and myself are looking forward to having a fluffy someone to take the constant loving and petting she wishes to bestow.

I have found the most marvelous breeder, who is listening and really hearing what we need to make this work.  She even read this blog in an effort to find the perfect match.  We are looking at 2 dogs.  One is a miniature poodle, and one is a 2nd generation Pomapoo.  I just put down the holding fee for the boy that I think will be the best fit.  I hope to meet both boys this week to confirm my gut feelings.  I am hesitant and on the fence about bringing Elise, because any kind of squirrely meetings tend to make her worry.  And it took 2 sessions for her to get comfortable with the dog at her therapy center, and I don't see her being an immediate bonder with any puppy...especially if she is not at home or somewhere she is not comfortable.  But I will see how she is feeling the day of, and if she is doing well, she will be the only one who will come so as to not overwhelm the puppies (or Elise).

His tag name is Smoke, but the breeder tries to use only nicknames and endearments, so they can be named officially at adoption. 

Elise is thinking about far she is wavering between Shrek, Stitch, Bear, Bolt, and Waffle.

If I am wrong about personality, we may have Cole, instead.

All things going smoothly, and by that I mean, WEATHER ALLOWING, I will have one or the other of them by this weekend.

In the meantime we weather more snow...and by that I mean ICE.

Please pray over a smooth transition, and the perfect match!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sensory Overloading and Feet

Once upon a time, Elise was working out.  Which right now involves one of two things:  "walking" our dog around on a lead in the Invisibly Fenced yard and jumping on the mini trampoline.
Well, the day called for jumping.  She desperately needed the proprioceptive input and so she jumped happily and willingly like a mad woman.  I was sitting on the couch next to her, because she liked the audience.
Well, this time she slipped a little, and got her foot entangled in the springs.  Shrieking like a banshee, she tugged on her leg to free her foot.  I lept up and dislodged her immediately.  Total time on this was less than a minute.
She asked for snuggles and kisses.  And she was healed and went on with her day.
The next day was also, perfectly fine.
The day after that, she complained that her foot hurt.
The day after that, she refused to bear weight or go up the stairs.
They day after that I took her to the pediatrician.
Who sent us to urgent care for an x-ray.
They sent us to an Orthopaedic Specialist.
Who sent us home with a boot because she had a BROKEN FOOT.  (broken metatarsal)


This caused a lion's share of distress.  She hates shoes.  She hates feeling "unsafe".  She hates not feeling "grounded".

This made the boot a test of her emotional and sensory fortitude.

The boot caused a HUMONGOUS amount of sensory overload.  She sucked a callous onto her thumb.  She pet anyone who sat near her.  She refused to move quickly.  She was an emotional basket case.  But, she showed a gigantic leap in maturity, as she realized that things could get worse if she fought the boot.

But she buckled down and suffered for 3.5 VERY LONG weeks.  Then we got iced in.  And she wore boots in the snow...until she got cold and then she ensconced herself on the sofa.

At the end of week 4, she was released from the boot at the follow up.

This was such a wonderful and joyful celebration, I didn't even remember that it was the anniversary of her open heart surgery.

I find it fitting that she was freed from her bodily limitations at both junctures...and on the same day...

And she is free to run again.  And so she has!!