Love and Karma

The energy we send into the universe is the energy we invite into our lives.

I found this belief challenged the past few weeks, because of T’s chaos – meltdowns, foul language, rude attitude, defiant behaviour at school.

It was draining – and at one point, I told the hubby I did not have the energy nor desire to keep doing this.

“When I was very young

Nothing really mattered to me

But making myself happy

I was the only one

Now that I am grown

Everything’s changed

I’ll never be the same

Because of you.”

– “Nothing Really Matters”

Hindsight is the best teacher, because reflecting while I write this post, I am reminded that I can and want to do this.

Parenting is about tipping the scale towards your child’s favour, as they draw upon your energy to grow.

Parenting a child with FASD can feel unrelentingly thankless, because you expend a lot of energy and get disproportionate chaos in return.

“Nothing really matters

Love is all we need

Everything I give you

All comes back to me.”

– “Nothing Really Matters”

The best parenting advice – and the hardest lesson I constantly re-learn – is to co-regulate with your child.

Responding to chaos with calm is the best way to deescalate a disregulated child.

I attribute the last few weeks to changes in his environment – higher expectations, less unstructured play, homework, new faces.

“Looking at my life

It’s very clear to me

I live so selfishly

I was the only one

I realize that nobody wins

Something is ending

And something begins.”

– “Nothing Really Matters”

T is an easy child to love but has moments when he is downright unlikeable.

When I have these feelings, I feel terrible guilt and sadness – and I try hard to remind myself to separate the child from the disability.

To forgive myself and to try again, because T is the best reason to keep trying, even if effort is not rewarded right away.

“Nothing takes the past away

Like the future

Nothing makes the darkness go

Like the light

You’re shelter from the storm

Give me comfort in your arms.”

– “Nothing Really Matters”

Recently, T’s CYW told us he needs to work on writing; one sentence journals won’t cut it in Grade 3.

So we started to work on writing during weekend learning and I asked his teacher for what she’s expecting – titles, transition words, details.

I’m not expecting overnight success, but I want to share his journal from this morning – I helped him organize his thoughts – about putting up the Christmas tree yesterday with the hubby.

I told him he did a great job and I am proudly sharing his work with his teacher and CYW.

Last week, his music teacher sent a nice email to let us know T got perfect (42/42) on his music test; she knew he practiced hard and was proud of him. I thanked her for the pick-me-up because he was having a rougher week at home and school.

Life with T reminds me, when I most need the reminder, that the energy we send into the universe is the energy we invite into our lives.

⁃ Madonna’s 1999 single “Nothing Really Matters” is one of my favourite songs. After never ever performing it on tour, she included it on her Celebration Tour, which kicked off in London last month, as the opening number! It’s worth the 25-year wait! Can’t wait to watch her show in January. It’ll be T’s first concert!

30 thoughts on “Love and Karma

  1. Wow tell T great job on his music test and that he needs to come and set up my Christmas tree too! I think you should write a book Ab. I’m sure it would help so many FASD parents.

    1. Thanks Diane. It’s been a really good past while and I hope it continues.

      Thanks for the comment about the book. Many other family and friends have noted the same. I’ll think about it. The biggest barrier is time but I do see what you mean about the power of testimony to help others, just as others have helped me. We’ll see. 😊

    1. Thanks Vickie. Hope you are well! Rough week over here (not T related) and nice hellos like yours make a difference. Take care. 💕

  2. There will be rough waters, but you will get through them, because … you LOVE him and he loves you as well, though sometimes he may struggle to show it. I think you are doing a great job and yes, sometimes you will lose the struggle to remain calm in the middle of the storm, but … heck, Ab, you’re human, y’know? Go easy on yourself, my friend. I hope things will settle down for T in a few days. Big hugs to all three of you!!!

    1. Thank you, Jill(?). It was a wonderful week with him and we had a great teacher checkin today. A wonderful reminder to just hang in there because the rough waters always calm down. Please take care. 🙂

    1. Nice to hear from you Claire! It’s been a while. I see you have a new post up, woohoo, which I’ll check out when the kid is in bed. Take care and welcome back.

  3. I continue to be impressed at how calm and collected you are, even if you have some moments where you’re just so over it. I can only hope to channel your patience when our little tater tot arrives. It’s great to hear that T is working on his writing and recently aced a music test. I put up all my Christmas decorations this weekend as well, except for the tree as we typically get a real one.

    1. Thanks Linda. I can assure you I am not calm and collected during the chaos. 😆 Reflection and hindsight are a wonderful gift.

      Parenting will be a big change for you and K and for sure, there’ll be constant challenges. But something tells me you will also meet it with your usual good organization and teamwork skills. You are almost there! 🙏 Home stretch.

      It’s nice to get the Christmas decorations up, isn’t it? I can’t believe how fast the year flew by. We’ve booked our March Break trip already so we have something to motivate us through these challenging times. And before you know it, it’s summer Roadtrip season again!

      Enjoy the rest of your week! 😊

  4. I love the realness of this post. It reminds me of one of my misconception of parenting at the beginning of this journey that it would be all love, hugs, and just a few dirty diapers. I had no idea that parenting would push me to the wall as it has. Your description of, “Parenting is about tipping the scale towards your child’s favour, as they draw upon your energy to grow.”

    Yes – nice work to T in all the ways that he is growing. And sending huge admiration to you for all the energy you invest in the process. Hope you all have a great week and the changes settle down…

    1. Thanks Wynne. Pushing up to the walls definitely captures how challenging this can be.

      I spent some time the last week reading my older posts and it was reassuring that it is cyclical. I’ve been in similar waters before – and will be again – and will get through it.

      It was a good last weekend and start to the week so far! 😊🙏 Wishing the same for you four!

  5. Look at T, with both his writing in complete thoughts and the music notations! That’s a program I love…maybe he could tutor me 😉

    Maybe this has to be a small picture viewpoint? One struggle or hurdle at a time? You know down the road that T will get through this as will the whole family. Live for and mark every smaller triumph. They all lead to bigger and brighter for everyone 🙂

    1. Thanks Deb. You can have him tutor with you and board with you too! 😆 Sounds like a deal to me.

      In all seriousness, I agree with your small picture viewpoint. It has to be one step and hurdle at a time, because otherwise, I think I’ll lose it. 😆 But taking a big picture view also helps me often too, because I can see the gains and that the smaller moments really are just that, small.

      Thanks for the kind words of reassurance as always, Deb!

      1. LOL! T is more than welcome, although tell him he would have to sleep on the couch. Mine is only a one bedroom, but there are squirrels and birds so he could run off some energy 🙂

  6. Oh Ab. I really don’t know what to say since I’m not a parent myself. If anything, this post reminds me of how important it is to be kind and to treat others well. I’ve said that in the past I was always quick to judge parents whose children seemed to behave badly. But you opened my eyes. Through your stories, I now realize that behind the chaotic scenes there are often parents who have tried really hard. You know how love makes us strong even in the most trying times. Your love for T has taken you this far, and it will keep taking you to places you’d never expect.

    1. Thanks Bama. I really appreciate the kind reassurance. It has been a trying time. I spent the last week reading older posts and it reminded me I’ve been through similar cycles and got through them – and I’ll get through this one again. 😊

      On a totally unrelated note, did you ever watch Saved by the Bell, an American teen sitcom? I learned yesterday the lead actor was half Asian (Indonesian)! Who knew. He was very blond!

      1. I might have watched one of two episodes, but I don’t remember much about it. What I do remember is the name of that actor, Mark-Paul Gosselaar. I had no idea his mom is Indonesian!

  7. Cheers to T…and to you for all of your loving insights about his growth, celebrating him and recognizing the need to take care of yourself, too. Xo! 🥰

  8. His writing is wonderful! I know there are trying times. I love that you push through it! You are an amazing parent!

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