But I started thinking, how do I remain sane in the face of two with autism, one who is turning into a testosterone-infected teenaged boy before my very eyes? Sometimes, it isn't easy. I guess I have a choice, you know? I can fall apart and cry, rail at the universe, and curl up in a fetal position (which I do end up doing upon occasion). Or? I can just take deep, cleansing breaths, try to give hugs, and get on with my day. Hugs are a stretch for me. I am not a touchy-feely person by nature. I tend to ball up into my shell when I am feeling stressed. But God, in his infinite humor, sent me a child who needs that closeness. If she is feeling on-edge, that is the first thing she wants. Me? I want quiet solitude. Funny how kids stretch us.
How do I remain sane? I take time for myself, no matter what. Even if it is just five minutes, stolen in the bathroom ("The door is NOT a speaker!") or the rendition of my favorite song by the Pogues. I close my eyes, and just...be. For sometimes 30 seconds at a time. But it gets me through.
How do I remain sane? When my husband is home, I take the dog to the dog park, 5 days a week, sometimes 6. It is the place I feel happiest. I like the people there, and I like watching the dogs. It keeps my dog tired and content. It is my stress relief. When he isn't home, I load up the kids and the dog, and go walking in a nearby park. It isn't nearly as relaxing, listening to the litany of questions, comments and obervations from a nice-year-old who is just never quiet, but it is easier than being at home.
How do I remain sane? This helps, a lot: