Getting used to Uncomfortable

Little Miss A in her new Tumbling Class.

We have moved a lot. No seriously, like 11 times in the 11 years we’ve been married. One perk to that is everyone in the family getting used to trying new things. Every move means finding the library, checking out new schools, introducing ourselves at church and discovering the local restaurants.

Some of these things can be fun, like exploring new library reading nooks and trying new menus. But with this comes the silent questions of if the locals are actually kid friendly or not. Let’s be real, not every community gym or kids section of the library has actually been “patient with kids”. It’s a shame but a reality.

So over the years my kids have watched me walk into new places with a smile on my face and with encouraging words to check out new spaces with confidence and courtesy. And if the staff hasn’t been responsive with their best behavior with tact or decorum my children have also been able to observe how I politely stand my ground and protect my children from uneducated buffoons.

I’m happy to report that so far we haven’t had any problems with 2 of our kids taking classes at our local YMCA. The wrestling club for our middle child has been another story that can be summed up as nothing short of false advertisement. However today’s post is about Mr. L trying a new thing at our community Y.

Mr. L Floating on his Back.

Mr. L has courageously agreed to trying out a swim class without his little brother by his side. Instead we decided to let this be a father and son experience and the first class was a roaring success! Not only did my autistic son wait patiently for his class to begin, he enthusiastically got in the water, followed along with the class, and actually did better then kids in the class higher up then he was in.

The only thing that kept him from testing higher was his delays in communication. Mr. L was hesitant to do what was asked of him because he wasn’t always sure what was being asked of him. If you know my son, you know by now that he has high anxiety levels when it comes to misunderstanding someone and getting the “social rule” wrong.

However once he knew what his coaches wanted, he could do it easily. Because some of the things they wanted to teach, he has been doing for a few years on his own for fun. Needless to say, Mr. L was learning a few different things then his peers in class. Instead of learning how to put his head under water and blowing out bubbles, he was learning social cues; like how to watch his peers and to do things with good timing after the coach demonstrated. You know, the things neurotypical kids do effortlessly.

From what I gathered second hand from my husband, Mr. L was attentive, focused, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. That is a huge win in our book any day 🏆

Mr. L learning Social Cues.

Now can I just take a minute to write about how amazing my husband is and how lucky I am to have him in my life? Not only was he willing to take our kiddo with special needs to a swim class by himself on a Saturday morning… He wanted to! This husband of mine was excited to do it and is excited to do it again for the rest of the session.

But there is another layer to his love for our children, he knew there was a chance Mr. L might need extra assistance, in view of the fact that we just never know! Because this was a new pool, a new class, new coaches and peers, we didn’t know how loud the room would be or how Mr. L would respond… So Mr. handsome husband volunteered to bring his swimsuit along just in case the staff wanted an extra hand for our child.

In fact Mr. handsome husband was more then happy to bring his swimsuit and towel to be a backup plan and support for our son to succeed. Over the years he has gotten exemplary at trying to think ahead of what our kids might need and what obstacles might be tricky for autism to handle. He has learned to bring the headphones and to check the menu before even driving to a restaurant.

These efforts are not only nice in avoiding meltdowns, but it takes an emotional load off my mind knowing I have a teammate who wants to ease the stress of attempting happy outings. Knowing he has my back boosts my confidence in taking my kids out into this crazy and sometimes less then caring world. I just hope he knows how much I appreciate his efforts in helping our kids become caring, responsible adults.

Awesome, Kind new Coach.

So to sum up today’s post… After I took the kids for a tour of our local YMCA and signed Mr. L up for a swim class, Mr. Husband took Mr. L out for a new experience/class and it was a big hit ☺️

26 comments

    • Yes! She’s doing a tumbling class and seems to love it, I mean she’s only been once… But now she has her own thing to look forward to.

      And I think you just gave me the idea for my next blog post! ALL the reasons why we’ve moved soooo many times 😅
      Lots of different reasons, but mostly just because that is where life has been taking us 😅
      And yes, it has been exhausting and I’m so over it 😆

      Like

  1. That is quite the change your family has gone through in such a short change! It must be so tiring! So way to go to all of you and Mr L for adapting.

    It is great that you are able to advocate and to find supportive people in your community and it’s also good that you recognize that not everyone is as understanding!

    And the swimming pool story made me smile. Way to go Mr L and way to go super supportive husband!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I was super proud of them both. Swimming really seems to be Mr. L’s thing. My sister in law saw some videos of my son’s swim lessons and she said he’s holding back, and thinks if he gets comfortable then he’s going to exceed expectations. I hope for his sake she is right.
      I just want him happy, I want him to grow his community to include friends close in age.
      I’ve had readers ask about all our moves, so this week’s post is actually a timeline of all our moves. If your curious why we’ve moved 11 times in 11 years I hope you check it out. Just writing it down for the first time kind of blew my own mind 😅

      Anyways, I hope you and your family are doing great 🌼

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My very, very first job back in the dark ages was teaching swimming to autistic children. I was amazed at their response to the water, their body language, the way they changed from tense to . . . I dunno, a state that looked like they were aware of the whole universe all at once. Big splashes and noise were not friendly, but the actual descent into the water was wonderful. It looks like your son and husband are having a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so cool that you taught swimming to autistic children. Those kids are just drawn to water- which can be so dangerous! So I’m glad there are people like you who taught them how to swim.
      You did a great job trying to explain how therapeutic water can be to these kids.
      I’ve always had trouble finding the words to explain the effects that large bodies of water has on my son. It’s like he becomes a different person in the most amazing ways 😌

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kudos all around, Rachel, for successfully moving AGAIN, for finding a niche for Ms. A and Mr. L to excel, for a husband who helps so enthusiastically, for you being an important part of it ALL! As each day passes, may more of the pieces of life fall into place so you’ll soon be calling your new location “home”–with all the depth of meaning that word encompasses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and I truly hope so! I’ve told my husband over the years that nothing has felt like “home” in such a long time. I’ve been on my own since I was 15. My husband always reminds me that wherever I am is home to him. So with every move I’ve always focused on making our places feel like home for our children. Pictures on the walls, cozy bedrooms, familiar libraries, parks and grocery stores.
      Home is more then where your key unlocks the front door. It’s a community feeling.
      So like you said, I hope this move will finally start to feel like “home” to me too 💕
      Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We didn’t move as often as you, but have lived in twelve different homes since getting married. I did much the same as you–trying to make each house feel like a home by surrounding us with familiar things in familiar places when possible. One example, a set of baskets hung on a prominent kitchen wall in four homes as our children were growing up. I like your husband’s attitude though: wherever we are as a family is “home!” In the final analysis, home is relational, not positional.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, we really have learned how to be a team, and we are trying to teach our kids to be the same. I often tell my husband thank you for being a good dad and for just showing up. Because I know those things aren’t easy to come by 💚

      Like

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