Sunday, January 16, 2011

The other stuff

So, the raindrop stuff is sweet and cute.  It happens a lot.  I am, as I mentioned, trying to notice that more.  I love that part of Ashton.  He sees the world in a very special way that I think only select few people get to know about him.  You have to earn trust and it doesn't happen by imposing yourself upon him.  And here it is... the other stuff.  The hard stuff.  The challenges. 
I often get embarrassed by his lack of communication in a given situation.  That's the plain ugly truth.  People expect him to have that back and forth interaction that he doesn't always do and it's difficult.  I am learning to remind myself that he is not doing it on purpose.  He is typically overwhelmed in situations where there are new people or people who he is really not all that familiar with.  You may have seen Ashton a bunch of times and be fine.  But, a bunch of times spread out over a year (for example) means you are a familiar face that he does not know and therefore, does not quite trust.  Plus, if you try to force yourself upon him he shuts down. It pains my heart when people don't understand this.  There is judgement.
Ashton has a handful of wonderful, wonderful people in his life who he has let in, over time.  These people notice what I notice and they tell me about it.  He has awesome grandparents, his grandpa here and my mom and step dad up in Seattle.  I feel they all three know Ashton for who he is.  Part of that might be because in my family sensitivity is familiar.  We have some friends who also have that perspective that you don't run across often.  They relate to Ashton in a different way than most people and he seems to be comfortable being himself around them.  My goal now is to help more people understand and to help Ashton in whatever way I can.  I don't want to change him.  I want to focus on his wonderful strengths and help him to love those things about himself rather than judging himself according to standards that don't work.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Since I have picked up the book, "The Highly Sensitive Child" I have been noticing so much about Ashton.  I'm not noticing new things, just things that I typically let become background noise, in a sense.  I often hear Ashton say something or watch him take note of something very specific and in my mind I think, "there's no way I would have noticed that as a 5 year old, or would have even cared".  I am in awe.  At times he gets very "explainy".  He will step by step, by step describe a process with painful detail.  Painful because of course my busy adult life just doesn't have room for minute details (working on this one).  But, wow.  When I actually stop and ignore the clock and my to-do list... I am amazed. 

Tonight we were walking through the dark parking lot to our car and the street light caught the drops of rain on a side view mirror of some random car.  Ashton stopped (almost tripping me) and gently wiped them off.  I started to say something, not realizing what he was doing.  Here I am thinking, "that's not our car... leave it alone... don't mess with other people's cars..."  But I stopped myself.  Then he turned and backed up to my side view mirror and wiped the rain drops off.  "There, Mom.  Now you will be able to see."  Then my heart melted.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A journey

I am here to track my journey along a new road.  I've been on this road since August 27th, 2005 when my son, Ashton was born. But now, I think I have a name for this road. 

I am going to keep this first entry short.  I have so much going on in my heart and my head right now surrounding my son that I could really get confusing and confused.  But to put it all in a nut shell, I am discovering that I have a sensitive child.  Anyone who knows us well is probably saying... "well, duh!".  I have never stopped and taken the time to consciously be aware of this.  I have talked a million times to different people about Ashton's sensitive temperament, his shyness, how much of an observer and a thinker he is.  Some of these traits are wonderful and some are challenging.  Lately I have felt much more challenged and it's made me sad, frustrated, exhausted and we have been going rounds.  Now I think I know why.

A few different occurrences led me to our local used book store the other day in search of a specific book: The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.  This blog is going to be about what I learn surrounding this topic and how it applies to Ashton and myself as his mom.  I feel emotional about this right now but it is a hopeful emotion.  Yes, with tears... but hopeful.  Even in the last two days since I've picked up the book and read just the beginning I have had a more compassionate heart with Ashton, which has led to patience and much smoother interactions between us. 

If anyone has a highly sensitive child (HSC is what Dr. Aron uses in her book so I will adopt that here as well), please chime in!  I want to know what other people experience too.  I've always loved that Ashton thinks hard about life and in detailed ways that amaze me.  I want to stop rushing him through life (which I feel just started in the last couple of years) and help him use those wonderful traits to accomplish his goals and dreams.  I also really need to learn how to help other people understand what it means to be a HSC and how to interact with him in a positive manner.  I don't know the answers yet and I'm really hoping that this book will begin to shed some light.  It already feels like it is. 

Thank you for joining me as I learn and grow along with my little guy!

Love and blessings,