Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back to the Crib.....but not Garrett

SO it's back to the crib here!!! Garrett still sleeps in his crib. We cannot imagine allowing him to sleep any other way. He would wander, not sleep, pillage our town...

But for a few weeks in the early summer, he would ask me to "sleep with him." I figured out he meant for me to get into his bed and play at bedtime. I crawled in the first night keeping in mind one of my favorite books THE HORSE BOY, where the father crawled into his autistic son's bed and gained so much perspective of his son's world. So I tried it and figured if a father could fit into his crib with his three year old, then a female my size could surely fit into the crib with my 35 pound 5 year old, right?? It wasn't graceful, but it worked. And so we carried on with our little ritualistic crib time for a while, but then stopped one day. It must have been when Grouchy was still driving an hour and a half to work and we were always rushing to get into bed by 8:30. I remember feeling like if I was in the crib with Garrett, then Addie and Ainslee were likely not making bedtime progress while Grouchy was packing for work and trying to get to bed also. So I quit.

While in Montana, the Pack-N-Play didn't yield room for our snuggles!! But once home, I started our crib ritual again, and it has been so rewarding for me!!! He makes me play games with his stuffed animal monkey he calls Monk-Me has conversations with his Mickey Mouse my mom gave him. We then tickle, rub noses, kiss. And this is where I am teaching him to say "I love you" in response to our telling him the same instead of the response of "I don't love you too" we have been hearing the past year or so.

But last night was a little different. He was tired, really tired. And he put his head on my arm and I ended up with both of my hands around his precious, soft face. We talked a little.....or said a few things back and forth. He said "I love you" after I said it. And I rubbed his back and shoulders and he closed his eyes. He would open them a little sometimes in a drifting off to sleep way, then close them. He was so peaceful, so still. I began to think. I wondered what was going on in his mind. I wondered what the world looks like to him. I thought about the times I have raised my voice in frustration or anger....the times I have popped him on the leg for kicking, hitting, screaming, throwing things....
I wondered where he will go, what he will do, who he will have as friends, how he will get along in this sometimes very cruel world. I prayed for him. I prayed he would know we love him. I prayed for patience. I prayed for his health, peace, and that he will enjoy this life. I prayed for Grouchy to heal from the wounds of this world that doesn't have much tolerance for things outside the "norm," as we learned the hard way twice during our travels when people made their cruel, judgmental remarks regarding Garrett's behavior. Then I prayed God would take Garrett's soul even if Garrett can never make a decision regarding his own salvation. I believe God will do that.......but I have some serious doubts and issues with who God is and exactly how or what he cares about in this much is so incredible unfair. What's the point of creating beings to roam a place like this and endure suffering that we see.....not that ours is comparatively that bad. But I think of our dear friends who lost their child. Our friend at church whose daughter lost her newlywed husband years ago. My friends on the Parent 2 Parent board whose mito kids have already passed away. My friend Kim and her family as they watch Barett already breaking down under the cruel disease of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. What's the point????

I digressed, and not into a rosy topic, but I leave you with this.
Sometimes getting into the crib, getting on our kids' levels, just taking a time out and BEING THERE in that moment in time, can yield incredible bonding.
So take a moment with someone, somewhere in the next week. Get on their level. Might be a child, co-worker, elderly parent or stranger, even.
Listen. Feel. Love.

Oh, and I plan to spend time in the crib with Garrett every night as long as time allows.



  1. I am bawling like a baby!!! Asa understands so much of what we say but has no way of giving us a response back. Other than crying, screeching, yelling. And then there are the hugs (he just started to squeeze back a little!), the big eyes that sparkle, the way he pats my back or holds onto my ear (his new favorite lovely!!). On how my heart breaks to hear his thoughts and fears and joys and celebrations. Maybe, just maybe the silence is harder than the not walking and not eating. Not maybe, it is definitely harder!!

    I'm not sure Asa's crib could hold us both! I've been wanting to move him to a twin bed but his room isn't big enough for a twin bed. A toddler bed won't work since he will roll off and my poor back needs him elevated! I do crave our cuddles at nap time and night time! Such a precious time!

    Thank you for this amazing post!

  2. Oh wow, what a post....

    I agree with you and with Kim...really the silence and the wondering what is really going on in his head is so hard. I also worry about Tucker's future of course. Tucker moved to his big boy twin bed fairly easily, and I love cuddling with him at bedtime, too. The other night I went to hug him and he said "get out my bed!" I was proud of him for saying a 4-word sentence, but he also hurt my feelings!

    I have so many issues with the suffering I see all around me....even when we are having a good week, I see so many families dealing with the loss of children and close relatives....I often wonder what is the point?

    Can't wait to meet you!!

  3. When I told Garrett, "I Love you" the other day, he kissed me square on the mouth and said, "I Love you!" Made my day! Made me sad..... My emotions run high as you prepare for your move. I will miss moments like that. I am happy for you, sad for us!