School term starts here tomorrow, and like most parents we will be a mixture of happy and sad to get back into the nornal routine. This is probably the last year we won’t be able to go away in non-school holidays, but even if you are not at school then there is something about the new season of late summer/early autumn that is different from hot days in August, even if it’s just packing up the cricket whites and getting out the football kit instead!
I am quite relieved but a bit anxious as we recently had speech and language therapy for our son and he is being referred to a paediatrican (not a paedophile) for further assessment as they think he might be on the spectrum of Autism. They are also going to support him as he starts in nursery at school for the first time. His favourite thing is counting and memorising the alphabet, which we’ve always known was slightly unusual for his age, but not maybe that different from alot of other little boys. I find his fascination and focus on one thing really difficult to feign interest in, and sometimes hide his favourite alphabet books as I can’t bear to read them with him again!
Someone told me the phrase “atypical” is often a more positve one than “abnormal”, as this describes how he interacts in a more unexpected way but is no different on the inside than anyone else.
Part of the problem is me. I am not very good at focusing on the here and now, and spend too much time planning, thinking about the future, or how I coudl have done things differently in the past, and find it difficult to think about the A-Z and nothing else! Sometimes when an event I have planned, itself comes round I sometimes feel a bit disappointed that the moment in time can’t be sort of frozen or spread out as it always seems to go by so fast. We met up as a famly for my Dad’s birthday, and all the preparations and discussions seemed to go on for weeks, in a nice way, and then it was all over and there was a big pile of washing up.
Some of my most spiritual moments have been when I’ve been able to be “present” in the here and now, and try and block out the future and the past. Most psychologists would say that the past is a living part of us, especially when we are carrying trauma or suffering around with us as a painful memory.
Other faiths also focus on mindfulness, and mediation, and the Christian tradition is perhaps less famous for this. Time apart from the world was really important to Jesus though, some stories describe him trying to get away from the crowds to be alone, or wandering off in the night when the disciples were asleep to be alone for a while.
As 1930’s writer Marie Beynon Ray put it:
“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.”
So, this term I’m setting myself some homework of making space and enjoying “now” more.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P,Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z