And the cow jumped over the moon

Jackson has a very special pillow.
We don’t go on any trip without it.
He doesn’t sit in his chair without it.
Well– truth be told it’s not really the PILLOW it’s a pillow CASE

Wait.

Let me go back about 7 years

Clay ( Jackson’s Daddy) is a MAJOR WWI history buff. Specifically the airplanes. He’s the type of guy that when you’re watching a movie says “Oh, that’s a Blah flippity blah blah but that couldn’t have flown THEN  because they hadn’t started production until…….”
Yeah. He’s THAT guy. So he had a t shirt that had an airplane on it. A WWII P40 to be exact. He LOVED this shirt, but it was wearing thin, and Clay was loathe to part with it because the design was so cool. No problem for a crafty dame like myself, I turned it into a simple t shirt pillow.

We weren’t prepared for Jackson to glom on to this pillow. But he did. It became HIS airplane pillow.

He sits in his chair and pats it.  He looks at the plane on it.  He asks for it.

It goes through a cycle of use, wash, repair, use, wash repair,repair repair.

All too soon the t shirt fabric is almost too thin to BE a pillow.  And the batting inside it matted and lumpy and misshapen from repeated washings.

Time to get creative again

I cut away everything BUT the airplane and salvage what I can.
I stabilize it ( oh how I love you SF101)  and affix it to a custom made pillow case that matches the colors and present it to Jack.

Thankfully it  passed the test. It’s been well over two years and its still going strong.

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But……… I have tried breaking the obsession.  I’ve tried introducing other pillows and pillow cases.  I want a back up.  I want something ELSE to be able to take the place……Just in case…

I’ve tried baseballs

I’ve tried Spongebob

Etc etc ad nauseum

I would place the pillow near him and I would get a resounding

Noooooo–ooooo
Loud and clear

But then. I found it

THE fabric that would TOTALLY captivate him!!

I smugly patted myself on the back, ordered the fabric and

TODAY made the pillow cases.

The fabrics? oh just…….Prints of Jacks all time favorite book Goodnight Moon ! Cows jumping over the moon! A red balloon in the great green room !! Pictures from the book.
Perfect images !!
RIGHT?! How much more perfect could it possibly be?!

You have to know–  there are at least 5 copies of Goodnight, moon! in this house.
2 ALWAYS within his reach.

I put one of the pillow cases on the spare pillow. I walk over to the chair.

He sees it and says, “Goodnight moon. La Luna”

I’m ecstatic
I put the pillow on his lap

He says, “No”

His respite worker says, “Jack , see it’s on your pillow – Goodnight moon on your pillow!”

He pushes it away and begins to make a noise that sounds like a vintage Plymouth trying to start on a cold morning.  His voice rises in pitch as he emphatically states . “Nooooo-oooooo!”  pronounced with several syllables.

I take the pillow away.

I am totally bummed  and I chalk it up to his obsession with the airplane pillow .
(Autism 1 Tina 0) I take pictures of the pillowcases and post on social media because I still think they’re pretty cool. And beautiful.

And that’s what we geek sewers do ☺️

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Now it’s night and   we are putting Jack to bed when I remember –” I gotta go retrieve Jacks pillows for bed — Aw heck. I’m not gonna put the old pillowcases back on. I’ll just leave the Goodnight Moon ones on. He never notices pillowcases on the bed.”

Wrong.

Wrong.

Wrong.

Jack  is getting into bed and all we hear is:

“Daddy. The cow jumping over the moon. I see the circles. The moon. The moon. La Luna. The moon Daddy? I see the circles. The cow jumping over the moon.”

His hands would flap. He would look at his pillow case and smile. He was animated. He was communicating. He was engaged and engaging. He kept looking at us.  He kept looking at his pillowcase.  It  went on and on long after the lights went out.

I made him happy.

I made Jackson very, very happy when I had absolutely no expectation to do so and wasn’t trying to.

I wanted Jackson to want that pillow case for his chair and enjoy it it THERE .   He didn’t.

And in my shortsightedness, that’s where I let it end. But that’s not where JACK let it end.

I wonder how often we allow our expectations to limit our enjoyment of something.

I know for Jack , whose head is resting upon pictures of the cow jumping over the moon, who went to sleep saying “Tina the moon the moon the moon Tina “– He taught me -once again – to live in the moment.  Be open to all the joy that is out there.

Other Choices

Other Choices

I’ve been busy.
Really, really, busy. I have been, as the kids today would say: ALL THE BUSY.

Looking back it’s been two and a half months since I last blogged. It’s not for lack of things to say, but lack of time that kept me away.

I work.  I am a mother.  I am a wife.  I am a “maniacal crafter”  and I sell my things (shameless plug).
I have friends I like to visit with. I have obligations.  I have places to go and people to see.
I have the occasional headache or ailment.  I have appointments.  I have stress.  I have housework.
You get the idea.
What I am trying to say is:  Life is full.

And so, the other day I was  scrolling through Facebook I saw a meme that left me laughing.  It left me laughing hard and gave me the resolve to dust off the blog .  The meme was from the good people over at Autism Hippie.  I immediately shared it over at Jack’s page.


It was this little gem:

Brilliant!

Brilliant!

Look at that.  No overly sentimental photo.  No cutesy pie pic. No vintage graphic.
Just those amazing words.

You see, special needs parents get this a lot.
HOW do you do it!?!

Do what?
Love our kids? Do what is necessary to see that they are healthy and happy? Make them a priority?
BE A LOVING AND CARING PERSON?

Make no mistake….I am aware that other parents get this.  A friend of mine has a set of triplets.  HE can tell you stories as well!

But I digress.  I am Jackson’s mama. I am Darrah’s mama. That’s some serious committment right there.
What other choice DO I have? When the going gets rough I cannot just up and leave. It’s not like I could pack up and move cross-country on a whim to escape it all.  It’s not like I could move to an ashram to navel gaze and find myself.
No.  That’s just silly.  You just pull on your  big girl panties and greet the day with love, joy, compassion, and a huge cup of coffee. Day after day after day.
You just DO.
There is no other option.
And since that is the case, I say — enjoy the hell out of it.
Enjoy the chaos, the clutter, the messy, and the struggle.
It’s what we are here for.  It’s what life is all about– putting yourself out there and greeting the day with courage no matter what.

You know who taught me that?
Jackson.
Make no mistake, life is not easy for the boy.  He’s got this whole brain tumors/autism/seizure thing going on and yet he gets up day after day with a smile on his face ready to greet the day.
He struggles, he fails.
He struggles, he succeeds.
He goes on no matter what, with joy in his heart.

How does he do it?
I am not sure he is aware that there is any other option.
And neither am I.
Jack and I?
We’re on the same page.

On the same page and on the same pillow, too

On the same page and on the same pillow, too