31 March 2008

What the....?

Hey, how did we get to the end of March already? I presume it has been in the usual way, but from here it is speeding past.

I can recall instances of crushing boredom before I became somebody's mother. Time just crawled, with some afternoons threatening to stretch on into the next week if I didn't find something to do. Now I barely keep track of the date before I find it has moved on.

There has been a lot going on. I have decided to get into more of the classes that my gym offers. It's a 'ladies only' gym, which makes it very relaxed. Less worry about primping, none of the dust pawing steroid boys to drench the atmosphere with testosterone laced sweat. Not that there isn't a time and place for that, but it can be inhibiting. Without them, we can be a lot more casual, and much less concerned about what we look like.

Anyway, there are several other mothers of autistic children who are regulars at this gym, and it isn't too challenging to work out why. Exercise helps keep the mind calm and the body happy. It keeps us strong and springy enough for those sudden instances when a sprint is called for... these kids can really move. I've been doing weight training, cardio, yoga and pilates. To this I added another pilates class and a 'body pump' class, which is weight training really energetically, with lots of reps, to music.

My performance wasn't all that stellar in the first 'body pump.' I had taken a place near the back, and when the music began, I couldn't hear much of what the instructor was saying. She kept having to leave her special raised platform to thread through the others in order to correct me. If she told me more than two directions at once, I knew I was certain to miss some of it. I fell out of step quite a lot. I figured if I watched carefully I might be able to follow. This worked until the routine required us to lie down. Then I couldn't see the teacher or hear her. I did feel I'd had a good workout, and was stiff and sore the next day, so I got something out of it. Next week, I said, I'd get there in time to grab a place closer to the front.

There is one mother who is often at the gym when I'm there. Her son is autistic, and close to Linus' age. He is fascinated with broken glass, and if he gets the chance, will chew on the bits, oblivious to pain or blood. My two don't try to eat broken glass, for which I'm grateful. This mother tells the most hair raising stories, but here's the thing: She's a cheerful, happy person. She laughs often, and it's contagious. People like to be around her. I'm fascinated with how someone can face such difficulty, so many regularly occurring crises and be so clearly happy and cheerful. She says she has her moments, and I'm sure that's true. But her baseline, her default state, is one of happiness.

I love talking with her, because I'm dying to know how she does it. I'm making an informal study, and if I learn any techniques, I'll be certain to write them down.

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