Monday, October 1, 2012
The CRUX...climbing as metaphor
What I love about the sport is the fact that it engages your whole self....mind, body and spirit. It challenges you to creatively press on, acknowledging that one can quit at any time....That is, unless you commit to keep going. To look back and know that you pressed on and made it is an amazing feeling.
Lots of people seem to think that climbing is about the thrill. For me and a lot of other folks, it isn't. I find that it is a holistic and creative challenge--microcosmic metaphor for life itself. Life offers us lots of cruxes, and we can either breathe, shake out our arms and keep pressing on, or quit. We can request for our belayer (or our support folks) to seriously cut us some slack, hold us up, or let us go.
I love the challenge of climbing. I love what it teaches our children. When things are tough, you can get frustrated have a meltdown on the rock (as our daughter has done), or you can breathe....keep calm and climb on. There is always a way through, it just usually takes some patience, perseverance and belief in oneself.....we just need keep persisting and trust we'll find the next hold or resting spot.
Two years ago, we were enduring a crux of sorts. I vividly recall sitting on the floor of the bathroom at the neuropsych office after hearing the results of my son's assessment / evaluation .... and bawling my eyes out. We were encouraged to begin a trust for him...that it was likely he'd never be verbal, and that we should prepare for a lifetime of caregiving. Emotionally I could not grasp that....all I could imagine was a miserable life ahead, and only struggle. We agreed to take things one day at a time...to continue with plans for early intervention, to access appropriate resources and support, and to breathe in the moment...
Similar to looking for the next hand or foot-hold, we took things as they came. Eventually things fell into place and Kai began intensive in-home therapy with Easter Seals. In June of this year, he graduated. He is extremely verbal, and he is in a neurotypical kindergarten classroom. Who woulda thunk...our kid.
On Thursday, Channel 58 will be coming to Kai's school to do story about Kai's journey, which has really been all of our journey. They want to feature how Kai's success has been largely the result of early intervention, with hopes that resources will begin to increase in this area for other families like ours. I will be interviewed (yikes!), as well as Kai's teachers and others who have been witness to his progress. It should be interesting....I'm nervous as heck.
While I have mixed feelings about doing the interview (Kai is a complex little kiddo, and I hope the jist of the interview accurately captures the reality of this complexity), my true hope is to convey the struggle that so many parents of children with special needs face. It really IS a very difficult, and often lonely journey which I don't think most folks understand. Caring for a child with special needs affects an entire family, and often it does feel like an uphill battle.....a sustained crux if you will.
I guess this is the part where I sit back and breathe...look back and think, "wow, we made it this far."
I will often sit back and watch very accomplished climbers finesse their way through a route, thinking "wow, that's amazing. How do they do it?" While it is tempting to think I'll never climb that well, I need to pause and reflect on the work it takes to get there. One crux at a time.....we climb on.
Posted by Chris P-M at 8:04 PM