One False Move

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 13 January 2015 @ 4:58 pm

Photo credit: iStock

Photo credit: iStock

I had added an additional hour to my travel time.
I walked slowly on the concrete sidewalk.
I crossed cautiously across the street.

Yet, not a single one of these precautions saved me from the icy brickwork.

What I Learned from Falling Flat on my Face

  1. Falls happen in slow motion
  2. It is really true. As it was happening, time seemed to slow down, yet I was powerless to stop it.

  3. Falls are clumsy-looking.
  4. I am not graceful under the very best of circumstances. In fact, one of the things I love best about my yoga studio is that there are no mirrors. Without mirrors, I continue to see myself (doesn’t get more reflexive than that!) as graceful poetry-in-motion. And taller. MUCH taller. I was horrified this past summer to take a class in a mirrored studio while on vacation and realize that the clumsy elephant clunking about in the back was me.

    Lying splat! on the ground, I resembled a sprawled-out elephant, limbs flaying everywhere.

  5. If one is going to fall, best place to do it is at the hospital.
  6. I had just dropped off a friend for an outpatient procedure when I fell. At least, God-forbid, had I needed medical attention, the professionals wouldn’t have had far to travel.

  7. Humans can be fixed, things can’t.
  8. Yes, this is what I actually thought when I hit the ground. “Oh my God, is my phone OK?” And then, “What luck! My coffee landed butter side up.”

  9. People might truly be good at heart, but that doesn’t mean they will stop.
  10. That’s right; not a single person stopped to see if I was OK. Not. One. And that made me sad.

Today is a different story. Today I am sore, bruised, and nursing a battered ego. Fifteen minutes of ice every hour, ibuprofen, and rest has been the order of the day as I thank God that I didn’t hit my tender head or break something.

And today is the day I decided to always ask someone if they need help. Because even when you don’t need it, it sure feels good to know that someone cares.

{ 5 comments }

Attunement

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 22 December 2014 @ 12:35 am

I’ve been the mother of a child with special needs for nearly fourteen-and-a-half-years. Which kind of makes me an expert.

Or so I thought.

Recently, I was reminded of what happens when I don’t take the time to step back and better anticipate what can be done to make Ben’s life easier. For that experience to have meaning, I cannot simply sweep it aside with “well no one can anticipate everything” or “it was really the school’s responsibility to (fill-in-the-blank).” Jewish Tradition teaches that we must get in-between the black spaces and the white spaces in order to wrestle with the text and emerge with a better, and deeper, understanding. So too do we approach life.

Chanukah, while deeply loved by my kids, also present some challenges for Ben. Late nights. The anticipation of the gifts. The disappointment of opening a gift that wasn’t what he wanted. Frustration over the dreidel game. The smell of the latkes. And the list goes on.

I can’t change most of what makes this week hard for Ben. Yes, I can try to make Chanukah happen early enough for Ben, whose circadian rhythm shuts down around 6:00pm during Standard Time. I can frontload him in order to minimize his disappointment and, God-willing, avoid any resulting melt-downs. But those are coping mechanisms and strategies.

What if I approach Chanukah from his perspective? Or what Dr. Carla Naumburg, in Parenting in the Present Moment, calls “attunement.”

The smell of the latkes frying in the oil literally makes Ben sick to his stomach.
Insisting that our Chanukah celebration will be incomplete without latkes, as I have done every year, does not validate his very real sensations.
In fact, it probably reinforces his feelings of inadequacy.

I had been looking forward, this year, to trying all sorts of new latke recipes. “One for each night…”
Until I realized, thanks to Dr. Naumburg, that Ben needs something different from me.

Lilly and Jacob have their right to having a positive Chanukah experience, replete with gifts, dreidels, and latkes.
And so does Ben.
Shifting my approach will allow me to create better, and more positive, Jewish memories for all of my children.
(Warren, good man that he is, says he doesn’t care how I make them because “everything you make is delicious.”)

So yes, we are still having latkes this year.
But oven-baked. And made on the waffle-griddle.
The miracle of the oil will be retold and memorialized in other ways.

Bonus: Some really terrific strategies for families with kids who experience the world differently.

************
hanukkah hoopla

I’m participating in a #HanukkahHoopla with 7 other Jewish bloggers. In the spirit of the season, we’re giving 8 gifts to 8 lucky commenters.

I’m giving away a copy of Carla Naumburg’s Parenting in the Present Moment and a copy of my CD, Soul’s Delight.

You can comment on my blog or any of the #HanukkahHoopla blogs all the way until the end of the 2014. Click on the menorah to be magically transported to the schedule where you’ll find links to visit other fabulous writers and increase your chances of winning holiday cyber-swag!

If you respond on my blog, answer this to win:

What is one thing you can do to stay “attuned” to your kids?

Winners will be selected randomly. The giveaway will end on December 31st, 2014.

Disclosure: I was not compensated to participate in this campaign. I have provided this FABULOUS prize to celebrate #HanukkahHoopla.

{ 12 comments }

Crushed

December 9, 2014

I don’t usually cry about the difficulties of rearing a child with special needs. Not because I don’t feel the sadness. But because I’ve steeled myself against it. And because I’m afraid that once I start, it will be too difficult to stem the flow. But tonight, I am crying. I am crying for my […]

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The Reader’s Story

December 2, 2014

Every book tells a story. (That is, after all, the point of a book.) Some books, however, tell a story about the reader. For those of us whose lives depend on the written word for sustenance, we hold especially dear those titles that tell a piece of our story. And for me, The Chosen is […]

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Mission Accomplished: Ted Talk

November 13, 2014

I have a list. It’s akin to a bucket list, I suppose. But it is not about places I want to go or things I want to see. Or, I should say, it’s not just about those things. It’s a list of the things that I want to accomplish. Like learn Yiddish. I want to […]

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Bitter, Bitter Cheshvan

November 4, 2014

With the intensity of our Fall Holy Days behind us, we find ourselves in the month of Cheshvan. Known as Mar Cheshvan, or “bitter Cheshvan,” it is the only month on our calendar devoid of festivals or fast days. And it is for that reason that many have assumed it was given its alternate name. […]

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Sinking

October 23, 2014

I haven’t been writing. Or exercising nearly as much as I’d like. Or keeping up with friends. Or even wishing them happy birthday on Facebook. Things here in AutismLand have been difficult. For months. Really difficult. Really, really, really difficult. I feel as though I spend my days under the weight of quick sand. Sinking. […]

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#BlogElul 2: Act

August 28, 2014

I am terrible at predicting trends. For example, I predicted Cyndi Lauper would be more successful than Madonna, Tiffany over Debbie Gibson, and never, never would I have thought that nearly the entire world would have jumped on the ALS #IceBucketChallenge. To the tune of nearly $100M in a month. I have a perfect track […]

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#BlogElul 1: Do

August 27, 2014

Elul means different things to different people. As a pulpit rabbi, it is a time filled with intense pressure and infinite spiritual potential. Every waking moment and, truth be told, some sleeping ones are filled with High Holy Day prep. Going over the liturgy, looking for nuances that resonate in a new way, and practicing […]

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Lamentations

August 5, 2014

#487699779 / gettyimages.com It’s been so long that I can no longer remember what, if anything, I really knew about Tisha b’Av prior to rabbinical school. All of that changed during my first year at HUC in Jerusalem. Just a few weeks into our Israel experience, we were expected to mourn for something that we […]

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