• Laura Sylvester

Going off on an Appreciation Rampage

Updated: May 7

Originally posted 3/13/2011

Orbit asleep on his bed. (I haven’t yet tried to get a picture of him asleep on Elliot’ bed in fear of waking them)

I awoke this morning feeling very grateful for sleeping past 5am – WOOHOO! Elliot climbed in our bed, which he doesn’t usually do until he is awake and ready for our morning talk and cuddle. But this morning there’s a BIG YELLOW DOG in his bed. OMG there is a big yellow dog in Elliot’s bed – WOOHOO!


There are times like these, when an entire river of thought and emotion suddenly overcome me in a sort of a getting- high-on-life flash. Although my life is nowhere near how I pictured it would be 10 years ago, I have to admit that I actually LOVE IT. I love who I am because of my experiences and, in many ways, in spite of them. I love that I often wake up in the morning, look around me, and my eyes fill with tears of appreciation. I know everyone with a child with autism does not feel this way. I know many families who have it much harder than us. But I also know I did not always feel this way… I actually worked hard at getting to feel this way. I learned to examine my beliefs and to focus on the good stuff all around me. Only then could I see and more fully appreciate the treasures that are everywhere. When it comes down to it – I think the only thing that I really can control is my focus.


So focus, Laura, focus – the rampage …


I appreciate my husband for his laid back, let it go attitude that rubs off on me a little bit everyday. For the way he loves Elliot and now for the way he loves Orbit. I love him for his unique view of the world and witty sense of humor.


And Elliot… I love his crazy noises (the insanely realistic train brake screeching sound and the bublabublabubla of the wet dog shake re-inactment). I love how he uses lines from movies to communicate what he is feeling or thinking. The other day, Rick told him not to do something and Elliot looked at Rick and said  “Sibma’s going back to challenge Scar!” For those of you who have seen Lion King I think he made his point, don’t you? I appreciate the countless lessons I have learned in the process of trying to help my son - the biggest lesson being that HE is really the one is helping me. I also appreciate Elliot’s complete non-willingness to conform to what our society wants him to be.


And then there’s that big yellow dog stretched out in Elliot’s bed – I appreciate that he found us (a story for another blog), I love the smell of his paws and the touch of his fur, and the cute way he freezes when he hears a strange new sound – especially crinkly packages. I love the way he follows Elliot around with no expectations of anything in return. I am grateful for how much he loves to cuddle and wants to be near us. I appreciate him for his sweet sensitive personality and calm demeanor. And yesterday, as he and Rick played golf in the backyard I was struck by the ease of their play, how Orbit was fully engaged playing with his Dad and I cried tears of appreciation for the gift Orbit now was giving Rick.



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