And then we danced

This morning I woke in a bad mood. I don’t quite know why. There was no reason particular reason why I should be in this state. The more I scurried around the house doing dishes, laundry and preparing Keyan’s breakfast the more irritated I became. I started to question myself? Why? Why was I in such a bad mood when I just woke up? I mean I slept well. I didn’t go to bed angry. I’m not sick. What the hell is my problem? I thought moving around getting more things done would help me feel accomplished but it made me more aggravated. I was getting mad at myself for being this way.

Then I stopped everything I was doing and took a deep breath. I thought to myself if I don’t change my mood I am in for a long miserable. Breath. What can I do to change my state of mind? Then it came to me. The answer was move – sweat – run – get the blood in my body circulating. Although I didn’t feel like working out because of my long to do list to tackle I needed to get out of this funk. I changed into my workout clothes and headed downstairs to my home gym. I scrolled Spotify and landed upon one of my favorite artists – Macklemore. “You know I’m back like I never left – Another sprint – another step”. The words could not be more perfect. In the process of getting my shoes on Keyan appeared from what we call his room. Before I continue with my morning let me tell you about Keyan’s room.

In the basement we have two storage rooms; one is quite large and houses: “A Mama Bear” office, the furnace/water heater and the Christmas decorations. The other storage room is ¼ of the size and we call it “Keyan’s room”. It has shelves on every wall and reminds me of a youth hostel. On the floor we have stacked sleeping bags, blankets and pillows – to create a soft landing space for him. If you like small spaces and having that sense of being cocooned, then you would love Keyan’s room. He often goes there after school to unwind from his day. In many special needs schools, they have something called a snoozelen room which is created to calm people. One of the features of a snoozelen room is different colored lighting – similar to what you find in a spa. We found lights that would provide the same effect. A strip of LED lights that have an adhesive backing and can be adhered to any surface. The string lights change colors: blue, green, yellow, orange and yellow. There are different settings – depending on one’s mood. The lights can either be used for a calming yoga session or revved up for a dance party. This was our way of making a snoozelen room for Keyan at home. It has been a huge success and if you are lucky enough – which most people aren’t, then we are invited in for a little snuggle.

So back to this morning. As I am getting myself ready for my workout Keyan appears from his closet. Standing there he has fingers in both ears, eyes closed and humming. Because my son cannot speak to me I like to connect with him through touch. I advance slowly so I don’t startle him. I gently wrap my arms around him for a hug. Next thing I know his arms are around me. There is a gentle swaying from side to side as though we are slow dancing – then I realize hey we are slow dancing. Instead of being concerned about getting my workout done I make the conscious decision to be all in – to be present in this very simple but magical moment. We continue to sway and I close my eyes to block out all other senses. We sway and I feel his hands on my back, his head on my shoulder and the weight of his body. Although he stands almost 6 feet tall and 160 pounds in this moment he is weightless. In this moment he feels like he did when he was an infant – safe and happy in my arms. I push the world away and think only of this moment. I breath one big inhalation and smell his hair – my thought is this man, this boy, this babe will always be my baby. I want this moment to last forever. Ok maybe not forever because he is extremely heavy but in the romantic sense of not wanting something to end. We sway – even changing the rhythm at times. I feel gratitude wash over me. I feel the connection between mother and son. I am close to tears but before they fall he releases me.

Ped days are long and exhausting for me because I am alone trying to meet all of my son’s demands. Maybe I woke up in a bad mood because the sky is grey, the winter too long or because there have been too many Ped days (snow days) so far. Keyan is limited in his abilities but then there are moments like this – moments that remind me to slow down and observe – to take what he can give me. Keyan alone helped me reset my mood and beyond that he gave me a beautiful gift. Dearest Keyan thank you for the dance - xox

© 2018 Audrey Burt

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