The site prompt today was to list my top 5 favorite fruits, and mine is pretty much like everyone’s. The taste of mangoes would make them number 1 by a mile, but as they’re such a chore to eat, it allows blueberries and pineapples to sometimes usurp the top spot. Whatever, like what you like, as long as it’s not red delicious apples.
Now, in an answer to the question “What would you tell other parents about raising a child with autism?” Angie Harrington says, “Parents need to know it’s very normal to feel overwhelmed, to feel like you lack the ability to handle this. All you can do is your best and take one step forward.”
Angie Harrington is a woman who was on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. I have sort of made a point of never having seen 1 minute of any Real Housewives edition. So, the last place I’d expect to find some real, useful wisdom is from one of the cast members. That’s what I know.
One of the things I’m learning is that truth and wisdom can be found any- and everywhere, if we only have eyes to see and ears to hear. Like fruit, we all feel pretty much the same about reality show participants. That’s a generalization, a stereotype, and ideas become generalizations because they are ‘generally’ accurate. But not always. And part of my becoming a wrinkly old man has been opening to the exceptions. That there are exceptions means that judgment is (or should be) nearly impossible. If there’s just 1, but we don’t know which 1, then we have to be open to every one. It’s a great way to live, and keeps me curious and interested, even about Real Housewives.
Angie Harrington said what she did about raising a child with autism, but it applies to parents of children without autism, non-parents, men, women, right and left handed people, of all colors, Dallas Cowboys and NY Giants fans. It applies to anyone who’s ever been overwhelmed by circumstances, which is everyone.
Maybe that’s not entirely correct, but I might (and probably would) suggest if we’ve never been overwhelmed, maybe our lives are too small. Maybe we’ve never risked anything. Maybe we’ve never run faster than we thought we could. Maybe we’re playing small.
Maybe we should be overwhelmed. Maybe we should question if we can handle this. Maybe we should be afraid, unsure, and take the step anyway.
It’s that one step that defines us, not the overwhelm, and not the uncertainty, or the avalanche of doubts. It’s not the fear, it’s the immeasurable courage of moving anyway. We all have an IF, and we all have the big choice of what to do with it. Will those ifs become the block walls that hold us or from which we leap? It may feel like just one tiny step forward but it’s actually the first letter on the blank page where we write our lives.
I hope I never stop being excited about what we’ll write today.