Vision can be an amazing thing. When I remember that I have a vision for something, and I actually keep it in front of me, things seem to magically fall into place. Well, okay, maybe not exactly magically but with significantly greater ease. It’s true, I swear!
When I was in my thirties and still lamenting being single —having met Mr. Rightbutnotrightnow, Mr. WhenHellfreezesover, Mr. OopsdidIneglecttomentionmydivorceisnotfinalized, Mr. Rightfortonight, etc. —I created a vision of what I wanted in the man in my life. Now, let me be perfectly clear and up front; we’re not talking the wish list of “looks like [insert celebrity hunk name here]” or “makes XX amount of money.” More like “loves children and wants a family,” “Education and learning are important to him,” and “makes taking care of himself a priority.” There was more but those were among the top five characteristics I knew I wasn’t willing to compromise on.
I held onto that vision and didn’t compromise; I had a lot of first and second dates that never went any further. And then, one day…BAM! There he was, the man you know as Niksdad; and he was everything that was most important to me and more.
Somewhere along the line —okay, ever since Nik was born —I stopped making time to create visions for the really important things in my life. Some people might prefer to call it a roadmap or a path —it all depends on the technology or ideology you may have learned along the way. In any case, the net result is the same. We’re talking about drifting through life —and through some pretty major events in that life —on a river with a swift current, hidden rocks, and sudden rapids. And here I am floating along without a life vest and an extra paddle or even a clue as to where the shore is.
See, the thing about having a vision and keeping it present every day is that —eventually —one of two things will happen. You’ll either decide it’s not really what you want and let it go with grace or you’ll take steps to make it happen. Like with my vision for Niksdad; I didn’t actively go out and look for him, I merely changed my behavior so that my standards were higher and my needs became clearer to me. In other words, I stopped settling for less than I wanted.
So it has been with this homeschooling, home educating —call it what you will —taking Nik out of school. While it was all well and good to give myself an adjustment period to “figure out what our schedule looks like” and yadda yadda yadda, I’ve realized if I don’t steer this course —hell, if I don’t set a course —we will simply be adrift. Together, but adrift none the less.
So I have started to think long and hard about what I want our daily life to feel like, what sorts of things I want to expose Nik to, how to make it all fit together. I’ve started to create — (drumroll, please) a vision. It’s not complete by any stretch. But there are pieces which are crystal clear to me. The process is illuminating.
And you know what I’m learning along the way? Something I knew once but forgot; Vision is about hope, about possibilities, dreaming maybe a little bit bigger than you think you deserve or can handle. And most important of all? Having a vision requires an open heart —something I haven’t let myself have in a long time. It’s a scary, oh-so-vulnerable place to be. If my heart is open then there is a very large chance that it could get bruised or broken; I don’t suffer disappointments well and certainly not on my son’s behalf. But, open it I must. The nice thing is that my heart is like any other muscle in my body; the more I use it and exercise it the bigger and stronger it becomes.
The more I open my heart and let in hope and possibility, the more that comes back to me.
Serendipity seems to abound when I have my vision groove on, too. This week, as a result of my warbling about repurposing dreams and such, things began to fall into place.
I was at the YMCA on Saturday, having worked out with my new buddy Andrea; as I was leaving, I stopped at the desk to inquire about pool schedules. One of the things I’ve wanted to do is get Nik back into the water; he loves it and really gets a lot of benefit from the sensory input. I over heard the following from the woman in line ahead of me “I’d like to inquire about the special adapted swim for kids with special needs? My son has autism and I think he’d really benefit from this.” Next thing I know this mom and I are exchanging names and contact details and talking about the program her son is in, etcetera, etcetera. Meanwhile, we both left a note for the new aquatic director. I’d done that in the past and not gotten a response so I didn’t have great expectations about anything working out.
HA! That was in my pre-vision days, obviously. Tonight, I received not one but two phone calls from the new aquatic director. She’s only been there a few weeks and is totally revamping the entire swimming instruction program. The first call was to find out more about Nik and what we are looking for. The second call —less than thirty minutes later!! —was to tell me that she has an instructor who is already working with some special needs kids and is available to do one on one with Nik on Monday afternoons beginning on February 25th! She is going to check with the other mother to see if she would like to have her son join us; if not then Nik will have one on one pool time every Monday afternoon —all for $35!
So, if you ask me how this vision-holding thing is working out I’d have to say…
Wait for it…
Swimmingly! I’ll keep you posted…