This blog is not about to make light of how serious living with and caring for someone with a disability can be. However, for sanity reasons for both myself and those I care for I have had to look at those things that strike me and my kids as funny. We often look back at these times and have a laugh, especially when things are not looking great, or we’ve had a moment or 10!
Looking at the brighter side of life is a great learning tool for everyone. I can assure you that during many of the following stories that I’m about to share, it wasn’t necessarily that funny in the moment. But, with time and the realisation of how much we all have grown through these moments I’m definitely ready to share.
In my experience, when you least expect it, is when your child on the spectrum will make you laugh. Point in case was when the Head Mistress met me at the school gate one afternoon when #2 son was in grade 3. #2 son had had an incident in the playground that she needed to discuss with me. I inwardly groaned – what has he done this time? The Head Mistress explained that there had been a skipping rope incident and the she required #2 son to apologise. It went something like this: -
Head mistress “#2 son say sorry”
#2 Son looking at his feet mumbled “Sorry”
Head Mistress “For????”
At this point #2 son looks at the Head Mistress with a strange questioning look on his face. Looks back down at the floor and says quite clearly “Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.” Catching a very stern Head Mistress off guard she promptly dismisses both the children back to class, closed her office door and laughed for around 10 minutes. She had bought me into the office, not to discuss his bad behaviour that day, but the unexpected laugh she received that came from the discipline that had been given out. #2 son and I often laugh about this incident when reminiscing about ‘funny things’ he has said and done while growing up. He has learned not to always take things so literally, however every now and then still catches both of us off guard when he is extremely literal – I love these moments.
Often another side of disability that is not discussed in most circles is continence. When the film “Death at a Funeral” was released I took #1 son to the cinema to see it. We didn’t often get time together that was fun and relatively normal. There is one particular scene in the film where the old uncle needs to get the bathroom urgently. Needless to say, there was an incident where the carer was “Freaking out” because he had inadvertently gotten poo on his hand and face. Well #2 son and I looked at each other and lost it (with laughter). Continence issues were so big in our lives that stage, we didn’t see the shock value the rest of the cinema saw. We saw the funny side – how on earth does poo get there? The only thing was we were the only ones in the whole cinema laughing. How was that not funny? Maybe it was too close to home, at that time we often had poo from here to kingdom come and let’s face it, if it doesn’t make you cry you have to laugh!
There are many down sides in the living with a disability day to day. However, if you try to be thankful for what you have, and not resentful for what you don’t have your life as a carer and a person living with disability will have highlights throughout every day. Celebrate the small things, learn from the harder lessons sent your way. Laugh, it certainly relieves the tension, makes you feel better and helps you cope with all the different life experiences that come your way.