Thanks for Cleaning the Vibrator

Gratitude is important. That is why after my husband and I had sex last night, I said, ”Thanks for cleaning the vibrator.” My husband has a very large penis and gratitude is important. So I also verbally expressed gratitude for his thick dick.

Gratitude is nice because it helps the person you are thanking feel good.  But the main purpose of saying “thank you”, is that I’m more happy when I feel grateful.

When there was no school this summer, I often went to the public library with my typical eight year-old son.  It was really nice to pick out books with him and do something “normal”.  When we would get home, my autistic son would joyfully rip off the barcodes that were taped to the books.  I returned the books recently and tried to run away before the librarian noticed.

“Didn’t these books used to have barcodes on them?” the librarian said.   I nodded yes and patiently listened while he kept explaining why they needed the barcodes.

He talked for a while and I did my best to be present with him in a patient way.   I finally admitted that my eleven year-old is autistic and he likes to rip off the barcodes.   I chuckled awkwardly and said, “If you want to come over and figure out a way to keep him from doing that, that would be great.”

The librarian looked at me patiently for several seconds.  I said, “I could put the books up on a very high shelf?”  ”But then,” the librarian said thoughtfully, “they wouldn’t get read.”

I stood there, waiting to get dismissed.  I thought, “There is no solution to this.”  But the librarian was in no hurry and wanted to help.  After a while, he finally said, “Since you know the barcodes are going to be ripped off, why don’t you take off the barcodes yourself when you get home, and then tape them back on before you return them.”

I smiled and felt joyful and told him how brilliant he was.  I felt truly grateful to be in the presence of such an amazing brainstormer and patient problem-solver.  This is why autism is cool.  Part of the home program we do to help cure my son, focuses on showing gratitude and celebrating when Cal looks at us or talks to us.  I spend a lot of time practicing gratitude because it’s part of the program.  The more authentically grateful I am when Cal interacts with me, the faster he gets cured.

Before autism came into my family, I was self-righteous and arrogant.  (I still am but less so.)  Before autism, I probably would have gotten in a fight with the librarian.  I would have told him off even before he had the chance to help me.  Then, I would have spent the rest of the day complaining how badly the government runs things and how scary it is how we spend our tax dollars.  I would have obsessively wondered why God makes people so stupid.

Instead of feeling self-righteous and angry, I felt love and gratitude for this civil servant.  I wrote a thank you note to him on the engraved stationary from Tiffany my Mom gave me as a birthday gift.  This morning, I gave the librarian the thank you note and then played with Cal.  I have no idea what the librarian will think when he reads it.  However, I do know, that I when I brought Cal his lunch later, even though he was crying, I thought, “What can I be grateful for?”  So I authentically thanked him for eating his kale and celebrated him for having such a healthy appetite.    He looked at me and stopped crying.  Then we talked playfully about everyone in our family and who has the healthiest appetite.  Cal looked at me and smiled and said, “Yeah,” when I shouted, “I bet you have an even healthier appetite than Daddy!”  Cal kept eating and I sang a line from Mr. Rogers, “There’s the cooking way to say I love you. . .”  Cal looked at me and sang, “There’s the cooking way . . .”  He stopped and I filled in the rest, “to say I love you.”

 

6 Responses to “Thanks for cleaning the vibrator”

  1. bethy says:

    Dick, kale and librarians, now that takes talent!

    “The more authentically grateful I am when Cal interacts with me, the faster he gets cured.”

    That seems like a lot of pressure for one person…(you)

  2. SiteAdmin says:

    bethy, thanks for the comment.

    i do put a lot of pressure on myself. the son-rise program(which we do with cal) frames it differently than i wrote. the son-rise program says that it will help inspire us and cal if we are grateful, then cal chooses what he wants to do. so, i’m glad you noticed what i wrote because now i will do my best to put less pressure on myself and remember it’s up to cal.

  3. ellen sandor says:

    I am extremely grateful that your writing is still quirky. very very deep, very very authentic, and pretty funny. But I am still grateful for quirky!

  4. SiteAdmin says:

    hi mom,
    thanks for being such an inspirational mother!

  5. Julie says:

    love the lesson on being patient and grateful with people. Funny how you realize your own prejudices – and discover that sometimes it’s more convenient to assume that people aren’t as efficient or effective as you are. It’s hard not to want to just bulldoze other people. I’m going to try to teach myself to be more patient and therefore, more effective.

  6. SiteAdmin says:

    hi julie,
    thanks for that insight. i believe i am more effective when i’m patient. that’s a really smart way to look at life!

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