Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ston Addy

Santa descended upon us and much to M's delight, left only presents, and no lumps of coal.

But before we sprinkled the St. Nicholas dust and set out cookies and milk for the man in red, we went to a Christmas Eve celebration at the loft of some dear friends, Claire and Jerri. As the grown-ups gathered in the living room to talk and sing and nosh and drink and dance, Jerri set-up a DVD of Frosty the Snowman in their bedroom for M. and another little girl to watch. The other little girl soon joined the grown-ups to be with her mummy, but M. was happy amusing herself in their bedroom.

I wandered into the kitchen with Jerri to get some snacks, and peeked in on M., who was, to my amazement sitting in the center of the bed, cross-legged, and hands in a prayer position, obviously meditating. She'd placed a large quartz crystal that Claire and Jerri had on their dresser onto of a small pillow in the middle of the bed. As we watched from the kitchen, she began doing prostrations in front of this quartz crystal.

We were stunned. Where did she learn this? What is this about? I'd be just about the last person on the planet to buy into the indigo children hypothesis, but I have to say, I couldn't believe my eyes. We don't do yoga meditation at home with M. around. We don't have any crystals and candles set on altars at home. And yet here she was, deeply engaged in some kind of sacred practice.

I've asked her about it twice since then and she says, with great resolve, "Mama, I don't want to talk about it."

When M. was about four years old we were at the local supermarket check out paying for our groceries, and she suddenly got all panicked, as though she'd forgotten something.

"Fwow-wer," she'd said, "Fwow-wer."

She was agitated, so I let her take the lead. "Fowwer fowwer," she said with great urgency.

She led me back to the entrance of the store, and plucked a daisy from a mixed bouquet.

"Fowwer for ston addy. Fowwer for ston addy."

We hurried back to the cashier, and I thought she was going to give the flower to the cashier.

I said, "Did you want to give that to the lady?"

"NOOOOOOO . . . For ston addy ston addy ston addy," she started to lose it.

"Okay, okay, for ston addy," I said, not having the slightest idea what she or I were saying.

When we walked back home with our bag of groceries, I wanted to turn onto Thompson Street and take the shortcut across the playground, but she was adamant that we continue along Houston Street.

"No no no." She was tugging at my arm, dragging me along Houston toward Sullivan.

We rounded the corner, and she insisted on crossing the street.

"Ston addy ston addy," she said.

And there was the stone lady, a stone statue of the Virgin Mary outside the rectory of the Church of St. Anthony that marks the top of the block.

"Ston addy ston addy," she said, as she presented her purloined daisy to the ston addy.

I was dazzled. I don't know what to do with this sort of reverence—how to honor her spirituality and foster her spirit?


kristina said...

Somehow it seems good to be reading about crystals instead of lumps of coal---this may beg the obvious, but might she be imitating something she has seen (unbeknownst to others) someone do? (Perhaps in a video--don't know if she watches these.)

I'm daily shocked by what Charlie picks up from others. His day-to-day is pretty "regimented" these days--I know where he is and what is most likely being said to him. But some puzzling things do issue forth from him, esp. when he bursts out with things that were said to him at his old school--things I never knew-----

More to the subject, an autistic adult I've spoken to talked about similarities between religion and autism, in regard to ritual, chanting, and other practises. He has written a paper on his thoughts on Haddon's book .

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kristina -- she probably saw something about crystals on TV.

Is there a New Age shop near your home? Perhaps you could take M. there to buy a crystal for herself. If they give lessons in meditation, she might enjoy that also.

Meditation can be very helpful in dealing with anxiety and behavior issues.

Third Street said...

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Third Street - my blogspot blog has been in hiatus for a while. But OTBKB.com is up and running.


Wade Rankin said...

I don't know if she saw something on tv, but she seems to understand the spiritual side of life on a level we can only imagine. Thanks for a great post.

kristina said...

Happy New Year to your sweet M. and to you and yours--yes, hope one of us can cross the Hudson to "actually" meet in 2006!

Suzanne said...

I really enjoy reading your posts. My son is younger, so I feel sometimes that I don't have any comments that would add value, but wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading about you and sweet "M." Happy New Years!

MothersVox said...

Thanks to all of you and the very happiest of happy new years to all of you.

With the autism blog community that all of you are, I finally feel at home--for the first time since sweet M. was identified as language delayed/PDD-NOS, around this time in 2000/2001.

It's been five years in a sort of diagnostic, social and interpersonal wilderness, and soon I hope I will write about it all, map it in the hope that no one else will have to ever feel so lost as I have felt.

Thank you for your support and understanding and the gift of your blogs, which have been a such a boon to me.