I’m not sporty. At all. The girl who never got picked for a team? That was me. My husband refers to me as “indoorsy” and he is spot on. I enjoy getting cosy under a blanket with a good book or TV show. I enjoy treating myself to cups of tea, or hot chocolate…actually, chocolate in any form. Lots of chocolate. I have a feeling that I’ll make the most content old person ever, having practiced for it all my life. As long as my home has plenty of chocolate. On a Saturday evening we’ll put the kids to bed, eat take out followed by treats and watch TV, just lazing around. It does me good, but it isn’t good for me.
I don’t enjoy exercise in the way that I feel about my more passive pastimes. But I need it.
Last year was tough. For the first half of the year, I felt like I added an extra worry every day. There were big things like additional diagnoses, assessments for the other child, moving to another country…and other big things like a supportive friend moving away and trying to coordinate therapies for two children. That is the thing about life- there are never any little things, and before long I was suffocating under the weight of so many big things. After more than a decade symptom-free, I was back on two different kinds of medication for asthma. Just so I could breathe.
Once we moved, I knew I had to make changes if I was going to stay healthy for my family. We found a babysitter. Once the kids were in their respective preschools, I started going to the gym. And though there were still stressors, they didn’t seem to weigh me down so heavily. I no longer need the asthma medication- I’m breathing freely again.
Now I can’t get enough pure oxygen. Last weekend we took the kids outside to play sports. Pudding refused to join in, preferring to draw with chalk. Cubby soon tired too. We couldn’t compete with the allure of the other kids in our housing complex, who are impressively accepting of our kids, quirks and all. Instead of sinking in a chair to keep an eye on them, I suggested to Spectrummy Daddy that we had a game of tennis instead. We only have plastic Swingball rackets, and the balls didn’t have half the bounce our kids do, but we managed quite the game!
We used the driveway for a court, and both of us were running around for the ball, unable to convince the kids to collect the strays. Before long we were both a little out of breath, but this time in a good way. We had a good time, and it doesn’t hurt our kids to see us play. Maybe next time Pudding will join in too. Spectrummy Daddy even said he’d pick indoorsy me for his team. Maybe we were all winners that day, but the score was love-all.
Spectrummy Mummy is a British Expat living in Johannesburg with her diplomat husband, Pudding (an atypical five-year-old girl), and Cubby (a nearlytypical two-year-old-boy). Her work has been published by The Telegraph, Parenting Magazine, Autism Speaks and others. She has contributed to Hopeful Parents, The SPD Blogger Network and The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. She writes about Asperger’s, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad at her blog.