Home > General, Top Ten > Do you have a Top 10?

Do you have a Top 10?

While writing about my state of mind while cleaning up messes, getting to doctors, and dealing with unusual behavior provides me with an endless source of material, I like to switch it up once in a while. So today I thought I would give you one of my Top Tens. I have a Top Ten for a lot of things, vacation destinations, foods, music groups, and each of my children. On days like the day I spent cleaning up one mess after another, I try to remember as many things on my Top Ten list about each child as possible. It helps me keep things in perspective and quite frankly, to pass the time pleasantly during an otherwise unpleasant task.

My Top Ten for James:

1. He smiles all the time. It is so easy to make James smile or laugh. If you meet him, try it. And, I don’t need to tell you that while his disability is not, smiling and laughing can be contagious.

2. He doesn’t ask for or expect much. We can actually take him to a toy store and leave with nothing. If he asks and we say no, he takes that at face value. He gets excited when there are Ramen noodles in his stocking.

3. His family makes up his best friends, and he’s okay with that. I want James to have friends, and I worry about him having friends. But for those of you who know exactly how much fun a playdate can be, especially with a group of special needs kids, I am grateful that he enjoys hanging out with his family so much!

4. He is really affectionate. Though we have gotten James to tone it down a bit, I love that he hugs and kisses everyone so much. When I was 10 I was ducking kisses like it was my job.

5. He says “I love you” all the time, to everyone. While the police officer or mailman  might think it’s a little strange, I am convinced that James makes someone’s day once in a while when he spontaneously tells them he loves them.

6. He loves his brother and sister to death. James is so proud of being a big brother, and when I watch him fake sneezing all the way home so that his baby brother stops crying, I am reminded of how good a big brother he actually is.

7. He is very polite to strangers. I get compliments all the time on this one. For all of James’s issues, he’s got this one figured out.

8. He is nice. We have had lots of experience with “typical,” smart, mean kids over the years. James is nice to everyone. He will play or hang out with anyone. How many people can say that? I can’t!

9. He is a good traveler. Seriously, we can go for hours and hours with a gameboy, some books and a bottle of water. And some good views out the window.

10. He is easy to entertain. He can play video games alone, blocks or marbles with his sister, read a book in his room, and even follow along to a toddler activity and not seem bored.

11. He tries so hard. Okay, baker’s dozen but who cares? I couldn’t leave this one out. James tries so hard in all aspects of his life and he doesn’t complain about it or think it is unfair. Everything is so much harder for him – school, getting dressed, playing sports, makings friends. Things I just take for granted he works so hard every day to accomplish.

Do you have a Top Ten? If you don’t, try it out. It is easier to come up with than you may think, and it feels good when you can do it for many aspects of your life. I usually have 5 or 6 more things to add to the Top Ten for each of my family members when I am done, which makes me feel even better. If you do have one and want to share any of your list below or on The Sharing Page I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great day (Happy Passover to those of you who are celebrating today)!

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  1. Crazy Grandma
    April 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Michaela – so eloquently said! James is and will always be such a pure soul.
    Marcie – I remember you and Hunter in Ohio, and your ststement was also beautiful.
    You are both such inspirational mothers! Sincerely, Anne

  2. Marcie
    April 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    All right, so I worked on Hunter’s today… this was difficult for me. Having a nonverbal 13 year old with severe behavior issues… well I had to dig deep. So here goes… (my apologies, Michaela, as some are similar to yours!)

    My Top 10 for Hunter

    1. He has a great smile. Hunter’s smile truly lights up a room. Most people, if they see him smile, will smile back. It’s that contagious 🙂

    2. He is easily entertained. Hunter will watch the same shows, play with the same blocks, day after day. He doesn’t get bored at all. Yes, this is part of his autism, but it’s also something that makes my life much easier (especially with 4 other younger children needing CONSTANT entertainment, it seems!).

    3. He enjoys sweet foods. I love that Hunter inherited his love for sweet foods from me… and by sweet, I mean cakes and cookies. We both have a tremendous sweet tooth and neither of us apologize for it LOL!

    4. He knows how to say he’s sorry without saying a word. Hunter is obviously nonverbal, but if he does something wrong, he will lay his head on your shoulder to tell you he is sorry. I love that gesture. It’s a genuine act, and he means it.

    5. He is proud of what he can do. Hunter has a small skill set, but he is extremely proud of the things he can do—such as put his clothes down the laundry shute, take off his own shoes, and put his dirty diapers out in the garage trash can. These skills took him a while to learn. The grin he gives when he does them shows me that he is quite pleased with himself.

    6. He is a super sleeper. Compared to most autistic children (from what I’ve been told, at least), Hunter is a great sleeper. He goes to bed easily at around 9 PM and wakes up at around 7 AM. Seldom does he wake during the night. I am truly thankful for this, especially when the twins have me up a few times!

    7. He loves sports. I love sports, and I am so glad that I have a son who will gladly watch college football all day on Saturdays in the fall, and who loves March Madness just as much as I do.

    8. He listens well. Overall, Hunter does what I tell him to do. He minds me, for the most part. Yes, I have to raise my voice at times, but he IS 13, so that’s to be expected 😉

    9. He is compliant about diaper changes. Something else that I appreciate so much more with having twin 11 month olds who are NOT very good about lying still when I am changing their diapers!

    10. He needs me. Hunter will always need me, that much I know. My other children will someday realize that their mom is NOT the smartest, prettiest, nicest person in the world. They will move on in their own lives. For Hunter, I will always be the person who helps him and who he needs.

    • April 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      That’s what I mean about the power of sharing – your list totally inspires me, especially with the 4 younger ones on top of it all! Thanks for sharing your Top Ten!

  3. Marcie
    April 19, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Gotta admit… I’ve never tried this before! I’ll give it a shot with my kiddos this week while I’m on break and post the results when I’m done 🙂

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