Singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

My son with autism is very particular.  When things aren’t exactly how he would like them to be, he becomes anxious and obsessively thinks about the problem or issue.  And whether it’s a small or big one, he has a hard time letting go.

Earlier in the week, his phone was not working properly.  We were at the grocery store so I told him that when we got home, I would take a look at it and see what we needed to do.  I also reminded him that his brother was home and he would be able to help us because he had a similar phone.  All through the store he pushed buttons, sighed with frustration, and talked about his phone not working.  I again told him we would be home soon and we could look at it then.  As we got in the van, the pushing, sighing and talking started again.  I tried to ignore it, but I found my frustration growing.

When we got home, we asked my other son for help.  As he looked at his brother’s phone, I could see the anxiety rising. I told him that even if his brother couldn’t fix the phone, we could take it to the store and get help.  He started shaking his head no. He wanted his phone fixed and he wanted it fixed now!  Thankfully, my son figured out what the issue was and rectified it.

It was enough to make this mom weary.

As I’ve thought about this and the other incidences this week, I realized how alike he and I are.  When things aren’t going my way, I too become anxious.  I start thinking about the issue over and over.  I may be able to move on to other things for a while, but eventually, my mind goes back.  I find myself wanting the solution to come quickly or rather, instantly.  I think about it and talk about it.  I talk about it and think about it some more.

It’s enough to make me weary.

So I’m trying something new.  I heard a woman talk about interrupting your obsessive or negative thinking by singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’.  I know, it sounds a little weird.  Maybe it would sound better or more spiritual if she had recommended anthCAXD3ZDS inspirational thought or a bible verse.  But she said the song is one everyone knows and it’s so simple and silly that you can’t help but stop the thoughts running through your head.

Guess what?  She’s right.

As I started to think about things on my walk this morning, I tried it.  I found myself smiling and laughing.  Partly because I thought I must be a sight to my neighbors; a grown woman walking around the neighborhood singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’!  It was enough to stop my thoughts, though.  And when I was done singing and laughing at myself, I found that I could take a step back and gain some perspective.

I’d like to tell you it was a one time thing.  It wasn’t.  The thoughts came back.  So I sang again.  And I’ll keep singing because I know that obsessing on those negative thoughts or circumstances only leads to anxiety and frustration.

So if you see me walking around singing to myself and laughing, I haven’t lost my mind, I’m trying to gain some perspective.


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