Herald Journal Columns
April 10, 2006 Herald Journal

Like a chocolate eclair to the ear

By LYNDA JENSEN

My son and I had the thrill of hearing the Minnesota Orchestra play last week at the Performing Arts Center in Cokato.

There is nothing in the world like a 99-piece orchestra with an energetic composer such as Osmo Vänskä.

I think the word “Vänskä” in Finnish must mean “pure energy.” He is, of course, from Finland.

Several times, Vänskä lifted off his heels, threw his hands in the air, and used his wand in a sawing motion during his exertions.

He gripped the audience and orchestra both, surrounding the auditorium with his energy. It was astounding.

The music was indescribable. It would be like a chocolate eclair to the ear, if chocolate had a sound.

My 10-year-old son was impressed, too, although he liked to whisper commentary to me, to the consternation of people sitting around us.

The performance earned a 10-minute standing ovation.

‘Just for this day’

It has been my pleasure to come into contact with poet Sally Meyer.

When her son was diagnosed with autism, she turned to poetry to express her feelings. What a beautiful and strong person.

Perhaps it’s a “mother” thing, but when you see your children go through hardship, it just kills you.

‘Just for this day’

By Sally Meyer

Just for this morning,

I am going to smile whenever I see your face, and laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning, I will let you wake up softly, all rumpled in your flannel pyjamas, and hold you until you are ready to stir.

Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how beautiful you are.

Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry to pick you up and take you to the park to play.

Just for this morning, I am going to eat a huge breakfast , with bacon, eggs, toast and waffles, and you don’t have to eat any.

Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that 100 piece puzzle together.

Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off and sit with you in the garden blowing bubbles.

Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon, I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up or who you might have been before your diagnosis.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won’t stand over you trying to ‘fix’ things.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you put all kinds of barrettes in my hair and lipstick on my face, and I will tell you how pretty you have made me look.

Just for this afternoon, I will take you to McDonald’s and buy us both a Happy Meal, so that you can have both toys.

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born, and how much we love you. Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the bathtub and not get angry when you throw water over your sister’s head.

Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch swing and count all the stars. Just for this evening, I will bring you glasses of water, and snuggle beside you for three hours, and miss my favorite show on TV.

Just for this evening, When I kneel down to pray, I will simply be grateful for all that I have and not ask for anything.

Except just one more day.

~ Copyright Sally Meyer 1999 ~

Autism is not the end of the world. . . . just the beginning of a new one.

+ + + +

Here is a note from Sally:

Hi Lynda,

You certainly can put the poem in, and a notation. Since those days when Dhylan was diagnosed, he’s made remarkable strides. He went to a school for children with autism until he was five years old.

Then was mainstreamed in the public school system without an aide. I attribute his progress to early intervention in this school.

Right now he’s 12 years old, and in sixth grade, doing very well.

He’s actually an actor, and has been in films, movies and commercials. He has come a long way from the days these poems were written.

To see Dhylan’s web site, go to: http://www.freewebs.com/dhylanmeyer/mainpage.htm

Dhylan doesn’t like people to know that he has autism, and even though it’s not something that is seen on the outside as much, he does still struggle with his disability, however mild. He’s a great kid, and a joy.

Sally

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