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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Ghost Of Christmas Past

It's New Year's Eve, and while everyone else is looking forward, I'm looking back. You see, I lost my Mom ten years ago this Christmas night, and on New Year's eve, I watched as they put her in the ground. Ten long years that seem not so long right now.

Ten years that watched her toddler grandaughter turn into a willowy, beautiful pre-teen wearing stylish clothes on a body I didn't have until high school. Ten years that heralded in the birth of a grandson she would never have the joy of meeting, let alone the time to listen to me babble about the both of them. More than anything, I'm sorry she missed them both. Sorry for her, sorry for me, and sorry for them.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Spangler Candy Company Is Made Of Pure Awesome

Of all the candy available on the market, my sons loves Dum-Dums to distraction. He doesn't care much for chocolate. Or peanutbutter. Or any combination of the two. He loves Skittles and Smarties and Ring Pops and Tootsie Pops. None of them can hold a candle to a sack of Dum-Dums, though.

So when I heard about the Spangler Candy company (makers of Dum-Dums) going above and beyond customer service for the mother of a boy with autism, it just made my day.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Don't Point Your Fingers In My Son's Direction - Regarding Autism And The Shootings In Connecticut

Like the rest of the nation, I spent Friday and the rest of the weekend heartbroken, sick, screaming from my soul for the lives lost in Newtown, Connecticut. I find it impossible to wrap my head around the scope of it. And as the reports ran ad nauseam and the faces marked by tragedy filled up the television screen, one news item had my full attention: they believe that the shooter had autism.

I heard the reporter on CNN bringing it up again and again, as though it might have been a contributing factor. "They mentioned he had no facial expression as he fired the gun," she said. "And we know autism is often characterized by a lack of empathy..."

I would tell you that I startled my daughter by shouting at the TV, but she was right next to me and shouting even louder than I was.

SHUT UP. Just shut the hell up.

What do you know? What do you really know about autism?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Love This Book So Very Much

If you've never read "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz, you really, really should.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I Need To Get A Life...Just As Soon As I Figure Out What That Means

I was kid-free this weekend, since the kids were with their Dad. As usual, I did a huge amount of laundry and cleaning, and finally, I settled on the couch and loaded "The Avengers" into my Blu-Ray player. Up popped a message that read "This movie has been viewed previously. Resume play?"

I suppose I should be grateful that it didn't say:

This movie has been viewed entirely too many times and you need to get a life and/or a boyfriend. Stat.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Here We Go Again, And Again, And Again...

I've always said that I don't look at autism as a curse. That is true, and has become more so as David has grown and I have grown on this journey. To imagine David anything other than autistic is just impossible. His autism is a part of him, like his eye color or his hysterical sense of humor. It's intrinsically part of the essential David. I love him for it and through it.

And sometimes, I love him in spite of it.

Autism - and my learning of it - has opened doors that I couldn't even have imagined. It's changed the nature of how I communicate not just with my son, but with everyone. It's made me more patient. More kind. More open-minded. More fierce and determined.

And it's made me tired.

There's no denying that living with autism is a challenge some times. Maybe even a lot of the time. One of the hardest, most challenging aspects for me has been dealing with David's repetetive behaviors.

Take farting, for instance.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Can One Small Animal Wreak Such Havoc With Her Nose?

You would never know it to look at my cat, but she has a superpower.

My cat has SNOT OF STEEL.

She sneezes, on average, about ninety-eight times a day, in groupings of eight to ten sneezes at a time. This is due to a virus she somehow got infected with, and according to the veterinarian is a lifelong chronic condition. There is a medicine that can be prescribed for it, but it will greatly diminish the quality of her life, reducing her to a foggy-brained, fat lump of cat. Or so he told me.

Monday, December 3, 2012

When You're A Special-Needs Mom, Sometimes Love Is A Battlefield

I took my son to war over the weekend.

The battlefield was rife with tribulation. It was loud - blaringly so. Discordant sounds hit us from every direction, lights were flashing in our eyes and everywhere we could see. We were pushed and shoved and pummeled and by the end of the day we ached from our exertions. It was misery at times, but we made it through.

I made it through taking my autistic son to a holiday fair.