Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bloggy Thanksgiving

Oooooh, please, please, please, if I accidentally fail to mention you here, KNOW that I grateful for you. I read your blog. I value your comments. I feel your support. I just NEVER EVER SLEEP so I mess up sometimes due to the cognitive toll of CONSTANT wakefulness. But I appreciate you! Just for being here. And some of the people I appreciate I realize don’t even even have ANY IDEA who I am…and I’m totally cool with that...

This Thanskgiving I feel the need to say how thankful I am for the blogosphere. I need to say that I am grateful for so much, but on the long list are:

Christine reconnects me to the place in geography where I was the happiest. Not only does she live in one of my former hometowns, her blog feels like a home, too. She has the kind of life, of demeanor, that I had envisioned for my own self when I was growing up. I didn’t turn out nearly as patient, reasonable, or domestic as I expected, but maybe there is hope for me yet, as I learn from Christine, or maybe she can at least help me learn to forgive myself for my shortcomings. In some ways, Christine is like my invisible friend. I mean, she is a very real, very bloggy friend, with whom I can email or Facebook. But sometimes it is Christine I talk to in my mind as I drive home from a long day, or whose advice I seek in my mind when I’m trying not to choke my children. I have never heard her voice, but imagined it many times, reading her blog posts over and over. She has written words that felt like gifts to me. Her blog is very lovely, and though our contact is largely indirect, I am thankful for Christine.

Beth inspires me to what bravery I can muster, because she exemplifies bravery, especially in dealing with things medical. One of the bravest things I’ve admired about Beth is her ability to listen to her own intuition. She learns all she can from doctors, her amazing husband, reading, and her gut, and sometimes her gut has the wisest information of all. That is why her boy has beaten so many odds and defied obstacles to thrive so beautifully in her care. Her blog shows so much wisdom and balance, and I read every single word of every post with gratitude. Plus, Beth handles sleeplessness so much better than I do, and keeps her sense of humor about it, making her a hero for whom I am very grateful.

Mama Mara blows my mind. She flaunts brazen humor about some of the dark things many of us shy away from, and she does it with fierce creativity. Mama Mara shows me that we can all do things that we don’t think we can, and she helps me remember that no matter how big a turd life throws in your face, there is a good book that will help you figure out how to flush it down. Plus, her potty mouth makes me look virtuous by comparison, and I like that. Rarely do I (a sailor-talker in the f2f world) look virtuous. I admire MM because she refuses to let a bad man equal a bad life, and that gets a big A-Men from me, and because she fiercely loves her sons just like I love mine. I appreciate her candor.

Vicki took what life handed her and refused to break no matter what. She writes it like she lives it – honestly, openly, with passion and poetry. Vicki lives a lovely life. She helps me realize I do too. I appreciate Vicki’s effort, her example, her wisdom.

Drama Mama cheers for us all. She reminds many of us that we stand where once she stood, and we will make it to the other side like she did if we just. Keep. Trying. Plus, Drama Mama speaks to my inner Fancy Nancy. Mostly I’m a tomboy type who slouches around with my fists tucked in my jean pockets, but sometimes I read Drama and realize it’s time to get my eyebrows waxed and live a little. I appreciate her flair! Her style! And I just flippin’ worship her kids.

Redheaded Mama is an artist. I mean, yeah, there’s her design work, but she’s an artist through and through. And she’s generous. If she has a resource, then so do you. She practically wrote us a minute-by-minute guide to Disneyland for spectrum kids. And then when she and her daughter came to Disney, guess who else they visited? ME! Getting to meet her in person was so satisfying, so real, so blog-comes-to-life. I appreciate Red’s beauty.

MOM-NOS is kind of an idol, isn’t she? She’s like the beloved celebrity that every fan thinks they have a personal connection to unlike anyone else’s. I know I am not the only one to say this, but MOM-NOS’s blog was one of the first I read, and the one I clung to, the one that made me sure, the one that made me sad, the one that gave me hope, the one that made me feel I finally found someone who understand. She welcomed me to the fold. She works at a college, and for some reason that always gives me this feeling that MOM-NOS is my RA, because she has so much sage knowledge from having already learned lessons I’m still learning. And? Wow can she write. Sometimes spare, sometimes lyrical, always on message, always exemplary. I am so thankful for MOM-NOS’s wisdom and generosity.

Jess is the powerhouse. I used to have Jess’ energy. I think I was twenty at the time. Jess is a hard working career woman who is equally as hard working at being a mom, and yet as hard as she works, as driven as she is, she is also always ready to emote. I deeply appreciate the sincere emotions she shares, the way she owns her vulnerability. I am always grateful for how prolific Jess is, that she is so often just there, writing, facing what needs to be done, admitting how hard it is, and embracing all of us going through similar trials.

P is a blog reader of mine because she loves me since way back when, and knows I love her too. P accepts the crazy family I’m raising now with the same kindness, affection, and simplicity with which she accepted the crazy family that raised me. P supports without judgment, and loves without condition, from thousand of miles away, and I appreciate P for being my steadfast, solid, sister-like friend, and for making me a quilt that makes me happy and gives me comfort every single time I look at it.

PixieMama lives 100 miles an hour much the same way that I do. Pixie and I, we have lots in common for women 3,000 miles apart of different ages and different religions and with very different lives. We can talk, and we do. Pixie Mama came to visit, and proved we can have visitors in our house. Pixie teaches me not to apologize so much. I am grateful to Pixie for liking me, and my family, in spite our ways. I am also grateful that she gave me my mantra, “Be OK” and my nickname, SkyBluPink.

JoeyMom never says she is tired. She makes me want to say it less, even! I find this very admirable. She has two delightfully squishable boys, and I get the feeling that, between teaching and raising them, she might just be a teensy bit, well, fatigued. But she keeps things positive, and embraces opportunities to have fun with her guys every chance she gets. She has some creative ways to channel her boys’ energy, too, and when I run out of ideas at my house, I think, what would JoeyMom do? I appreciate her for many things, especially for inspiring me.

I found Gretchen, and MOM-NOS during my first foray into special needs blogging, and I remember thinking, “Yes, my son must have autism” at the same time I thought, “This beautiful mom knows what she is doing, and I like her. Maybe I can cling to her. Maybe she will guide me out of my fear and into some light where I can make a plan and find my way.” Yes, thank you Gretchen. And thanks for making me laugh. I love how you write. I love the quotes on your blog; it’s funny, I think YOU are one of those moms who can do everything! I am so glad for all that you share.

Betty and Boo’s mom writes about spectrum stuff, AND she writes about what was my PASSION before I ever had kids or knew much about autism and Aspies: BOOKS! I really appreciate how she pursues that passion, and I live a bit vicariously through her in that department.

PBear leaves me incredibly supportive and useful comments, not just in my blog but by email, from a mom who has been there and gets it. She somehow manages to work, go to school, raise two kids, and send me encouragement. That’s amazing, and I’m grateful.

My dear old friend C reads my blog even though she has heard it all by talking to me on the phone, and then she sends me encouraging messages AND tells me she likes my writing. I’d be lost without C. That goes for E and D too – dear old friends who stick by me come what may.

Kristen has a blog I enjoy reading not just because of what we have in common, but because of her writerly life. I appreciate how she opens up about her writing, and I enjoy reading about her process. I sometimes imagine scenarios in which we meet, hand out, write…

J is a colleague, a friend, who reads my blog and then sends me resources. WOW, everyone needs a friend like that. I am so grateful for the articles, the links, the suggestions, the ideas… not just about autism, but about EVERYTHING. I appreciate J for being a wealth of knowledge.

Know why I like Good Fountain? It’s probably the same reason anyone likes her. Am I wrong, or does she just seems, well, GOOD. I like what she says! I like how she says it! She has good, simple, kind ways about her. I loved it when she said that some of what she likes best about her daughter is what makes her quirky. I sometimes feel that way about my son. And one post she wrote really stuck with me. She said that what we all need to feel good about ourselves is connection with at least one person, and that she hopes her kids have that. Yes, it’s simple, but it’s true… for our kids, for us, one good friend is what it takes. I wish our kids could play together.

JHV and I were f2f friends about a hundred million years ago, but geography and time don’t end friendships with someone you value. I adore JHV, and what I appreciate most? That someone as smart, artistic, spiritual, and busy as she is… she still likes me! I think I’m surprised by it. I miss JHV. I am so thankful she sent her sister to my blog, and Jen of I’m Going Coconuts. I am so grateful she reached out when my boy was diagnosed, had her friends care about me, send their thoughts of love and their generosity to me. I am thankful for JHV’s friendship and love and hope and goodness. I think of her every single day when I see my very favorite photographs.

Jordan probably doesn’t know what a fan I am, because without meaning I tend to lurk over at her blog. I guess I never feel like I have anything to offer, but I value what she has to say. And I can so vividly picture her two sweet sons I’ve never met. I found Jordan because everyone pointed me to her; they said she is a smart mama, and an amazing resource, and they were right. Thanks for all you do for everyone with special needs kiddos, Jordan.

There are tons of things to value about Kyra, but they all relate to her positive nature. Every time I read about the way she uses the Nurtured Heart approach, I admire her more. And another thing: Kyra points me to other blogs and resources that I treasure.

GFCF Mommy helps me feed my son, and find joy in doing it creatively, nutritiously. I am so grateful for that. I know I’ve never commented on her posts, but I am a loyal fan.

Good Mum has made me laugh so hard before that I made embarrassing noises. That is worth its weight in gold!

Jen, who says she’s going Coconuts, is as solid as a rock, and has a big, beautiful, giving heart. I appreciate Jen.

My inlaws read my blog, and I feel so fortunate that they take the time to do that, and that they forgive my wallowing. I tell them pretty much everything, and they still read it online again, and don’t seem to get too sick of me. Listening is an act of love, and they are very loving. I appreciate my mom and dad.

Gwyneth writes some heartfelt comments and sends encouragement all the way from Africa. Years ago, we hung out, went shopping, tried on clothes together, wished our wishes. Never in a jillion years did I picture where our roads would take us. But when she comments from Malawi, I feel like she’s right here. And her blog, Misadventures in Malawi, is captivating, and I appreciate the way she shares her life with me, and lets me share mine with her.

ASDMommy writes so tenderly about parenting, I’ve repeatedly had the urge to hug her, drop by with yummy food and hang out in her kitchen, and then I realize that if I bumped into her in the grocery store I wouldn’t realize it. How is it that we have never really met? I’ve invented her voice in my mind; it’s a clear voice I appreciate every time I read her blog.

I appreciate Hannah’s mom, too… I read about Adopting Autism and find so much perspective within it… and that Hannah is a great character…

And I could go on… but don’t you want me to get a little tiny drop of sleep?
I appreciate you, blogosphere. Love.


Niksmom said...

I'm farklempt. And so deeply moved. But, I have to let you in on a secret...sleeplessness is SOOOO much easier to handle when you don't have to get dressed and go to work. That you can go through all that you do AND still function? THAT takes guts, too, darlin'!

I appreciate how huge your heart is and willing you are to share it with others, to let us in and to give back. I don't think I told you that your very generous gift allowed us to get something for Nik which might change the flavor of our days in such an amazing way. I'll tell you more in a while...

Wishing you and your beautiful family a very Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo

Jordan said...

Oh my gosh, this is amazing. Thanks for the shout-out - and this was like reading a "best of" list that I might've written. Thank you for your bravery in putting it all out there on your blog and for your tireless work at your school and with your kids. They're very lucky! I also remember talking to you on the phone - maybe a year ago? Probably more.

Thanks for reading my blog, I appreciate knowing that - no comments necessary.


kristen spina said...

Happy thanksgiving, and yes, so much out there in our crazy cyber world to be thankful for. I'm grateful for so many of the same people, blogs, friends. Could not survive this life without it.

And thanks for the kind words. We will meet and talk and write together, of that I have no doubt.

PBear said...

You are too kind (and too hard on yourself, as always - seems to come with the territory, doesn't it?) I only wish I had more help to give you, or lived closer so I could give you a break - I'm lucky, we didn't have to deal with the sleeplessness after about 18 months, but knowing how I feel with no sleep, I don't see how you manage to see straight, let alone string two words together :-) So don't sell yourself short, you are every bit as amazing as everyone you mentioned, and far more so than at least one of us. :-)

jess said...

you are such a love. and please, please know how much we (yes, i feel perfectly comfortable saying 'we') feel just as grateful for YOU.


Anonymous said...

What a sweet and wonderful post. Thanks for writing this, it means so much to me to have read your words.

Keep at it, friend. :-)

Christine said...

I read this post over Thanksgiving and it really lifted me. That is such the beauty of this circle we have created, isn't it? And I'm honored to be a part of your circle!

I second everything MOM-NOS said. And also what Niksmom said: sleeplessness is so much easier when you don't also have to get up and manage out there in the world. I've done both and let me say that I didn't do it with any amount of grace when I had to heed the alarm clock. So be sure and cut yourself some slack because you, my friend, are full of grace.

gretchen said...

Thanks lovey. Can't think of anything clever to say. Just thanks. XO

Anonymous said...

Geez, I'm all teary-eyed! Thank you for those kind words!

And I'm definitely up for a hug, good food, or just a chance meeting in the grocery store. One of these years, maybe. :-)


P said...

Thanks friend. Your kind words are worth more to me than I can say. I hope you realize what a large web of support you have through cyber space. We're all cheering for you.