Friday, September 21, 2012


if i whisper maybe i won't disturb the cosmos
i don't want to disturb the cosmos and cause a jinx
but i had a pretty mundane day

and a pretty mundane day
is pretty much
all i've been desperate to have


thank goodness it's time to go to sleep
and it's unlikely i will mess up this

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dear Diary

I needed an empty shoe box.

Instead I found an old journal shoved in the back of the closet.

Here is what I took away from that experience:

I never *really* change. Nine years ago I was not so different than I am now. This is both good and bad news, but mostly it surprises me some. I am always thinking about how much parenthood feels like it changed me. I guess it's like that saying... it didn't change me, it just revealed more of who I am. Again, that is both good and bad.

I have always wanted what I have  now. For a while now I've been realizing and considering the significance of this truth -- that I have exactly what I asked for -- but to see it in my own handwriting really illustrates that reality in a more effective way for activating my sense of gratitude.

Journals are so last decade! I am glad I have a blog that I won't lose in the back of my closet. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

So Much Portends From a Little Bicycle

I want to write a post about my son, who has autism, learning to ride a bike -- slowly, in careful stages, with support from research on teaching bike riding to kids like him from bloggy friends, and with the tireless help of my husband.

And somehow I want it also to be about my daughter, the princessy one, who watched this lengthy process, and cheered her heart out when her brother rode down the street for the first time, even though she usually prefers to be the center of attention.

I would, of course, need to fold in how, after all that observation, my girl, two years younger, hopped on her bike the day after and then rode down the street successfully the first time out of the gate.

From there I would segue three years of potty training my son, as my daughter watched, then potty trained herself.

I'd tell you how epically much my children fight, and how hard -- um, excruciating -- that has been, and how in spite of all that seems so unbearable related to that, they actually learn a tremendous amount from one another, and how the depths of their intricate bonds will likely continue to reveal themselves in beautiful ways for years if I will just learn to relax and quit freaking out when they argue.

But all this stuff is quite emotionally draining. I am euphoric, and I am nearly incoherent. So remind me to tell you about this stuff sometime when I'm not so spent. I might have a few things to say.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Anyone There?

I post 99.98% for myself, and always have.

But once in while a girl wouldn't mind a comment or two, you know?

If anyone is still out there and wanted to say hello... I wouldn't mind a hi once in a while, I'm just sayin.

Back To Business

We recently survived Back to School Night.

It's like tax day, dentist appointment, and jury duty rolled into a knot in my stomach, and it was the second epically long day in the week. A Tuesday.

This school is no fan of my family, as they make it abundantly clear, and after the poem incident this summer, I can't find much love in my heart for the school either.

So I did what I had to do.

I met one of my favorite girlfriends 30 minutes beforehand for a cocktail.

And I don't drink.

So it took my edge off.

See, ordinarily, since blogging = ceremonial venting for me, I would tell you about leaving before 7 a.m., returning at 8 p.m., and in between dealing with grumps and obstacles. But I got to hang out with an amazing friend and sip a girly drink and tell her my woes, so this might be the first year of Back to School Nights in my son's academic career that was not a thorough disappointment.


Rooster is eight, Peaches six. I am approximately the age of a T. Rex.

Rooster: Are demons naked?
Me: Um, demons? Demons are not real
Rooster: But are they NAKED?

Peaches: Daddy, will you please [mumble mumble mumble]?
My husband: No, Peach, and I'll tell you again, that is weird. It's an unexpected question. I have no idea what to say to you.

Rooster: I'm just wondering, how long does it take to microwave a pizza? Just curious.

Me: Do you think we should go check out that gym membership? Or go for a a walk? Or eat ice cream for dinner?

Hope you are having a lovely Saturday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Candle, A Memory

In June, I lost a friend.

I say friend, though he might have called me a "colleague." In fact, many nights I'd come home and ask my husband, "How do you think I can get C to hang out with us outside work?" I sort of mildly stalked him online a bit via LinkedIn and Google to learn more about his work and ideas. And, invariably, I would end up saying to J, "You will love him. He's a genius!"

C had this way of making everyone who ever worked with him want to be his friend. I knew this from the first day I met him, but it was irrefutable once he died. Everyone had a story about the way C could make people feel special, cared about, and heard, even though he somehow also managed to keep us all at a little bit of a distance. I am not sure any of us "colleagues" who revered C got to be the kind of friends who he'd hang out with outside of work.

I do know that we were crushed when he killed himself. Person after person spoke the day we gathered to remember him and used the word "light" to describe C. When I called my husband, who had never met C, he'd heard enough about him that he immediately gasped and said, "Not C! Why?"

Let me be 100 percent clear: I do not know why C chose to die. I do, though, I fear that I suspect it.

I fear it when my son is teased for his autistic traits. I fear it when my daughter worries about her appearance. I fear it when kids I teach roll their eyes at a classmate for anything that makes them different.

C didn't have autism. He had such an incredibly handsome face that, when he smiled, as he almost always did, I found myself thinking that he was the first man I'd describe as "radiant." And, smart? Don't get me started. C didn't seem, in any overt way, "different." What terrifies me is that I think he felt different. On the inside. I am scared that every time our mutual work involved learning about oppression, discrimination, and genocide, he felt a deep resonance and fear of his own differences.

I feel guilty telling C's story, or my take on it, even now that he is gone, because one instinct tells me it is none of my business. Yet another tells me it should have been, and should still be, my business to use the powerful tool of storytelling to reach out to C, to you, to anyone and everyone, and say: We are ALL different, and we are ALL the same. We are unique, and we are people. We should not live with a fear of differences, only of fear.

I do not know if C suffered any abuse in his life; it's hard to imagine it because I knew him as a big, strong, successful, sought-out, professional, but whether his personal life or background told a very different story, or whether he perceived himself or his life very differently, I am not privy to know.

I do not know why C is gone. It makes me sad and angry. And sad. Did I mention angry? There is not much I can do with my sadness or my anger except blog, and so that is why I am telling you.

When we tease, when we ridicule, when we roll our eyes, and when we denigrate, we risk hurting the human victims of our abuse, and sending a message to every onlooker that they could be next. When we tease, ridicule, denigrate, we risk destroying the genius that our world needs, and we risk extinguishing radiant light. We risk leaving ourselves very dark and very sad.

I want better for all our children. 


I love this so much, I just hope you will read it, and share it with a teacher:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Write or Cry

There is the me I imagine myself to be
a dream, a wish, a vision
And there is the me in practice,
sometimes petty, often weary.
I take them both to the pharmacy
And let them duke it out.
I take them both to the pharmacy
Knowing no good has ever come
From going to the pharmacy,
Where the medicines are efficacious
But the processes
and always, always, always down computers
will make you seriously ill.
One me passes the time calling up stirring and inspirational heroes,
Their speeches and their wisdom,
How to translate the seeds they've planted in my mind,
To grow my own version of a better tomorrow.
The other resents the simple fact of being there,
The need, the expense, the people, the same, same, same, same, same, same, same.
These conjoined selves -- inescapable, untenable, intolerable
Follow me everywhere.
But drive me most mad at the pharmacy.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Here is the thing,
the crux of my issues
probably the reason I write this blog.

Once upon a time, I had a wish list.
It went like this:

Fall in love with a really good man.
Make babies.
Love one another.
Work hard.
Learn much.
Enjoy life.
Celebrate being a family.

And then...
then, dare I say it?
Scared, I dare:
{shhhh} i got it.

I got a lot more too.
Circumstances. Life. Complexity. And that includes autism, too.

But how can a woman complain
Who got everything she ever wanted?
I mean...
Wow! That is some kind of greed right there sista.

To whom much is given much is expected, right?
Nothing important is easy, right?

So here it is. The crux. The seed.

I have to stop expecting my children's childhoods to somehow make up for my childhood.
It's not all about me. *It's not much about me.*
My kids are not my parents.
They don't owe me anything.
I am the grownup. I owe them everything.
These are my painful truths that I confess to you.
I need to wrap my mind around them.
Then I will stop forgetting to relish having everything I ever asked for -- plus a little -- extra.

And I will exude the gratitude that I feel today, and never let it go again.