Monday, January 10, 2011

Holy pajamas! I moved my blog! Please join me, please FOLLOW ME!!!!!!

I promise we'll have fun!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm back.... again

I haven't written since September 24. "Dear Diary, I haven't written since September 24...." ha ha ha sometimes writing a blog is like confession.

A few days ago, a friend paid me a ridiculously high compliment. She said I was a great writer and that my writing touched lives. I'm going to be honest about one thing.

I don't take compliments well.

I can hear my friend Michelle laughing.

Because I don't take compliments period.

But, that conversation is for my therapist. Let's just say -- I was honored but not sure if I totally believe her. Either way, she told me to write a book.

Well I don't know about all of that because truth be told I can barely keep up with my blog!

September! What's wrong with me people? I told my friend that sometimes it's harder to write when there's an "expectation" there. When you know people are out there kinda waiting for you to write something "life changing." Ok, maybe not "life" changing but.....still. I can't just put any old junk out there. It's just not how I roll.

Plus I've had sort of a rough year and writing about it is hard. Getting out of bed has been hard some days. OK most days. But I digress, as I usually do in my posts.

So this year I make a promise - - make that a solemn VOW to write more. And to write ABOUT more. I added "and a few other things too" to the title of my blog. So I'm going to hit on the topic of "a few other things too." And we'll see where it takes us.

I hope you'll come along for the ride!

Friday, September 24, 2010

How can you mend a broken heart?

It's all about perspective people.

I had a crappy day today. No other way to say it. It was pure crap. Anything that could have gone wrong, did. It just did. None of these things amounted to HUGE deals but man did they make my day....suck.

Some days are just like that, right? We've all been there.

Truth is, I've had a rough couple of weeks. OK months. I won't bore you all to tears with the whys and the hows and the details and the drama but suffice it to say, in the last few months I've loved, I've lost, I've laughed, I've cried, I've cried some more and then when I was all done crying, I found a way to release a few more tears. There have been days when getting out of bed was about the best I could muster. There's been even more days when putting on "the show" was almost more than I could bear.

I'm calling it a mid-life crisis and we'll leave it at that.

But it's allllllllllllllllllll about perspective. EVERYTHING is all about perspective. Stay with me.

This morning my day started with, "Oh crap I didn't get the garbage out last night!" to "OMG the trashcan is full of..... magg....!" to "OMFG my precious munchkin left his "reading light" on the in the van and the battery is dead!" to "No, REALLY the battery is DEAD. As in, drive directly to battery store. Do not pass "go" and for the love of all things holy, do NOT turn your car off," to just a host of things that fell apart one...right...after....another. The day was long. My patience was tried. My head ached. My eyes burned. My heart hurt. I felt depleted, exhausted, emotional, tired, frustrated, angry...and .... defeated.

Stay with me.

10 years ago at this VERY MOMENT ~ this was my perspective.

Look closely. There's a baby in there.

My baby.

10 years ago my precious beautiful 8 day old baby went through an extremely aggressive open heart surgery for something called transposition of the great vessels.

Today, my 10 year old got off the bus, bounding through the door with stories of his day before he even had a chance to take a breath. He laughed and I laughed and we hugged and I kissed the top of his stinky 10 year old head.

And suddenly, my crappy day.........well..........


I can deal with a new battery. I can even deal with "ahem" the garbage can. I can deal with Costco being out of Smart Water. I can deal with the laundry piled to the ceiling. I can deal with forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning (again). I can deal with the hurt, the anger the tears and even my broken heart.

As long as it's not his.

Because here's the thing. There's a lot of things I can push and gut my way through. But a life without my kids is not one of them.


People talk about the grass being greener. Here's what I've learned. The grass ain't greener. It's just a different shade of green. And that shade .... is based on your.......

OK, you get it.

"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means you've decided to look beyond the imperfections."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Different. Not more.

I post a lot about autism. This blog, is called, "April Walks with Autism" after all. But really what I try to talk about is "special needs." "Differently abled." "Not normal." But today we will broach that small line under the title of my blog that reads, "and a few other things too."

Today I write about...
the GIFTED child.
Yep, I got me one of those, too.

But wait? Doesn't that fall into the category of "special needs?" "Differently abled? "Not normal?"

I mean Luke is autistic and he has an IEP.
Jared is gifted and he has an IEP.

So I think it's time we talked about it.

It's interesting. I meet a lot of parents with autistic kids that are sort of embarrassed to talk about their child's autism. Almost like there's this badge of shame in saying that your kid may be less than "whole" somehow. I'm the mom with a puzzle piece tattoo on her a$$ so what does that tell you about how shy I am about it? But when it comes to talking about Jared being "gifted" (see I even put it in quotes) I.... start to squirm. In fact, I think my body temp just went up about 10 degrees and I'm pitting out in my shirt. I don't like it. It's almost like saying, "My kid is better than yours." and I never EVER want to say that.

And then comes the stereotyping and the stigma that comes with having a gifted child.
"Life is so easy for him."
"It must be nice to have things come so naturally to him."
"He's an introverted nerd."
"You probably push him really hard."
"You'll never have to worry about that one."

**Sigh** One at time.

"Life is so easy for him." I could literally write a 40 page blog about this statement alone but instead I'll leave it at: is life easy for ANYONE? And does your IQ really have ANYTHING to do with how "easy" life is? Was it EASY for Jared to undergo open heart surgery at 8 days old? I'm guessing no.

"It must be nice to have things come so naturally to him." Yes, I'll admit. Many academic things come naturally to Jared. Math is part of his DNA (not from me, for the record). He taught himself how to read when he was 3. He remembers pretty darn much...everything. But guess what? Jared struggles in many OTHER areas. Jared has absolutely NO problem solving skills. I know, I know -- I said he was good at math. But for a kid like Jared, math is not a problem, math is logic. We had a situation this summer where he couldn't figure out how to screw the elmo sprinkler onto the hose. 9 years old and doing 6th grade algebra and high school reading but he can't screw a sprinkler on to the hose. Ya feel me on this? I mean he COULD NOT make his mind figure it out. It was utterly amazing to watch. (And REALLY frustrating, too) So, he must be....

"He's an introverted nerd." Introverted - NO. NOT a lick. Not even when we WANT him to be. (((grin))) Nerd? Well that's in the eye of the beholder but if by "nerd" you mean "nose in a book all the time," then you aren't talking about my boy. My Jared loves to be outside and play with his friends and play basketball and be on the Destination Imagination team, and laugh and giggle and PLAY just PLAY with his brother. In other words, he's pretty well rounded.

"You probably push him really hard." NO. NO. NO. NO. and by the way, NEVER. At the age of 3 he sat down and started to read a book. We NEVER taught him to read. Do we encourage him and "push" him to be his best. ABSOLUTELY. Shouldn't ALL parents do that? Do we drill calculus problems into his brain every day for 3 hours after school? No, in fact, he's watching Johnny Test as I type this. We follow Jared's lead. Period.

"You'll never have to worry about that one." ((((SMACK)))) how STUPID are you? Of course I worry about my child! DUH!!!!!!!! Since when does "High IQ" = "nothing to worry about?" Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr......................

My point is, people think that having a gifted child is so easy. And while it's true that in many regards it can be, we have to work and fight for Jared just as much, and sometimes more than we have to fight for Luke. And that... will be my next blog topic.

Until then - - think about this, with autism, we say
"Different. Not Less"
With gifted kids should we say,
"Different. Not more?"

Just because a child is smart doesn't mean they should be stereotyped. Stereotyping and profiling hurts no matter what end of the (pun intended) "spectrum" you're on. Gifted kids struggle with just many things as "typically developing children" and "special needs" children. The things they struggle with are just....


And that kicks off my month long topic of living with a gifted child!