Archive for the ‘Parenting’ category

A Letter To My Son

October 10, 2013

Dear amazing son,

You have just been officially discharged from Special Education. Congratulations, Robert. I’m proud of you. Especially in light of the following:

Over the course of your 16 years, I’ve been told the following by physicians, educators and “experts”:

1. “He is mentally retarded” — HA! We never bought into that, did we? Not even when “MR” was written in sharpie on the outside of your file at school. You are in pre-AP classes and were admitted to the gifted program.

2. “He may never talk” –News flash: Once you finally decided to talk, you never shut up. *wink* You are one of the most articulate people I know.

3. “He will most likely not be able to handle a mainstream classroom setting.” –Kind of like #’s 1 and 2 above-WRONG.

4. “You should consider taking out a trust fund as he will most likely not be able to live on his own and will need living assistance his entire life.”–Um, no. Not buying into it. Go to college and then get a job, son.

Just keep in mind, Robert: This list could go on for hundreds of entries. Never buy into the negative. Never live down to other people’s grim expectations and generalizations about autism or ANYTHING for that matter. Keep on proving them wrong and yourself right. You’ve got this. Again, congratulations.

Love,

Mom

Robert

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One would think…

July 4, 2013

One would think that since it’s summer and the usual grind of driving kids around and making school meetings were no longer an issue, I’d find it easier to focus. Well, one would be wrong.

Last summer, I was immensely productive and found it easier to focus at this time of year. For some reason, I’m struggling. Perhaps it is because my kids are older and the demands are different. I suspect, though, that it is a shift in priorities and not a lack of focus on my part. Maybe it’s the mother in me clinging to the last summer before my oldest goes to college and my youngest goes to boarding school.

Whatever the case, I feel like a ping-pong ball bouncing from one crisis to another. It’s time to buckle down and finish these three books I have in various stages of completion. Time to re-center and put those author blinders back on–even if it’s only for a few hours a day.

Anyone else having summer slump focus issues?

There are Raisins in my Toast

July 12, 2009

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Well, it’s true.  There were raisins in my toast.

I was at Waffle House with my kids because they were being grumpy and and I was lazy and looking for an excuse to get out of the house and avoid the sequel outline looming over my keyboard-cramped hands.

Most Americans have been to a Waffle House, but if you haven’t, the experience is something everyone needs (if only once).  It is a tiny restaurant that seats a limited number of customers.  Most surfaces are sticky with syrup and the waitresses shout the orders in mystical code to the grill chef, who by some miracle or supreme skill, usually gets the order correct.

On this particular day, the grumpiness of my kids was getting on my nerves.  I have a high tolerance for angst, which is good in a YA writer, but my grouchiness was obvious to even the most oblivious, including the waitress, who was sure the woman sitting at the counter with the 3 surly kids was going to stiff her on the tip.

Out of the blue, the quiet of the cafe was broken by a 50’s doo wop kind of song.  A typical song similar to what you’ve heard hundreds of times came cranking out of the jukebox right behind me.

Wait a minute…

They were singing about raisins…”Raisins in my toast…”

“No way!” one of my angsters shouted.

“No.  They’re not…”

“Oh. My. Gosh.  They are singing about raisin toast!” The third one chimed.

None of us could believe there was actually a song playing about the toast at Waffle House.  When I had successfully swallowed so that the coffee didn’t spew out of my nose onto my own raisin toast, I got up and checked out the song selection on the jukebox.  Sure enough, there was a whole flip page of Waffle Hits.  I kid you not.

By the time the monumental import  (not) of all of this hit us, we were swaying at the counter, the Lindsey Quartet, belting out a rousing round of “There are Raisins in my Toast” along with the jukebox, causing everyone else in the joint to laugh along with us.

Mood about-face.  No angsty kids, no grouchy writer mom, no surly waitress.  Happy folks all singing about raisin toast.  It’s the little things, I tell you.  The levity lasted the rest of the day.  Even days later, when someone would get grumpy, one of the other members of the Lindsey Quartet would belt out a verse of our now favorite song.

For your listening and/or singing enjoyment, follow this link and click on the last song on the left column called, of course, “There Are Raisins in my Toast.”  Enjoy.

Click here to hear song. 

The Domain of the Heart

November 11, 2008

The things which the child loves remain in the domain of the heart until old age.  The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remain over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves.  ~Kahil Gibran

My children are growing up quickly–so quickly they will not be children soon.   This brings such a bittersweet response for a mother.  On one hand, I’m proud to have contributed to this amazing process–on the other, I’m terrified of losing them to the world.  

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Some of the most applicable advice I’ve heard or read on parenting is from the musical, “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim.  

How can you say to a child who’s in flight,
Dont slip away and I won’t hold so tight? 
What can you say that no matter how slight won’t be misunderstood? 
What do you leave to your child when youre dead?
Only whatever you put in its head
Things that your mother and father had said
Which were left to them too.
Careful what you say, children will listen
Careful the things you do, children will see and learn.