Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Tears


So my son got his second psychoeducational assessment today. In our home, on his medication, relaxed and feeling fine. I was amazed. I got the best news that any parent of a child with special needs can get - there is hope. Now that sounds kind of negative as well. Didn't we have hope before ? Well, yes and no and here is why.

Thomas' first psychoed did not go well. He was not medicated. He had to be taken for three weeks to a new environment that he never appeared totally comfortable in. We were trying to wean him off dolls and the psychologist was using them as a reward. This created more anxiety when Daddy came to pick him up. Thomas did not want to cooperate and the psychologist didn't seem to know how to work with him. At the time, we thought things were going well. Then the results came in. The psychologist's two conclusions ? That my son was borderline retarded (her wording not mine) and that he was afraid of his father. Both of these observations were not helpful and none of her suggestions were either. They did provide a foundation but we were going in the wrong direction because of her. The testing did little to alleviate my fears for Thomas' future and did more damage I think in hindsight than it helped. I saw the window closing on Thomas' future and that caused me great anxiety. No - Thomas' life is not all about me. No - I do not make his woes my whole life. No - I was not willing to accept this. No - I did not accept it at all. Just while writing this and after discussion with the psychologist this morning, I've come to realize that this has been the major part of my stress issues for the past two years. That damn report.

I let that report dictate my son's future. I let that report decide where things were going to go for my son. I let that report change the way I looked at my son in that I allowed it to make that window smaller. I knew it was wrong. I knew it was wrong and yet I let myself believe it. She had the education. She was the professional. I knew it was wrong and I let it beat me. But maybe not as much as I thought. Once the report had been delivered, I immediately put Thomas on the list for ErinOak to do an assessment. I knew the wait would be long and I knew that report was wrong. I would wait to prove it. And the wait was worth it.

Hallelujah my son is dyslexic !! Hallelujah he has memory issues !! Hallelujah WE CAN WORK WITH THAT BECAUSE HIS INTELLIGENCE IS NORMAL !!! Why is that a big deal you ask ? It is a fault of mine. I value intellgence. I link a good future with a certain amount of intelligence. The first report relegated my son to "Would you like fries with that ?" . Now that line of work is honorable, honest work but I resented that being his only choice. I resented that window being shut. I resented his choices being taken away. I let that damn report steer me to thinking that way.

Now another thought occurs to me. I am letting this new report shape my thinking as well. Not about my son as a whole. I love all parts of my son. Some parts more than others but overall he's a kid I enjoy. I like his imagination. I like his cuddles. I like his acting. I like his unique thought processes. I think the way my kids' mind works is kind of cool. I won't like him any less or any more based on this report. What has changed is the stress about worrying about his future. Thoughts of his future besieged me. The uncertainty was driving me nuts. I realize that all kids futures are uncertain. I get that. But something about his was just off the map. I just couldn't put my finger on what the issue was. This was it - the sentencing of that damn first report.

What this new report gives me is hope. It opens the doors back up. It gives me something to work with. I realize that no matter what I will do everything for my son. I will support him in whatever he decides to do. Report or no report, he is my son and I love him. I will do whatever it takes to make him happy and a new report doesn't change that. What it will do is give me more ammunition to fight the school with. They had started to write him off. They started to tell me that this was all he could accomplish. They started to believe that report and they started to falter in helping him. They stopped seeing his future as it could be but rather what they thought is should be. That just won't do.

Now I have the proof. I told them all along that I had problems with that first report. I told them all along something was missing. I told them all along that my son could do more. And now I can prove it. Now they will get back on track to the future that is waiting for him and not one they feel he deserves. He deserves whatever he can get out of life. He deserves to be whatever he wants to be. I've told him he can be a doctor, a nurse, a mechanic, a baker.. whatever he wants. And now the school will know it too.

I called my friend to tell her. I couldn't stop crying through the happy tears. My son has his future back and what a bright and shining one it is. My boy. My heart. Damn reports.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Go Softly Into The Dark Night


First off - I keep forgetting to change the damn font on my blog and it's driving me nuts. Note to self - change font.

Second - I am freaking tired. Not had a bad night tired. Not hung over tired, which might even be worth it. Not under the weather tired although that is coming too. But seriously bone crushingly tired. Now Jess will read this and say sing it to the choir sister. I don't even know her kind of tired. God Bless you woman - I don't know how you do it. You have my eternal admiration for how you survive on such little sleep. I NEED sleep. I get downright crusty, nasty, teary, unhappy when I don't get my sleep. I am not pleasant to be around when I have not slept. Why do I share this you ask ? Because I am punchy and I want to.

Third - I was just reading some of my earlier blogs. Darn I write well. I am quite pleased by some of them. I wanted to see how I had changed or if I had changed. I'm happy to say no. I still write irreverantly. My spelling is still good. I have some deep thoughts worth sharing. I have found this process so cathartic, so liberating, so confirming. I really enjoy it. I like reading the blogs I find. I love the Aspie blog because now I don't feel so alone. I love that people peek in to see what I have to say. Do I have a large community ? Heck no but I hope those that do look enjoy.

This got me to thinking about communication. One of the reasons I blog is to get it out. To vent my spleen. To clear the cobwebs. Email does that for me as well. If I am thinking of something at 2am it is not appropriate for me to call that person and writing it down to call about it later doesn't let me sleep. Sending a quick email gets it out, let's the other person know what's up and sends me to my beloved sleep.

It also got me thinking about how people abuse email. How they hide behind the anonymity of the keyboard. I will lay money down that most people use email to say things they would never say to someone's face. Have I done that ? Once or twice. Usually - no. If I'm going to say it to you via email, 10 to 1 says I'll say it to your face. Especially if you piss me off. Email actually allows me to think through what I am going to say rather than entering a heated argument. It allows me to edit my words and think about what I truly want to convey. Except if I'm pissed off. Then email allows me to vent my spleen with acid. Again, catch me in the same mood in person and I'll rip you a new one without blinking. I am not a bitch. I am not a mean person. But I do say what I mean and mean what I say. If you want to do battle with me then be prepared - the gloves can come off. I pride myself that I have worked very hard to correct this. There used to be no stop between the head and the mouth. The brain wasn't even involved in some cases. This was not good. This caused trouble. This needed to change. So I've worked on it for the past 10 years and it's gotten better.

Why is she spouting about this you ask ? Isn't this supposed to be about her son and his challenges ? Yes it is but occasionally other things need to be said. In a round about way, this involves my son. I have volunteered in various capacities for my son's school in order to say thank you for all the hard work that they do for him. I realize this isn't necessary but it is for me. I am grateful. Having been a teacher myself, I know the extra hours they put in for him. I know they worry about him and work harder for him. Volunteering is my way of saying thank you. Lately, email has caused problems with my volunteering. People have been mighty free with the email when they maybe shouldn't have. Me being me was mighty free right back. This takes us back to the old not thinking before we speak issue. However, they did deserve it so I sleep ok at night.

I got to thinking that the phone is a useful tool. I speak all day and so tend to be quite quiet when I get hom. I rely on email to still stay in touch with the world without having to speak. I think maybe tomorrow I will write a good old fashioned letter. Then I'll scan it in to my computer and send it as an attachment via email. Ha - gotcha.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Not Today


I had a little conversation today that made me laugh. I try to laugh often. I try to laugh hard. I try to laugh loud. Embarrasses the hell out of my kids but you know what ? Life is too short to be that anal. I will be anal about other things but making an ass out of myself is not one of them. I will skip down the street if I feel like it. I will howl at the moon for my Brownies. I will shake my money maker whenever the hell I feel like it. I have been through enough crap in my life that I have learned that lesson and learned it well.

One of the other lessons I have been trying to teach myself is positivity. Look for the silver lining. Look for the lesson. Don't let angst be in vain. All that clap trap that gets us through the day. This has been a long damn week and today I don't want to see the positive. Not today.

My week started on Saturday with a sick kid. My daughter is a lover of strep as was her mother. Strep sees us and kicks up it's heels. Strep giggles and says let's party. It started a party in my daughter's throat. Sunday I get a call - my office has had a massive fire and my side of the building has been destroyed. Not mildly charred. Not slighly smokey. Freaking crispy toasted. My computer, my radio, my brand new water jug, my cd's, my pictures, my map, my all - garbage. Landfill. Gonzola. My week progresses. Now we are at Monday and unbeknowst to me the strep party is in full swing. Off to the doctors on Tuesday and we get confirmation that said party animal is at work. Mommy was a bit slow on the pick up apparently. A problem from last week has decided to continue in to this week and if I never see another poinsettia in my life I will be THRILLED. I ended last week being wrongly accused of involving my school in fraud and the fall out continues. If people would just ask questions instead of acting like this is highschool and going all he said, she said the world would be a better place. I hated highschool and now I remember why. All the damn stupid people.

So now I have been at home for the whole week trying to do a job without files, redoing my email contacts, trying to access a phone that has melted and been chucked so I can't get my messages and dealing with not one, but you guessed it two sick children. For the love of all that is good in the world, will someone get me a latte?

I figure this has to be it. After a sucky November and a shaky start to December, this has to be it. But wait ! This is my life so of course this can't be it. While earnestly trying to pay my bills I discover I can no longer access my bank accounts. They have been frozen ! What the sam hell of pile of crap is that you ask ??? Well I asked that too so I called the bank. Well wouldn't you know it ? Someone has decided to give me an early Christmas present by stealing the info off my debit card and trying to wipe out my account. Now my wicked glee is that I have no money to speak of so they've wasted a lot of time for essentially nothing. Sucka ! However, they've also wasted alot of my time as I've had to go to the bank to reset my password and will have access to said bank account tomorrow.

Needless to say I am having a hard time finding the silver lining this week. I do have a couple of things to be grateful for:

1. My son - he will get a proper psycho ed, in my house, on Wednesday morning by a woman with a special needs child. He will be on his medication. She was patient on the phone while I tried to make sure she "gets" him, which she appears to. Rule number 1 - you must GET my son in order to HELP my son and if you don't GET my son then get the hell out of the way for someone who does before I push you down a steep slope. The last psychologist did not get him but I have not been able to get her near said slope. She's damn lucky.

2. My office burned down - I am going to get paid to work at home as much as I can with no penalty other than doing some overtime when I do get an office which seems only fair. I have also been paid to stay home with my sick children and have not had to pay a babysitter nor stress about taking time off work.

3. Laughter - I had the best laugh today when discussing said lack of silver lining. Jess and I were discussing the days when it is hard to find that lining. Today is one of those days. I mentioned that I would like to world to F#@! OFF. She mentioned that she would like the world to lick it between the pockets. I just about fell off my chair laughing. That is perfect. That is concise. It gives clear direction. It succinctly describes the sentiment of this day. Crude, crass but oh so true.

While I do have things to be grateful for and have said the appropriate thank you's to my higher power, I have to say this: to all the people who have screwed with me for the past month - Lick it between the pockets !

Another day I will practice positivity - not today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Life I've Lived


When this life ends and I go to whereever I'm to go, I will know that I did it with love and I fought for what I believed in.

Sounds deep huh ? I was watching TV tonight which is my guilty pleasure. I don't drink. I don't smoke anything. I can't eat chocolate anymore. I don't take anything prescription. TV is my drug. Those 7 pulses per second put me in to a lovely coma that let's me escape from my brain. Occasionally I learn something. Tonight I learned two things and one didn't even involve TV.

I was watching Private Practice which I greatly enjoy. Towards the end a gentleman sits in hospital and while I didn't catch the beginning, the ending involved him espousing a life lesson. Fight the good fight. If you need something in this life, if you want something in this life, fight for it. If it is important enough to you, make it worth the fight. This is what I have done for my son. I have pulled on my steel toes every day and fought for him. This is what I have done for any battle that I feel is worthy. I have had lawyers disbarred. I have won lawsuits. I have beaten employers at the sexual harrassment game. Lately, I have had car repairs covered. If someone is doing something wrong to me or my family, I fight. They are worth it and I am worth it. I will go the end of my days and look back and know that I have fought the good fight.

Then I got a phone call. This is precipitated by an old acquaintance from highschool whom I haven't seen in 20 years ordering a cake from me. She had seen my cakes on Facebook and ordered one for her daughter. I was a bit stumped but was quite pleased by the request and so I've been baking and making icing and fondant. I will make the very first birthday cake for her very first child. This is quite an honor. The phone call tonight was from the acquaintance who wanted to touch base. As we chatted we got around to the cake. She said to me, "When I saw those pictures I knew the cakes had been baked with love." I was stunned. I greatly enjoy baking. I love that I use quality ingredients and that people are not going to be eating loads of chemicals and junk. I love that they smile and that I am chosen to be a part of their special day. I love how the eyes light up in the children whose day I've helped to make happy. I do bake with love but never realized that it showed.

So what did I learn you ask ? I've learned that fighting for what is right is worth fighting for. I've learned that had I not fought the good fight, I would have looked back on my life and regretted it every day. I can take pride that I am small part of the wonder that are my children. I will own that accomplishment. And I will know that I did it with love and that it showed. My beautiful children, my loving husband, my cared for mother, my clear conscience - all are because I choose to fight the good fight and I do it with love.

Monday, December 3, 2007



Time is an interesting thing. Some days it tends to pass incredibly slow and others it just whizzes by. Some years seem to take forever to end and others are over before you know it.

The same can be said for kids. I always believed I would have a hard time conceiving. After a couple of accidents where there is no way I should have escaped un-pregnant and the fact that my husband was bodybuilder, I believed it would take a while. Flash forward to one year wedding anniversary and bam - bun in the oven. Flash forward five months after Thomas was born and bam - another bun in the oven. Now I like to bake but this was getting ridiculous.

I remember alot of when Thomas was baby. I remember holding him and having a quiet tear as I thought of what my dad was missing. I remember saying to him, "Grandpa David would be so proud of you." I still choke up when I think of what a good grandad my dad would have been. He never scored high marks in the parenting department but neither did his dad. As a grandad, my Grandpa Barrass was one of my favorite people in the world.

I remember the first time Thomas rolled over - it was in his playpen outside and I remember cheering like a mad woman when he finally made it. I remember when the sky turned green and I quietly pulled his bassinet out of his bedroom in case the window crashed in. There are happy memories and there are some scary memories.

Vanessa's babyhood is a little more of a blur. I have some distinct memories like when I was breastfeeding her. One time she burped up something black - ick. I remember placing her ever so gently against my knees, cooing to her and have a nice chat as I called the doctor's office and spoke to the nurse. I remember her snuggling in to me. I remember her brother pushing her lovingly in the swing and she looking at him like no one else existed. Even at that age they adored one another.

Flash forward and we are in the midst of assessments, appointments, hospitalizations, asthma attacks, and steroid creams. Toddler hood for both my kids is a blur. I was constantly on the run to various doctors and naturopaths and osteopaths and chiropractors. Anything to help my son. My daughter doesn't know any other life than what Thomas needs and who I am speaking to next about him. She doesn't know that most kids don't have to spend their lives visiting their brother in the hospital or being bribed with juice and cookies to sit quietly while Mommy talks to the doctor - again. I sometimes wish I had had more time to enjoy them at that age. All the time was consumed keeping Thomas alive and hoping Vanessa would forgive me for the time I couldn't give her.

She doesn't know her brother any other way than how he is. There was a time when I knew him before we realized something was wrong. I knew him when he was shiny new and nothing was more pressing than watching him sleep. I knew him before the dreams I had for him had to change. I knew him when the world lay at his feet and his future was wide open. Then time passed.

Now we are in the present and time still slips by. I remember holding my babies for the first time. I remember watching Thomas walk and having to hear about it on the phone at work for Vanessa. I remember taking them apple picking for the first time. First days of schools, first bike rides, first time on a roller coaster... I remember so many firsts and I am grateful. I am grateful that I have had the time to experience those firsts. I am grateful God did not see fit to take my son away the first time he had peanuts. I am grateful for every day that I get to know my son and see the gift that he is. I am grateful for friends that point out to me those gifts and remind me that the time will come when he will find his own way in the world. I am grateful God granted me my daughter so that I can see myself as I was and know that she in time will find her way as I did. I make the time to be grateful every day even when I don't want to. That is time I will always need.

Time. It gives us so many things even when we think things are being taken away. It gives us a chance to reflect on the past. It gives us time to live our life and be grateful for the time we've had. It lets us contemplate our future and see what we can do with the opportunities ahead. I look forward to seeing my kids grow and knowing that I've had the time to be there.