Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Turkey is a-comin'!!!

We are all excitement here. Evan is coming.

My house is a disaster. Joey is sick. The guest bedroom isn't set up, and is in fact still full of boxes of I-have-no-idea-what-because-I'm-a-packrat-queen. I got the shower re-caulked and a new showerhead, but the showerhead isn't installed. Andy is hoarding again. But it's okay. Evan is coming.

Families are funny things. Families usually have two parts- the part that you were born with, and the part that appears over time. Folks who don't get the whole humanity thing forget about the second part of the family (often while complaining bitterly about the first part). They see them as outsiders, keep them at arm's length, forget to let them in and enjoy them. More and more and more people I meet are like that- there is an isolation of humanity in today's culture. We have become so focused on nuclear "family" that the rest of it drops into a grey abyss, our children not given the skills and understanding to expand their families and relish them. After all, all families are strange. They are full of people. People are here to be loved. Too many folks now expect people to meet certain ideas and expectations before they will even acknowledge the other person's existence, much less refer to the person as a "friend." Instead of taking people as they are, and start from there, and see what happens, they automatically exclude everyone until proven otherwise. Safer? Maybe. But you miss out on a lot of family.

Joey loves the world and the world loves Joey. People like to be accepted, no strings attached. Joey has a knack for that. "Hi, Friend!" he cheerfully calls to all and sundry. You're invited- you’re a friend until proven otherwise. Andy doesn't have this talent. He's far more of a question first, be friends if the answers are OK kind of guy.

Anyway, Thanksgiving is one of those family holiday things. People's families get together and celebrate being on the earth and get to have some time to just hang out and enjoy each other. We can appreciate Aunt Susie's love of carrot cake, the lopsided way Cousin Johnnie smiles, take joy in Grandpa's old war stories and Grandma's taste in clothes. We can pick up on the little clues that speak to who we are.

When we grow up, and go out to make our own little nuclear units, holidays are great times to remember the rest of our families. Those brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins who may not share our bloodlines, but remain our families. Those connections to humanity that remind us that we're all in this together, we might as well enjoy each other for this brief shining moment.

Evan is coming. Christmas is upon us.

I love Christmas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Retrospective (Andy)

Moral of the stories: They aren't little for long.

Wordless Wednesday: Retrospective (Joey)

Sending him off to school

As the bus pulled off this morning, I had myself a nice little cry.

I've been sending Joey to school now for three years, this is his fourth. Oct 12, 2004. that was his first day of school. My little two-year-old baby, placed on a big yellow bus to whisk him off into the unknown. Without me.

Folks who read Tibetan Star's Aspie Home-Education know that I am a supporter of schooling. Actually, I'd like to correct that. I believe in individualized education. For everyone. And I believe that education occurs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so most parents need to remember to be vigilant about educating their child, and what thir child is learning, all of the time. Most of the parents who communicate with me through this blog seem to be doig a very fine job with this. Some folks send their kids to residential schools. Some keep them home. Most mix the school- public or private- and home schooling, with a generous peppering of therapies and activities. We've become experts at individualized education. After all, the laws for our kids require it. We know they have a right to it, and it is our responsibility to preserve their rights.

One of the main advantages I see to school is that Joey learns independence. When at home, if Mom will do it for him and he knows it, he wont do it. Note the period. If I want him to learn to do something independently at home, I put Allan in charge of it. Allan is good at not letting Joey get away with letting others do things for him. You can pull up your own pants, Boy; let's see you do it! [pause] Good job!Allan taught him to drink from a cup. Allan taught him to dress himself. Allan is teaching him to bathe himself, and take a shower. He's a good teacher.

I miss my Joey. I miss having that little face with me, wandering through Tuesday Morning, leaning close together. I miss taking him to the farm, to the zoo, having him all to myself to show him the world at his own pace.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Andy. He's a good little buddy, and he's growing up with lightning speed. He loves seeing the world, too. He loves leaning against Mom while riding in the cart. He loves to look at the fish at Walmart. He loves to chase the chickens at Snead's. He loves to point to things and let me know what is around him. I'm more and more glad that we pulled him out of that preschool every day, because he's so much fun.

But I miss my Joey. We don't have a lot of minutes together, just us. In fact, we go to church for half an hour on Saturday evenings- and otherwise, I always have Andy, too. Andy's pace is so different from Joey's that we can't just slow down and let Joey process and look and do what he needs to do. I have to keep them together.

When Andy does finally go to preschool (and he will, because he has to have some experience at school to be successful in kindergarten these days), I may pull Joey for a couple of mornings. I'm planning little wanderings together. I trip to the farm. A wandering over to the park. Maybe a morning, just us, baking cookies or making playdoh or doing a craft. It won't be as easy as doing these things with Andy, but that would be part of the fun. Seeing Joey take things in his own way, at his own pace. Taking a minute to just be Mom and the Buddy-Boy again.

I miss my little Buddy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

With Love, From Home

Just putting out my plug for Operation Love From Home. Whatever you think about the war, remember that lots of folks over there would rather be over here with their families and friends. Let them know we support them, miss them, and care about them. Send a card. Thanks.

Just a moment of quiet

Andy isn't feeling well. He's fallen asleep on the couch, all nested in the cushions, with Cars on. The house is so quiet. Not quite as quiet as when I have no one here... but very, very still as the baby sleeps.

I thought I would just share a little moment of that quiet with you.

Monday, November 12, 2007


We've been having so many good days with Joey lately that when we get a hiccup, it can be a little jarring. JOey came home from school today absolutely exhausted. I don't know what they di dto the child, but he is tired. Oh, and he had four worksheets to do. Oh, and an assignment to look for things that begin with C. Oh, and we have to do tomorrow;s homework tonight, because tomorrow we have double therapies, one in the Stafford clinic. And we had the drum lesson tonight.

Something was amiss with the toy he decided to play with, and we could not get him distracted from it. Meltdown city. Then we had to do that homework and go to music lesson... yes indeed. One tired boy + way too much to do= not a good thing.

He banged on the drums pretty good. Mr. Shelby wanted him to tap the high hat with his right hand on eighth note counts and the snare with the left on alternate counts. OK, for those of you not familiar with drumming, this would require him to cross his hands, and do two different rhythms with each hand. That lasted all of about two seconds. For one, Joey hates crossing his hands, and dislikes crossing midline. Then trying to get those hand to do two different things? At the same time? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

Of course, that's why I have him in drum lessons. Bilateral coordination and processing and all that. But remember, he was tired before we even got there.

And I had no gum with me, becuase I am an idiot.

These are the kinds of afternoons that remind me not to take good days for granted. Don't forget the emergency sensory support kit. Stay on my toes, because you never know, and trying to get clues about what is going on from Joey when he's having a crazy day is like trying to get a cat to read braille. It's not happening.