Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Foundation for Funding Autism Education Because We Are Grossly Underfunded

Last Friday, the husband and I were invited to attend an Autism fundraising event held by a local couple.  Their son was also diagnosed at the age of two and the devastation that it brought mirrored our own pain and frustration. 

But this family chose to turn grief into hope.  They began a foundation, in their son's name, in order to support their local public school special needs teachers as the epidemic grew and the state budget shrank.

We, meaning the Autism Community, are, for the most part, not a united front.  I'm probably not supposed to say that, but it's true.  We are divided by theories and diets, medical "miracles" and conservative approaches.  We argue online, in the media, in tidy living rooms; we gather our latest research and statistics, and have little patience for naysayers because lives are at stake.  But in the end, we are just parents with a common denominator, holding on to any thread of hope that our children, stricken with something that we struggle to understand, will someday live a life that makes more sense and causes less pain. 

Our own family has taken a more conservative approach with our son.  We believe firmly in the progress he makes through a rigid schedule, filled with behavioral interventions, speech, occupational, and physical therapy, and a classroom environment that makes sense for a little boy who is unable to voice his demands the way most children can.   His epilepsy makes him especially vulnerable to the medical interventions that work for some families.  We cannot afford to take risks and so we stick with what we know.  But we respect the passion that other parents posses in treating their children.

We are the guinea pig generation.
Struggling to find answers through trial and error.

But back to my original point

The family that started this foundation to serve their local community, was inspiring, to say the least.  I sat there that night, watching the table they reserved for their son's teachers, therapists; miracle workers really, and my mind began to race.  What a beautiful tribute to their little boy; turning anger into action.   Bringing much needed supplies to classrooms that need it the most.  Building a bridge between educators, parents, and children, instead of burning it, like some of us regularly do.

And so naturally, the next step was to copy them.

So here we are.  In the planning stages of our very own Non-profit organization, in honor of our son, to better our special needs community in an area we can all agree on:  better resources for our Autism Educators. 

That's where YOU come in. 
We're not asking for money (yet)
Just some help in picking out a great name.

Below are some of the ones we've come up with so far.

Andrew's Foundation for Autism Education

The Andrew Autism Foundation

The Foundation for Autism Education in Honor of Andrew Because He is The Best

The People's Republic of Andrew

Autism Sucks and We Need Money to Stop It So Pay Up

 Let us know what you think.

After all, it has to fit on the "Pay to the Order Of" line of your check.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

8. But Whose Counting?

I shushed you in the hallway this morning
and hissed "shut up" as you opened your mouth
because Superman was sleeping off a high fever and you were being loud

so you whispered "Happy Anniversary" and I felt like the world's biggest ass
and the luckiest girl in the whole wide world
all in the same breath
while we giggled and you winked because once again, you beat me to it

Yesterday, someone asked me who I fantasized about
and i didn't have to close my eyes
to picture you coming home in your button down dress shirt
a fresh splash of cologne on the side of your neck
pulling me in for the kind of hug that melts me into you
and when I said your name my girlfriends rolled their eyes and tried to peer pressure me into changing my mind
but I won't
because baby
you've still got it

We survive
we thrive
You Are My Best Friend
and you have taught me how to
admit defeat

You nudge me through doorways
and prefer i use less makeup
I am the prettiest girl in the room
and you are a happy man
because I am yours

You still give me butterflies
with that smile
and the way you love our babies
planning a great big future for the four of us

building our dream
one compromise at a time
one embrace at a time
one iforgiveyou at a time

eight years
so much better
and bigger
than I could have
as you tasted
my watermelon lip gloss
and my knees went weak

For the patience
the forgiveness
the strength
the inspiration
the laughter
the arguments
the partnership
the passion

I am so grateful

so thankful for your love
so honored to have you standing next to me in this life

I love you,
my evolutionary bastard

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The First of Many, I'm Sure.....


Just got done giving Superman his very first lecture.

As in, "park your keister on the couch and listen up little dude....."

I have come to the following conclusions:

1.  Best Husband Ever is definately the bad cop
2.  I am definately the SappyMommyIforgiveyoubaby cop
3.  Giving lectures?  Waaaaaaaaay more fun than getting them.

Watch out Superman.

It's on.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sometimes Confessing is Half the Battle

There is an ugly side to this mommy.

Sometimes, she comes out while in public places, as she anticipates strangers' reactions to her silent son, obessing whether or not someone may think he is rude, selfish, stupid.

She shows up during conversations with other mothers, as they complain about the mundane, comparing notes on achievements, professing their child's genius as they sip their overpriced nonfat lattes.

She lingers on the playground, scrutinizing the neurotypical peers surrounding her precious boy, ready to defend his honor should some snot-nosed-know-it-all make him a target of sneers and stares and "retard" jokes.

Her hands clench as the fridge door opens for the hundredth time that day, the string cheese in his hand his latest obsession.  She watches as he rolls it across his chest, the tiny snack no longer edible, his interest piqued for only seconds, as he searches for something new to quench his angst.

And sometimes
she comes apart
in silence
like when
she stares at a photo
of a child
that could not possibly
belong to her


the little boy
with his mouth hanging open
the little boy
with the empty look in his eyes
the little boy
who reminds her of the kids she avoided
as she pranced down the halls of jr. high


There is an ugly side to this mother.

A side that sits obediently
at cocktail parties
potluck dinners

in the wake
of a photo
that manages to capture
what she sometimes hates
what she cannot fully comprehend
what she violently fears
there is nothing polite about the thoughts that crowd her

this is not the woman
you want to invite to dinner

she gives in
to her ugly side

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Literacy: It's Not All It's Cracked Up To Be


Gone are the days of baby gurgles and coos. 
Fewer and fewer mispronounciations of everyday words. 
I am still in denial and will forever say "nerdles" instead of noodles. 
Even when Superman is in his forties.  It's creepy, I know, but I'm fairly certain it's all I'll have.

Gone are the days of spelling bad words to the husband when something heinous, like the dishwasher breaking, happens.  Don't act superior.  If you have kids, you know you've done it.  "Oh S-----H------I-----T. 
I got so good at it I could spell it faster than you could yell it.  In two languages.

Gone are the days of leaving magazines laying around for fear that headlines will be read outloud and naturally questioned:

"How To Satisfy Your Man."
"What He Really Thinks of You in Bed."
"Romance and Sex.  He Thinks They're Synonymous"

and yes.

I am assuming that my Superman could read the word Synonymous.

and yes.
it just occurred to me that I have crappy taste in reading materials.

So now I have this first grader that can read just about anything, and instead of rejoicing in his passion for the written word, I have to go around the freakin house and make sure there are no traces of my
high school-era notes lying around because God forbid if he got a hold of one of those we'd have to sell our organs ( livers at a heavily discounted price) just to pay for the therapy bills.

My point is that illiteracy really doesn't get fair and equal representation in our society and it comes at a high price.

Specifically a whole new kind of "baby-proofing," if you know what I mean.


Monday, November 9, 2009

I Need New Friends

Preferably Butt Ugly ones.

Because nothing rubs my ego the wrong way than when my girlfriends show up at an event looking just as hot (if not more so) than me.

I'm tired of the sexy haircuts, the updated makeup, the skinny jeans and pretty patterned tops.
I want some drawstring-pants-wearing-mullet-hair-sporting-gold-capped-teeth ladies in my life.

The kind of women who are destined to make me look good.

I want to go to Wednesday Night Bunco and not have my natural beauty overshadowed by everyone else's good looks. 

I mean, I love my friends, but not enough to keep them around if they continue to refuse to fatten up and break out a little.

How selfish can people be?

So if you know of any below-average gals that I can befriend (could it be YOU?) , before the next Girls Night Out preferably, then email me a photo and measurements.

I can't afford to let another pretty face into my life.

Plus, if you can grow chin hair, you'll be bumped to Best Friend status.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Was Going To Complain About Something

but then

rhythmic murmurs
fragile kisses
a Wild Thing
attacking with
unsolicited tickles

fresh sunlight
Chocolate Delight Special K Cereal
hot coffee
made by someone else

children in jammies
laughter in their eyes
hungry pouts in place
Halloween candy demands
yogurt and bananas instead

needing hugs
extra explanations
band aids
low grade fevers
phone calls home

early christmas commercials
the new Sprouts ad
daydreams of
Barnes and Noble book signings

more love
than i know
what to do with