There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated with situations that fall completely out of your grasp. Recently I found out my baby boy is autistic. We had to meet a bunch of specialists and fill out these questions about him. I’ve been in the preschool teaching game for over a decade and seven of those years with kids three and under. I know the signs as a teacher. You notice things a child does differently than the others. And I did notice with him. But boys do things at a different speed then girls. So I wasn’t worried. Not really. Well, maybe a little. A lot of the signs of children on the spectrum can also be seen as typical behaviors. Like categorizing toys by size and color. Repeating certain words and not being clear with them. I knew what bothered my son and what didn’t. It would be fine going forward right? Then I started reading pamphlets and websites and began to worry more. It’s like when you have a small ache that hasn’t gone away for a while and you go on Dr. Google and see what it could be. Suddenly after ten minutes of research, you find out you’re dying of some rare disease that only .5% of people ever got in the history of Earth. These sites began talking about the signs and then I am reading about if he needs adult care and how to live with your autistic child forever. I imagined him at fifty and us barely moving thanks to our barely functioning bodies. How could I care for my grown son when my own shit was a struggle to live with? What happens when I’m sick and he needs me? I am already crawling half the day from my endo.
I am in full panic mode after reading this stuff. We don’t know yet what level (if that’s how they measure) he is. I don’t know if he will do well in school all day. I sit with him now, his pale cheeks spotted with bits of dried muffin and he is happy. He is watching videos about dinosaurs and he is naming them all along with colors and shapes, numbers and animals. He loves other kids and he hugs us and yells out “family hugs!” He jumps with excitement when he sees his older sister and they play legos together. I see him as just GG, my middle baby and happy boy. What if some asshole kid with his yellow-toothed punk friends picks on him? What if he hates himself because he is “different”? What if some shitty teacher targets him and flunks him all the time because he learns differently than other kids? My husband and I sometimes dread these scenarios that, of course, have never happened yet. But my mind is on its own, creating this world that may never occur. And I’ve been a parent for a while now and a teacher for a long time. I know this is just how our minds work. All I want to do is protect my kids from anyone who will ever do them harm. I can only wait which sucks 100%. Until then I can watch him enjoy his little life, his love of snuggles and dinosaurs and hope everything will work out.
Lately I feel swallowed up by life. It keeps overwhelming me and there isn’t anything I can really do for it. Well I CAN but sometimes I just need to be grumpy. Don’t we all? I can be mopey and reserve my pity party of one. And sometimes I do. People who once supported me in my endeavors have faded away. And while I find myself sad by it, I have to realize I myself am the only who who can persevere through it. How? I honestly have no clue. The hands I held for security are gone. So I must hold my own. When you are stuck in a rut you may find yourself looking around for someone else to toss in that life jacket. I am slowly learning I have to learn how to swim. If you are lucky enough to find your saving grace you grab hold.
There are soooo many ways people tell you to hold your own. Don’t feel sad. Don’t be so upset. Cheer up. But while you flounder during your path to find yourself there are things you can do to cheer yourself up. For one, I read. Escaping in someone else’s world even for a while can help you push some of that negative crap away.
Take a drive. I find a neighborhood with those great old Victorian homes and I gawk. The architecture, the history…it is all.amazing to me. But don’t gawk too much. You don’t need to explain to the cops you’re just staring at people’s home. Akward.
Binge watch something. Sometimes you need to shut your mind off. Recommendation? My new Netflix fav “Nailed It!”
Arts and crafts. So what if you hot glue your fingers together? Go find your inner Martha and make something amazing. Or something awful. Just make something. Go to the dollar store and let go.
Bubble bath. Bath bombs are amazing. They are fizzy. They smell great. What’s not to love?
Cook. I recently baked banana bread. Grab a subscription (I love Blue Apron) and cook something. It occupies your time and you create a gourmet meal that’s insta worthy
Don’t count on other people to make you happy. It’s not cynicism. Ok maybe a bit. But YOU count too. It is OK to be a little self absorbed once in while especially when you find yourself stretched thin with work, the kids, and all those other responsibilities. Distract yourself in a good way. There is nothing wrong making yourself happy.
#Halloween and #DayoftheDead have passed but I still feel a bit…#witchy
I currently wrote about how the moon may affect our Cycles as women. If you are like me then everything in that infinite sky above us fascinates you. Especially that large, white orb that is nestled in the velvety blackness. Can the moon tell our bodies what to do and how to feel? I always felt a connection with my #endometriosis. Every time I would feel crippled with pain, that moon would be shining bright in through the window. Can the lunar cycle be tied with our own? Do we become more creative, desirable, or even tired depending on what phase the Moon is in? Perhaps the next time the moon is out stop and think about how you feel. You never know what you may turn into.
I went for a normal exam at my lady doctor. I am here now 2 days later in some of the worst pain in my life. Just keeping up with my health is giving me pain. I have a job, three kids, a husband…a LIFE. And a part of it has to be disrupted by #endo. You may not have any health issues (and I hope you do not!)but if you do you may understand the frustration of it all. Waking up and never knowing if today you will be able to function. Or is it a day you spend hiding under the covers on the couch?
1 in 10 women have #endometriosis. I am part of a great community but we are bound by pain and suffering. We could make our own country with the number of #women who have #endo. Maybe we should. Then at least we could have doctors who don’t dismiss our symptoms or family members who tell us to shut up and deal with it. We need to fight for a greater quality of life. I’m still fighting for it. I am fighting for my daughters and my #endosisters and #endobabes. What are you fighting for?
“Willamena was born with something that her family was quite unfamiliar with… a small but fluttering heartbeat”
Willamena is more than just a story I wrote. It’s a representation of my younger self, a young girl who never had confidence but found her way in this world because she embraced her uniqueness. This colorful children’s book follows Willamena Webbs who was born on October 31st. Her mother is a vampire but also Dr. Velma Webbs, a dentist who specializes in vampire Dentistry. Her father William is Undead also. He is a zombie contractor. He helps the neighbors find their new “digs” and welcomes them to the neighborhood. Willamena is surrounded by her loved ones; parents who are career and family oriented, her ghostly grandma, and the luminescent pet Bone Bunny. Her parents are quite shocked when Willamena is born with her heart beating but they love her no matter what.
In a society where we find more news stories about children being bullied and picked on, our kids may feel alone because they see themselves as different. Willamena is a beacon of uniqueness and the beauty that comes with it. Let us show our children that our differences are incredible and make us who we are. Who wants to be the same as everyone else? Let them SHINE.
You can find my debut book “Willamena” on:
Sleepy Hollow NY