Saturday, September 13, 2014

Same garbage (truck) different day...

~"Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due."~William Ralph Inge

  Now and then I worry...well probably more than that.. Alright-I obsessively worry-about my kids futures.and my chickens and cats..the*sigh* garbage company-I am not kidding!  I admit that I am a champion worrier-the queen of fretting-the empress of uncertainty!..if only there were awards or monetary compensation for it-I'd be buried under piles of trophies and money..But, as that isn't the case..  

 We have had the same garbage removal company for nine years. Very slowly-but surely-their price for garbage removal has gone up.  So much so that I was either going to have to sell a body part to pay for it-or move into our dumpster as a way of consolidating living costs. So, I did the responsible adult thing and researched other trash removal companies.  That's smart-right?  I even found one that offered twice the removal for half of what I was paying now. Two for less than the cost of one! You would think it would be a no brainer..that of course I would cancel my current service and hire the other company. I thought so too...until I spoke to my account manager..I spoke to him-exchanged words..and more...Which brings me to my other problem.  Sometimes...I talk too much.  It's not that I want to!  No, it's more like I am compelled-driven! You have to understand, I have worked in customer service.  I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of a complaint.

 More than once I have endured the wrath of someone who felt wronged, persecuted even!- because they were served the wrong salad dressing
("I asked for FAT FREE ranch and this has fat in it!" "I am so sorry..I'll fix that for you right away!" " I can't believe you did that!" "I promise it was an honest mistake."  "Uh huh.")
Or their unlimited fries had *GASP* run out!  Oh the humanity!. "The menu clearly states that the fries are bottomless!" "Yes they are." "Well..why did we run out?" "I'm sorry, it has been a busy night-I will refill your basket now." "Well, I can not believe that I had to sit and WAIT-WAIT for them to be filled up! "I will have a mass said in your name." "What?!" "I'll be right back.."

 So I feel this strange sort of solidarity with wait staff, cashiers and faceless telephone clerks. I need them to know that I am on their side!  That I understand that whatever problem that I have is not personally their fault...But then, it gets personal anyway...

"Hi Ms. Leopold, I understand you are thinking of leaving us."

"Hi Mr. Smith..yes, I'm sorry but you are just too expensive."

"Let me look at your rate has gone up."

"I know! I found another company that will do twice the pickups for half your cost- for one!"

"Really?..Wow..that's stiff competition...let me see what I can do here..we really hate to lose long term customers like you"

"You guys are great-really!  I love our pick up driver-he's always so nice about avoiding my chickens..and waiting for me to move the cars and the kids stuff before he pulls in.."

"Oh I know about moving your kids stuff (chuckle)"

"Really?  How many kids do you have?"

  And we're off!.. and before you know it, we are on a first name basis...and a conversation that should have taken ten minutes has stretched out to over two hours. We have shared our thoughts on politics, religion, kids. I know that he needs a new roof (I of course gave him suggestions) that he's on his second marriage, what his kids do, where he eats lunch and what he plans on doing next weekend.  We even exchanged recipes! (His cheeseburger meatloaf dish was a hit with two of the kids-and Omar)  It's madness!  It happens far too much. We have had contractors in and out (mostly in) our house for nine years! It isn't because of the amount of work-No!  It's because we start talking...The other morning, Omar asked where our current one was.."Well," I said.."He had a busy weekend..he had to take his daughter up to school..I think that he has an appointment this morning...did you know that...blah blah blah.." Omar just laughs..""Of course you know that-of course you do."  He doesn't mind-he finds it humorous."Only you" he says as he kisses me and leaves for work..I choose to take that as the compliment that I am sure that he meant it as.

I do not know how to fix it-this customer service worry.  I do know that I have met some very interesting people along the way. I've even gotten some good recipes!  I just can't see myself doing things any other way.  The problem is..well, that nothing really ever gets resolved-not fully..  Sure, I have made a new friend in my garbage company- but it's the same garbage company that I have had for nine years.  Yes, my cost has gone down...but it is still five dollars higher than the other company's price.   What the hell?  

I am going to "try" and switch my cable service this week. I am really hoping for an automated system. Otherwise-who knows what I'll end up with-besides perhaps some new recipes...

Saturday, September 6, 2014


~“This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”~ Dorothy Parker




    Hindsight is an interesting concept.  I guess that for many people, it gives them a chance to look back on certain events with perspective. Perhaps they could have handled a certain situation differently? Maybe they were spot on. I suppose it can give one clarity. For me, hindsight requires twisted sheets and sleepless nights spent tossing and turning muttering "What was I thinking?!!" "I can't believe that I said THAT! It wasn't what I meant!"..and then I wonder how I can "fix" it..smooth things over..make things right...Oh hindsight you are a harsh mistress!
    It wasn't always like this for me. I used to be different..quiet (sometimes). But I have come to realize something about myself as of late-something rather important. I have been a full time mother/laundress/housekeeper(sort of)/short order cook/appointment maker and accompanier(among other things) for close to sixteen years. Everything that I have done has revolved around my kids. I don't regret that in the least. However, because I have been so kid focused-kid centered-immersed in all things kid....I seem to have lost my social skills. I no longer know how to conduct myself with adults. Or maybe I just don't have time to do all the social niceties that are required in having a grown up conversation?  I don't know..I guess I'd rather just get to the point and move on. I swear that If I had a school file it would probably say "Does not play well with the other adults."  I'm kind of wondering if this is a good thing or not.

  I've learned a lot from having children. I have learned even more from having children on the spectrum. And we certainly have a spectrum at our house-especially now that we officially know that all four are on it. Someone recently told me that we would be perfect for a reality show...four kids on the spectrum, two loving parents, cats, a dog-chickens! "It would be so interesting!" they declared. Interesting?  I think that it would be rather boring..unless of course- you wanted to watch me ask the kids to "Please put away your laundry!" repetitively-and sometimes in different languages. I mean, if that's your thing-fine...But,we're pretty regular as families go. Or as Sam would say (especially at times when Oscar was doing something particularly embarrassing in public-like grabbing a mannequins butt while declaring his love for it) "Nothing to see here folks!" 

 My kids have taught me to be straight forward and honest-because they are. They go out everyday into a world that isn't always inviting to them-yet,they try to make their own place in it.
They are decent people who care very deeply about the people in their lives-even when those people aren't as considerate of them.I admire their confidence...Sometimes I admire their honesty.. But then again....

"Hey Mama! Look at this old picture of you! Your skin used to be so smooth! What happened?"
"You look really tired and old today Mama."
"Why do your eyebrows look like that?"
"Your elbows are really saggy..."
"You don't need makeup-no one is going to look at you anyway."
        ( My ego soars).

sometimes...I don't. But-living with such  honesty..(and really-it isn't ALL about my appearance-sometimes Omar's is included..)..I guess, has kind of rubbed off-especially as of late. I don't know what has happened-but my already thin social filter has simply gone-vanished-left the building. Which is not helping me win any popularity contests lately. It has gotten so-that If I still had a "permanent record"-mine would say "Does not play well with the other adults." It isn't as if  I'm afraid to speak my mind-to stand up for what I believe in-I'm not!...I just wish that I could do it I do in my head at night when I'm tossing and turning all twisted in my sheets.. 

  I find that I am leery of even Facebook!   All the status updates!  Should I "like" that you are at your grandmothers funeral? Or that you are prepping(in great detail) for a colonoscopy? Or letting your "ta ta's" free? Should I even know these things?  I mean, I am one of your six thousand friends...but still...

  So, I have come to a the real world (off line) I'm just going to keep quiet (it will be hard) and concentrate on the things that I need to do. i.e. getting the kids to school (thwarted two "personal day" attempts so far) finding gainful employment (I no longer work for free) and hanging out with the people and chickens that I love best..As for social media? I think its best that I don't least not right's best I get some perspective first....

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer times four..

~"Doing nothing is very hard to never know when you're finished."~ Leslie Nielson

Wednesday morning I knew for sure that fall was on its way...the air was cooler..the leaves are just starting to change...and I was surrounded by the dulcimer tones (in quadruplicate) of the shifting time ..the lyrical lilting sounds of the end of a season...

"Uuuuuuggghh.." "Why do I have to get up now?!" and "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" 

  Yes, school has officially started. Summer is coming to a close..and I have accomplished...nothing. Well..not "nothing" per say....It's more like I got side tracked by things..I HAD intended to do all kinds of wonderful things..We were going to read..explore experiments...cook..go to the beach..sing! I... was going to be the Maria von Trapp of Maine.


  But it was not to be...Oh-the summer started off great...In June, we went to the library..we read books..we were even about to build a volcano! (*sigh* I bragged about this in an earlier piece) And then...
  I misplaced Oscars paperwork for camp...
which led to an incredible purging of every nook and cranny in my house...I just KNEW that I had put them somewhere...
I did find them (on a table) but only after my frantic email to the camp requesting a new set of paperwork-and yet again-only after the second set of paperwork arrived.. I quickly filled out all the paperwork-faxed all the info-had other info faxed back..crossed my i's dotted my t's...realized what I did and fixed it...
 Only now I had to get him ready for camp-me ready for him going to clean up every paper I had furiously torn out of every cabinet, drawer, purse..closet...
Because (aside from the fact that I was buried in papers) my house-or at least 1/4 of it decided it was tired and started sinking...SINKING..
  So-I had to hire a contractor to come and jack it up and fix the foundation and the floors and  the walls and the ceilings.....only it turned out to be more of a project than anyone expected..part of which included me emptying two rooms just filled with all kinds of crap-including..of course..paperwork.
 In the meantime...
Oscar went to Camp Capella  (I can not rave enough about how wonderful their program is) for an entire week!  He had a lovely time. He swam, he fished..he boated..he did arts and crafts, nature walks..and bonfires. I on the other hand spent an entire week (needlessly) worrying about him..had to-because...well,.it's my job-one that I am amazingly efficient at.  Oh if only worrying paid!  I would be quite wealthy...because worry overtook the rest of the Summer.
  At the end of July, I had both of my girls re-evaluated.  I did not agree with the schools assessment of Zoe last year. So I sought another opinion.( One based on the newer DSM V guidelines). As for Lily..she's been having some difficulties. She does have a diagnosis of ADHD..but I wanted to be sure that we were doing all that we could to help her.
 We weren't.
  Anyone who has undergone evaluations knows that there is a ginormous amount of *sigh* paperwork involved. Questionnaires to be filled out-and to have other people fill out..old evaluations to be found...which of course involved me digging through years (I've been doing this for at least thirteen) of stuff.   It's time consuming...and unnerving...I hate doing these things because it feels as if you are dissecting your child..picking apart the pieces that make them different but also makes them-them...We filled out the forms and gathered the info and tested the girls...and came to find out..... that they were both on the spectrum.
That's four for four now.
I want to say that I was shocked-but really?  I wasn't. Definitely a bit surprised...and definitely angry at myself. I should have seen it..I should have known. It's not like I'm new to this. My girl-my curly headed wild very full of everything- that at times she almost bursts..she trusts me...and I let her down.  I simply did not recognize just how much she has been struggling.
Crap-that hurts...stings...cuts me into a million pieces.  but I'll get over it.  The important thing now is to help her through this rocky time. To continue to build her up as we always have-only now with better information. Most importantly-to get her the support she needs.  which you know is going to require a whole lot of paperwork.

  So-another Summer has past. Once again, it did not go entirely the way I had planned. Oh well. At least the kids are happy (with the exception of school starting-they will get over it.) and my house is no longer sinking...I'd say that (with the exception of all the paperwork) it was a pretty good one.


Saturday, August 16, 2014


~“I don't like my shoes,' said Rose.

'I'm wearing my shoes and you don't see me complain.'
'You only hear a person complain,' said Rose. 'Not see.'
How has Rose lived for seventeen years and no one has killed her, not once?”
 ~Franny Billinglsy~Chime


  My daughter was standing in front of the mirror, pulling on her cheeks, when she asked "Mama? is my mouth too big?"  "What?"..."Is my mouth too big?"..."No.".."Well. I think it is.".

 It wasn't the first time that I'd heard this question. It wasn't the first time that I have caught her stretching her lips, pulling on her cheeks..and it wasn't the first time that I had asked her- "Why do you think your mouth is too big?"  "I just do."

 At first, I had thought that maybe it has something to do with growing up.  She does have an older sister who is starting to take some major steps away from little girlhood...worrying about growing up, worrying about fitting in...worrying about *sigh* everything.  So, I thought that maybe her sisters worrying was possibly rubbing off on her. Girls do seem to go through some weird stuff-especially when it comes to appearance.

So, this time, I indulged her.  "Really?..hmmm...o.k., lets take a I  scrutinize her lovely face..tilting it left and then right, up and down, asking her to step closer to the light, then away from the light..turn to the side..tilt your head all the way back....I even thought about getting a tape measure. "Honey, I are perfect and beautiful..I see nothing wrong with the size of your fits your face beautifully.".."No, it's big."..exasperated I said "Baby girl! What in the world is making you think that you have a big.." and then it hit a load of bricks to the girl is a literal thinker..HOW could I not have realized this?  Me!- the woman who still wakes up at night relieved that she didn't answer her second grade teacher with "Don't all watches have two hands?" when said teacher asked if anyone's watch had a second hand...ME!- who thought "Euthanasia" meant-YOUTH in Asia...and Guerrilla warfare? Honestly-I once pondered   "How do they train gorilla's to fight?   How could I have not recognized this?!   

"Zoe?..honey?..Did someone tell you that you had a big mouth?: . "Well, remember that time when I was fighting with Lily......?" 

 For the record-there hasn't been much time in the past six months where they haven't been fighting. Each of them are incredibly sensitive lately-only not at the same time...which has just been so much fun-a regular barrel of laughs, a hoot if you will...Oh 2014...What a year it has been! What a time we have had!..(I've been thinking of having that put on a tee shirt or mug) I have have reached out to the U.N. peacekeeping forces-but have yet to hear back. fingers crossed! 

"Well...I'm not sure which fight you're referring to...but go on.."
"She yelled at me!"
"How unusual!"
"Wait...How is that unusual?"
"I was being sarcastic."
"So...what happened?"
"Oh..well Lily yelled at me and said that I had a big mouth!"
"Honey...that is just a "saying" doesn't really mean that your mouth-your physical mouth is big."
"Then why did she say it."
"When someone accuses someone of having a "big mouth" it means that they talk too much."
"But I don't talk too much."
"I know."
"Then why did she say it?"
"Because she was mad at you and that is the first thing that flew out of her mouth."
"Wait....something flew out of her mouth?"
"Words don't fly."

At this shoulders are up by my ears..I'm almost afraid to say anything else..

"O.K.-Lily said something in the heat of the..ummm..she was angry and yelled without thinking. You do that too.  I really wish that you would both stop. Your mouth is not big. O.K.?"
"O.K.'...and off she go tell her sister......and then...

 "Yes Lily?"
"Zoe said.........

  There is only a week and a half until school starts up again. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Full plate.....

~ "My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy the ice cream while it's on your plate"~Thornton Wilder's 9:05 on Friday night..and I'm not sure of what to write about-or really "how" to write about all that has been happening these past few weeks.  I didn't write last week for the same reasons that I'm having trouble with this week. There has been a lot happening-nothing tragic or bad-just ..just...

Oscar went to camp!  He had a wonderful time-BUT, there is more going on with this young man of mine than I even imagined. We are trying to help him figure some things out at the moment-while giving him the respect and space that he needs to process it all. His own way and his own time. It's hard to watch him struggle-but lovely too. He is coming in to his own... 

Part of my house started sinking. Yes-sinking. This picture is of the rotted sill that was holding up this part of the house. So...we had to hire a contractor to "jack up" the house and fix all the problems.  I lived in fear that the house would fall on him and I would come home to see only his feet sticking out from underneath-kind of like the wicked witch of the east in "The Wizard Of Oz"..Thankfully that didn't happen. The work should be done in a few more weeks. The only huge problem is...spiders.  It seems like all this work has attracted every spider within a five mile radius into my bathroom shower to be exact. BUT..only when I am taking a shower.  It's really creepy.  As soon as I step into the shower..I am surrounded by a bunch of multi-eyed many legged hairy creatures...There I am standing naked-NAKED! in a self imposed two inch space-afraid that if I move one will jump down onto my head-or hit me in the face as it does a Tarzan swing across the shower stall. I am starting to wonder about these spiders...are they laughing at me as I try and contort my body in an attempt to get away from them? Are they filming me? Do spiders have reality t.v. shows? "Shower Hunters"...or maybe it's a game show-and I'm the obstacle course...or spiders have...fetishes? Am I the victim of some sordid spider porn ring?  I think that I'll have Omar clean the bathroom this week...

We decided to get both of our girls evaluated. Anyone who has read this blog knows that we have been having an awful time getting Zoe the things that she needs to make school successful.  Our Lily has been having her own issues as well. So, we decided to get an opinion OUTSIDE of school.  From someone who had more experience with evaluations and diagnosis-especially when it came to girls. Some of what we have found out was not surprising...Some has knocked us off of our feet. Both Omar and I both know that we are good parents-that we have happy kids-a stable home.  We know this. But sometimes, you find things out about your kids-that just stun you. Where you think "How could I have not seen this?!" So, you beat yourself up a bit..wonder about lost opportunities..about what you should/could have been doing.  Yes, I know that hind-site is 20/20..and I know that we have done the best that we could with the information that we had. But I think that ALL parents beat themselves up every now and then-it's just part of the job. I'll get over it-I just need to think things through for a bit before I can write clearly.

After a year that included job loss...and then getting another job (that was quite adventurous) We decided that we needed to work for ourselves. So, we bought a franchise of a popular take-out chain in our area. Omar is an amazing business man. It's time that he put all of his talent-and all of his hard work where it belongs. Working for himself. Right now, we are figuring out how to balance a business a family and an impending school year. 

 There is just so much that I need to think through right now.  I have so many half finished posts..that can't be finished until I know what it is that I want to say. The important thing is that we are all o.k.  We continue to move is happening for all of us-maybe in ways that we did not expect-but, it is happening nonetheless. Might as well embrace it.   I really have nothing to complain about...except maybe spiders...I really don't like spiders...

Saturday, July 19, 2014


~"The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is still the hinge."~Meister Eckhart


 So, Summer is going the way Summer usually goes...mostly lazy days with a summer rec program sandwiched in the middle. Now that the kids are older, it is easier to spend more alone time with each of them. The boys and I have taken to walking most nights-exploring the different areas in town. Part designated route and part adventure. We walk down to the river and then over to the playground taking mostly different routes in between. The playground is always our final destination before returning home. Our last stop- with the wonderful swings.  We save that for last because by the time we get there, it is dusk and we don't want anyone else to be there. I mean really-swings! Who wants to have to wait for a turn?  Besides it would look kind of weird if we had to stand around ( a 50 year old woman and her 2 very tall sons) waiting for a five year old to hurry and finish. We also like the quiet-ending our evenings in the air. The three of us in our own heads swinging at our own paces. I think that it helps us all sort out the day or anything else that might be rolling around in our brains.

  There is a lot going on for all of us right now.  Sam is at an age where he is just filled with longing. He is such a good kid.  So genuine and open-no angsty teen boy attitude. He doesn't grunt!  He actually talks to me! Real conversation!   He is so ready to leave home and  He feels like this town is too small and that there is no longer a place for him here. He wants to DO things-and he wants friends.  He just doesn't feel any special connection with any of his school "friends".  It isn't that he feels left out-but more like he can't find interest in the things they are interested in. He's chomping at the bit-and I'm trying to keep him steady...Trying to convince him that you spend more time being an adult than a teenager...that he WILL find his tribe..I'm hoping that with all the changes going on in our lives (running a restaurant) we can get him into some classes and activities away from school. Fingers crossed that this year will be better...

  Oscar is all about going to camp this Summer. In his own words he "Wants to make friends and have my own adventures!" Next to Lily-Oscar is my most social kid. Language and processing difficulties and all. He so wants to participate in things-but, his disabilities exclude him.They shouldn't-but they do. He's a smart kid-he knows so much more-SEES so much more than many people give him credit for. He has these moments of verbal clarity-of precise thinking that just floor me.He also has a deep sadness. He knows that he is different-and while he is confident in who he is-he feels left out-alone. The other day, he was going down a hallway ahead of me...he passed two young men-(perhaps two years older than him) he was walking the way that he walks...flapping his hands at his sides..intent on going where he needed to be...Right after he passed the guys..they turned to each other and smirked..a kind of "get a load of that character" kind of look..until they noticed me. Yeah-they didn't expect me there.. I just looked at them-said nothing..just stared. Causing an instant look of almost shame.. (as it should)..and I walked on. What I wanted to do-and did in fact do later (in my mind) was smack them in the head..tell them that they were dumb-asses..tell them that my Oscar-my son- had more dignity-more character-more humanity-more confidence alone- than the two of them could ever hope to have combined. So, while I quietly agonize over these slights..agonize over his future and the world he will one day be an adult in...he remains persistent, confident and sure in himself.. He walks tall. I really hope that his week at camp is everything that he wishes it to be and then some.

 As for me-I swing with my worries-and I worry about boys,my girls..Omar..will our house ever be done?..My chickens and strapless bra. Have you ever tried to wear one of these things? Holy crap! I wear a lot of tank tops-some with "Y" backs-and I loathe the whole let your bra straps hang out look.. I figured I would try one of these strapless numbers. I don't know if I'm inept?  Somehow wearing it wrong...I put it on and it fits correctly-as long as I stay home.Really-I can do anything in it.  Kind of like the "Hair club for men" commercial (only with a bra instead of hair)..I can run..jump-swim even! name it-and it stays in place.  But the minute I have to go anywhere-especially if there are people-slippage ensues..I don't know why it happens!  I get out of the car-everything is where it belongs- and then I start walking (usually towards a group of people) and ever so slowly it starts sliding down my rib the same time turning around. Now, I am not complaining mind you-but, I am not what you would call "full figured" fact, I'm quite a bit less than, my upper undergarments are slightly endowed...o.k.-they are padded! So...when this strapless band of preformed breasts slips and turns...I either look like my head is on backwards OR that I have started growing breasts on my lower back. It's downright unsettling! The only thing I could think of to do (besides duct tape) is to walk with my upper arms pressed firmly to my sides-while my lower arms swing up and down. My upper arms slow down the sliding and the movement  of my lower arms push it up in place. It also helps if I sashay my hips-it helps with the upward pushing momentum. This would all be fine and good if I didn't look like a woman whose laxative had just kicked in. It's even worse if I am just standing and chatting with someone and only one side slides down!  Then I oh so casually(so the other person doesn't notice) have to do an almost side bend while trying to (again casually) thrust one shoulder repeatedly in an attempt to get "things" back in proper position.  It's like playing with one of those party favors.  You know the plastic disc with the silver balls that you have to maneuver into the tiny holes. It's a delicate operation!. Oh such worries.

  As you can probably tell-these nightly walks with my boys are necessary for all of our mental well beings. I am finding great solace in my swinging..This summer, it seems to be all that I long as I'm wearing the proper support.     


Saturday, July 5, 2014

No apology..

~"“Re-examine all you have been told. Dismiss what insults your soul.” ~ Walt Whitman

 I like to think of myself as a regular parent. Doubtless there will be some who say "Kathleen? What does that mean?! What is this regular that you speak of?"   Well, I am more than happy to explain!  "Regular"- simply means that I, like so many millions before and after me-have taken on the responsibility of growing small people into big people-with people being the operative word. It is what I do.  Sometimes I am very good at it-sometimes I fail miserably. My kids aren't complaining (too much)-So, I'll take the former as an affirmative. The thing of it is-parenting is a tough job. I don't think anyone really knows just how tough until they become a parent themselves. I mean, you can talk about parenting, comment on other peoples parenting-even imagine what kind of parent you will be...but really?  You don't know till you get there.  That's o.k.-because, there is plenty of "on the job" training.

  What really annoys me is when people refer to me as a "special needs" parent. I really don't like that title-and I really don't care for the word "special" in this sense. ( I wrote about this here (way back in 2009))  I'm really not sure what to make of it.  There are posts upon posts about what it is supposedly like to be a "special needs" know the kind that tell people how "we" (those of us doing all this special kind of parenting) need all kinds of understanding and crap like that because of this, that and the other thing.  But most importantly, how we will do anything for our kids because WE LOVE THEM-*sigh* and THAT is the part that really bothers me. Hey, I get that maybe some friends or family might not know how your time is spent-that they might even need some help in understanding that you have a lot on your plate. What I don't get is having to justify what you do because you love your kid. To me, it reads like an apology. Both for your actions and your kids disability. "Sorry I can't go out with you tonight, my kid has O.T.-but I don't mind!.. because I love them."   I don't need to explain that I love my kids or that I would do anything to help them.  Shouldn't that be a given?  *sigh*  Why isn't  there ever anything good in these posts like-"give these parents candy"..or"-pay for a nanny so they can take a vacation"?  I mean thanks for the understanding, but what I would really prefer is fat and sugar laden chocolate rich carbohydrates and maybe 24 hours alone with my husband without anyone knocking on the door asking us "what are you doing in there?"  Any day.

After almost sixteen years of parenting, thirteen of those years spent navigating spec. ed in two  different states..four kids with very different needs and neurologies..reading numerous different blogs and talking with many different parents..I have come to this conclusion...Parents with kids that have disabilities apologize an awful lot. Not because they have anything to be sorry for-but because (and this becomes ingrained) asking for anything for our kids sometimes becomes such a production number..that you wind up feeling thankful for any crumbs that you do get..No, we don't apologize for our kids-(never!) But it is as if sometimes we have to apologize for their needs...

"Thanks so much for the 7 1/2 minutes of o.t. that your "assistant is giving my son every other week-I do know that your schedule is full(and that the school is stretching the law very thin by hiring you to oversee your "assistant"-but that you are hardly ever present) and I really appreciate your squeezing him in!"

We also spend an awful lot of time justifying what we need for our kids..

"Yes I know that my girl is very quiet and well behaved and not a problem..and I understand that unless someone is really watching her, they aren't going to see that she is a hair away from a panic attack, and that the teachers have soooooo much on their plates that they don't have the time to look out for a child that "appears" to be o.k-especially as there are kids whose needs are very evident......but all the same-she does have an actual diagnosis and really needs someone looking out for her!"

 I'm tired of it. Tired of wasting time fighting for things that should be givens- services that are required by lieu of writing a yet another "special parent" post..I'm just going to make a statement. It is my belief-my statement. I speak for no one but me-from my own experience.

Here goes-
 As parent-like any other parent-my kids needs come first. I will do whatever needs doing to ensure that they grow into responsible, critical thinking, decent and kind independent (to the best of their ability) adults.This has nothing to do with disability and everything to do with it being my job as a parent. My methods may be different-but, it is all (like any other parent) for the same result. 

My kids do not need to justify their needs or existence to anyone.  EVER. They are human beings-and, like any other human being- deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.  Nor do I need to justify, apologize or make any excuses for the time that I spend working with them. I am their parent-again, that is my job.

My kids are my greatest joy. I am not sad, bereft or disheartened because of autism. Do I wish things were easier for them? Yes. What parent wouldn't?  Parenting kids with disabilities can be rough. I would never say it wasn't. The world is not particularly kind to those with disabilities-otherwise they wouldn't be called disabilities.  However-I don't want sympathy-nor a super hero cape. These are the kids I have always known-this is the parenting I have always done.  I don't know how to do it any differently. 

I could probably go on and on...but this post is already getting too long. What can I say? I'm home with four kids and I am finding it very difficult to concentrate, I guess-in a nutshell-I'm trying to say that we are all in this together. Parenting is hard. Everyone has their own definition of what hard is-and to some, the grass is always greener...or browner from their perspective. I'm not in a contest-I just want the world to be a good place for my kids. ..and candy.