Tuesday, November 3, 2009


"I hate writing, I love having written"

Dorothy Parker

I am having a hard time writing lately. It isn't as though things haven't happened. I have four kids-things are always happening! I also have the ever present electrician..so my power has been on and off-a lot. Although, thanks to him my house is now safe, and I have a dishwasher!!! So, I definitely don't lack material. Or time. In fact, since three of the herd are in school all day...I have lots of time... I think it is just too quiet. I guess I'm just used to constantly being interrupted, asked for things, attention given..the regular stuff that kids demand..usually when you have your hands full. Fact is, my kids are getting older..more self sufficient..and although I revel in this..I'm not sure what to do with myself anymore. My kids are growing up, and I don't know how I feel about that.

Omar and I recently celebrated our sixteenth anniversary..and come December, we will have been together eighteen years. Last night, not only did he surprise me with an impromptu date..he even arranged babysitting. This is the first time that we have gone out to dinner by ourselves since Sammy was six months old. (he is now eleven) That date was cut short because Sammy wouldn't stop crying and the baby sitter was overwhelmed. Until last night, I didn't realize just how much I missed it. It seems like I have forgotten how to be an independent adult. One that didn't need to cut any ones meat, or wipe their faces, or remind them to use the bathroom.

We drove off in companionable silence..the kind of silence that doesn't need to be filled..when two people are totally comfortable just being with each other. I looked over at Omar and said "Remember that night eighteen years ago on the "F" train in N.Y., and you first kissed me?...did you ever think that so many years later, we would find ourselves in rural Maine, driving down a dark highway..going on our first date in forever...leaving our FOUR kids at home with a babysitter and her boyfriend..(while silently in my head thinking..without me there to make sure everything is o.k. ..what if it is not o.k.? How could I leave them with a stranger!!??) Omar looked at me and said "I didn't think you would come out so easily".."Me? gulp... Of course I wanted to come..I know the kids are o.k." (I HOPE they are o.k...what if they need me?...) Besides, I left her with both of our cell phone numbers. (the number for poison control...911 on speed dial..everyone in our families numbers, the number for homeland security...) Your phone is on right?"

We actually had a wonderful time. We went to a local Chinese buffet-(I am on a quest to find good Chinese food in Maine..haven't found it yet) stopped off at the store, and just hung out talking. I only checked my phone thirty times or so. It never rang.

When I think back over the last eleven years, I never saw myself as ever being able to go out with Omar like this again. Parenting, to me, has always been about putting my children first. I still believe that. I guess that I just never imagined that they wouldn't need me as much as they did when they were younger. I have always said that children develop and grow at their own pace. That it didn't matter how or when they reached particular milestones..Only that they were given the support, guidance, unconditional love and acceptance to get there. When we got home, the kids were excited to see us. They had had a great time with the babysitter-and were even asking that she come back again. How cool is that? I am already looking forward to our next date night. It looks like we reached another milestone, only this time it was my own. I guess that mothers develop and grow at their own pace as well.

This month marks my one year "blogoversary". One year since I started writing about my herd and our adventures. One year of enormous change and growth for all of us. One more year in which I survived the perils of motherhood. When I decided to start writing , I was one angry...well... mother. I saw the way autism was being defined by the media, saw the way it was making victims out of parents, just because they had a child with autism. Thus, my blog was born. I wanted to show people that my family wasn't that much different from theirs. That yes, autism does affect the way in which we do things-but like everyone else..we put our pants on one leg at a time. Well, with the exception of Zoe, who doesn't really like to wear pants..or clothes for that matter. I wanted to make people laugh. There is way too much argument and controversy in the autism community. I wanted to create a positive place for people to go to.

So to all you kids who have read or commented..thank you. I have made some wonderful connections through my blog, and a few very fabulous friends. Small as it may be, I feel like I am contributing something positive....and it is a nice ego boost! Like so many others, I want to change how the world sees my kids, one post at a time.

Hopefully, in the next year, Omar and I will have more date nights, more time to spend together....alone. Maybe, just maybe, I will be able to relax enough to fully enjoy them. Until then, I will continue developing and growing..along side my kids. The adventures will continue, as will the challenges. I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about.


Kim Wombles said...

:-) Here's to more date nights and more independent moments for you, for me, and for all our parent-friends, in the next year.

Kids grow up, even autistic ones, and if we do our job right, even those who don't grow up to live indepedent, self-sufficient lives grow into lives of their own. And we get to learn how to be something other than constant caregiver and a hundred other roles. We get to breathe and be... :-)

kathleen said...

Yes-I wish all parents at least one date night a month..They do grow up-sometimes though, it is just too fast for me. I don't know what the future holds for any of my kids-but I do know, as they grow-so do I.

denise said...

You know how people comment [FAR too frequently] on blogs, "this brought tears to my eyes", and you think to yourself-'Bull$&!%, why can't you just comment that it was lovely, and leave out the melodramatic cliches?' ?

I REALLY DID start to feel my eyes water at this :) Then Janet demanded that I print out a picture of Beauty and the Beast right NOW, between the third and fourth paragraphs, and the interruption helped me to come back to my normal sensible, non cry baby self.

This was lovely, Kathleen.

kathleen said...

:) Thanks Denise..I do so understand Janets need! In our house it is print outs of "My Little Pony"..I am starting to think that the creators of these things really don't like parents.

jazzygal said...

Hey Kathleen! A beautifully written piece....so glad you shared it with us.

It is good that we put our children first, but we really shouldn't forget ourselves in the process. Mr Jazzy and I don't got out that often together...but we do try to do it once every 4/6 weeks. He also has his "lads" night out every Friday and I sit up and slag (tease!) him when he gets home!! And get all the gossip of course!

Your children were fine.... WiiBoy too loves when the babysitter comes! So now I hope you do it more often. You do have a mission to complete after all .......... find that nice Chinese restaurant;)

Happy dating!! xx Jazzy

kathleen said...

Hi Jazzy! I fear I am going to have to move out of state to find a decent Chinese restaurant! But yes, we do need to go out together more...I HAD forgotten just how nice it was...we are hoping for this coming Thursday again!

jazzygal said...

Excellent! Go Kathleen & Omar!! xx Jazzy