Saturday, May 31, 2014

His eyes..My worries..

~"If only I could change the world around me,
 perhaps my truth won't one day become the end of me"~
 Dan Pearce~Single Dad Laughing

 We have raised all of our kids to love themselves-as we love them.  Just as they are-truly and unconditionally..."You are wonderful!"-We tell them-probably too much..and yet sometimes it doesn't feel like it is ever enough. This love that we have for is just so.. I don't know of any word that can describe just is.  It's a fire, it burns..sometimes it just hurts.

  "Have a good time" I said as Oscar got out of the car. "O.K."...I watched him make his way towards the school...talking to himself..arms waving, his fingers wiggling in front of his eyes. I stopped from calling him back..I watched him stim away and I stopped myself. Chanting the mantra of the moment  "just breathe...he will be o.k...just breathe.."

  Oscar stims because he does. I used to ask him "why?"..and the answers were varied and sometimes interesting...or funny. Now though, with the rare occasion of checking in..of making sure all is o.k...I let him be. He is older -an almost young man, and I have to respect that his reasons are his own. But sometimes...seeing him and seeing him in the world as it is- makes my stomach bottom out..

  I was ten different kinds of worried driving him to the dance tonight. Yes, I knew it was his choice to go..He wanted to.  And he has gone to dances before-but, he has always had his brother by his side. It never bothered me(too much) because I figured that they would look out for each other. But, this year, Sam is in high school..which leaves Oscar in the middle school..alone. This evening, for the first time EVER-I left fend for himself-by himself...and I was a bit of a mess over it. Oscar however, was fine.

  I left him-not because I wanted to (hell no!) but because he asked me to. He walked in stimming and eeeing..because that is (in part) who he is. Sometimes, I forget the plain beauty of that. That this almost young man, who is so very different from the people around him, is also- so very comfortable in being who he is. I get so wrapped up in worrying about how the world views him, that I forget to acknowledge how he views himself. I forget to look at him through his eyes. Although, even when I do remember my forgetfulness...I still worry... Does being a mother ever get easier?!!?

 Yes, I know-I really didn't have to worry. But I did-because in my universe-if I don't worry..and fret...and get anxious..if I instead, get all confident and cocky-thinking that all is going to be just super...everything invariably plummets downhill into a whole heap of awful things and unfortunate outcomes.  That is just the way it works. So..I see my worry as a kind of duty-a service even. Perhaps one day I will be thanked for it-or tranquilized. Either way works for me.

  So...about an hour after the dance started...Oscar called-he wanted to be picked up. He'd had enough. "Did you have a good time?" "Yes.".."What did you do? "I ate cookies." "Did you say hi to anyone?" "Yes, I said hi." "Then what did you do?" "I called you to come home." "O.K." "Hey Mama.." "Yes?"
"Those cookies at the dance....they don't count as dessert." .."huh." "The cookies at the dance were NOT dessert." .."?" .."I STILL get to have my dessert...right?"... "Oh!..yes...go ahead...No worries."..right.   *sigh*


Saturday, May 24, 2014


~"[Atticus] would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning."~ Harper Lee from To Kill a Mockingbird 

Omar spending time with his girls
I wanted to make sure to write a post about fathers a few weeks ago-seeing as it was fathers day..and then my laptop broke down..and the kids started Summer vacation(and they don't share their computer very well)..and all kinds of things came up and I never seemed to be able to just sit down and think-much less write.  So-this post has been a long time coming..


I started this post almost a year ago.  My Intention was to write something about Omar..about the man that he is, the father he is..and basically what an all around good kind of guy that he is. But then..two days after I took that picture-all kinds of interesting adventures began..mishaps and mayhem took place Involving different kinds of crazy ideas and adventures..steps forward and backwards..silly little dances with even sillier small people..and we had the kids to take care of too!   It has been eventful and tumultuous..topsy-turvy and of writing about what an absolutely wonderful father..husband and sexy hunk of man Omar is..I'm going to write about a major decision we have come to..a choice we are action plan per say..After this incredibly silly year of some highs and many lows..These forty plus weeks of mind boggling weirdness with a cast of characters whose "characters" would astound even the stoutest of hearts..(Unfortunately, we have had to be tight lipped, tongue tied, closemouthed and restrained)  We are tried and tired. Therefore, we have come to a decision..

 Drum roll please......



Yup!  We are telling it like it is..throwing down the gauntlet, taking no prisoners..We are unequivocally unpretended- straightforward, unbiased and plain, right up front, talking turkey. We are done, through, finished..mad as hell and we aren't gonna take it anymore..We have been put down, set down, knocked down and insulted.  Ripped up, run down, torn apart and gutted.  

That ends now. 

We have made a set of rules, of regulations, guidelines-a decree. A chapter and verse, by the book, criterion- a maxim, a model-an ordinance..a formula, a basis A PRECEDENT!

If you can not conduct yourself with seemliness,decency,decorum-civility,and/or convention.. can't mind your p's and q's, suavities or social graces..and choose instead to cast down, shoot down,take down, put down, demoralize and debase..

The kindly please..

Pipe down, dry up, fall silent, dummy up..button your lip, cut the it, plug it put a sock in it..ENOUGH ALREADY!...because, if you don't have anything good to say....

We just aren't that interested.


We are too busy prevailing, persisting,subsisting and existing. We have so much joy, jocundity,exuberance and hopefulness- all kinds of grandiloquence!..That we can not be bothered with anyone's enmity, indignity,spitefulness and despitefulness..and all the other many kinds of "itefulnesses" that have just spun our world these past many months. We are done..we have taken our power back..cast the nastiness aside...and it feels good. Oh, and Omar is still the best of fathers, husbands..and an all around good guy..We are blessed to have him by our side. How wonderful is that?

Dorothy says-"cluck off"


Saturday, May 17, 2014


~"Chaos is a friend of mine"~ Bob Dylan

  It has been quite a year for us. A hell of a year..a super crazy holy crap which way are we going- kind of year...and I'm getting  tired of it. Tired of the uncertainty, tired of some of the most bizarre behavior I have ever seen from (supposed) adults. There have been days where Omar and I have looked at each other and thought "Are these people on drugs? Like heavy duty psychedelic drugs?" It really has been that weird.  This has had nothing to do with the kids-although we have had some adventurous times in that area as well.

Don't get me wrong!  We have had some very good things this year as well. I can't ignore that.
The universe seems to be testing us at the moment-and I can't say that I care for it. Nope-not one bit. So, instead of writing a blog this weekend-I posted this picture instead. It is my reminder of what beauty there is in the world. It is our (Omar and myself) reminder of what we are working for. This picture is both my joy and my truth.  I need to remember this-always. Especially when crazy comes calling..

Anyway, the next few weeks might be a tad bit...stressed. So I might be posting more pictures than words. Although one day(hopefully soon) when the dust settles (and I know I won't be sued) I will write all about this time. It has been one hell of an adventure. It's going to make one hell of a story. I am soooo looking forward to writing it. Gleeful even.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

AHAIRness month....

~"There's many a man has more hair than wit"~William Shakespeare


    Last month, I wrote a  post about inclusion-and the fact that the local Special Olympics swim meet was not accessible to everyone.  I was pretty loud on the topic-meaning that I wrote the post, asked people to share it on Facebook, asked people to send emails and...contacted the media. The response was phenomenal.  I don't know how many people wrote in-or shared the post-but it was picked up by the local media, I was interviewed by one of our local news stations..and the head of Special Olympics publicly stated that this would not happen again (Yay!). I was not particularly thrilled with how my interview and subsequent write up was edited.  But the results were what we wanted and we got them. So, I want to thank any of you who helped spread this story. WE did something-made something happen-changed something for the better. Go us!  It was an interesting adventure in all sorts of things-I learned a lot from the experience..and I thought that was that. Case closed-back to regular life..But then....

  One of my short stories came to the attention of one of our local Newspapers, and they asked to interview me for Autism Awareness Month-or as I call it "The month of ick".  I was a little hesitant..well no..actually I was kind of excited...well, maybe a tiny bit hesitant...The whole news report thing had made my life a little bit uncomfortable and I didn't want to go through that again..but..alright, I'll be honest..How cool is that? They wanted to interview me! I mean, all the other cool blogger mothers have done interviews..Now someone was interested in us? So I said.."Let me think about it."..NOT! I said "SURE! YES! O.K!"  I admit, I was perhaps a tad bit...interested hyper-actively exuberant. The reporter gave me a list of questions...which I answered in great detail..incredible detail...think bells-whistles-surround sound-in living color detail...I wrote a lot.This time there would be not mistakes-this time I would get it right.  The finished piece was lovely-and more a credit to the interviewer and her wonderful editing skills(and patience) than to me. The pictures weren't bad either...well, except for my hair.  My hair for some reason looked as if it were auditioning for a role on "Petticoat Junction."  It was just that went from a pony some sort of bouffant like side pony tail. I have no idea of how that happened-AND I refuse to take responsibility for it.

  Anyway, I wasn't sure if I wanted to share the article here or not. I was a bit torn as I don't really post pictures of the kids...but then was brought to my attention that the article also featured a video. So..I figured at this point-so many people have seen it-why not?...if only to give my hair the recognition it was going, here is a link to it..The interview and the video...and my hair in all its glory

Here it is

So, that is the story of my month in the spotlight.  I suspect (and hope) that things will quiet down for a while..although my hair however, has informed me that it is available for public speaking engagements...just leave it a message in the comments.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Responsibility's A Mother..

~"Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others"~Virginia Woolf

      Back in April, Lily had every intention of writing a post for my blog.
"I want to write a post like Sammy did! " "Sure.  What are you going to write about?" "I don't like that people think that Oscar is weird.  He's a great guy!" 
 "That he is."
 "I know-right?..So I think I will talk about that." 
 "That sounds great. Let me know when you have something." 
"O.k. Mama."
Obviously, she hasn't gotten it done yet..and really?  That's o.k. She's got other things on her mind..bigger fish to fry.   Middle school is on the horizon-and she's restless. It is so hard to be ten.  Part of her hangs..clings..desperately grasps on to childhood-tooth and nail, while the other part is yearning-EAGERLY yearning- to be a full fledged adult where no one can tell you what to do.  She's stuck between a rock and her mother.  I haven't told her yet that there are ALWAYS going to be people willing-eager even, to tell you what to do. The only perk you get as an adult is choice-and even that is questionable. .Sometimes I want to tell her in a soothing yet understanding voice, as I smile benevolently upon her,stroking her hair "Growing up is hard"...but on the inside-there would be a shrieking almost maniacal voice screaming-"Being a grown up is even harder. DON'T DO IT!-RUN!!" ..*sigh* But that wouldn't be very responsible of me now-would it?

  I fully admit it-I just do not like responsibility. Oh, there was a time when I liked it just fine..  Getting my first apartment, holding a job-deciding what and when I wanted to do things. It was glorious! ..Yup, that is when me and responsibility were close-tight-friends even!  But then, I had kids...and instead of being this quirky kind of fun pal-responsibility took over-fully enveloping me (kind of like a straight jacket) to the point of me not knowing where I ended and responsibility began. I didn't notice it at first.  I was so busy with the care, feeding and growing up of my four kids-that I wasn't really paying attention. Responsibility took me down-and I didn't even notice! But, now that they're older...well... We've been at odds with each other-Me and responsibility.  Arguing back and forth..pushing against each other in some sort of grand pissing match that for now-it always wins.

."I don't want to go to the IEP meeting!" (if my brain had feet they would be stomping) Responsibility ( Sounding-oddly enough, a lot like Patrick Stewart) will say.."But if you don't go-how can you be sure that they will get all that they need?" "FINE! I'll Go."

"I don't feeeeel like doing the laundry, walking the dog, grocery shopping, paying the mortgage..I'll do them later!!!" "You always say that, and then stress out when the laundry piles up, the dog poops on the floor, the kids run out of snacks, and the mortgage company adds a late fee..."  "Fine(stomp) I'll do it now." 

"Oh crap..I really really DON'T WANT TO go to her first (or any) therapy appointment with her! No! I am NOT going! "But you know how important it is to get her the help she needs." "But she doesn't need me there to get help!" "You know that she does." " know he's gonna gently point out (in soft tones and psychobabble) the massive mistakes I've made!" "Probably." (yeah,sometimes responsibility can be a douche)

  Like Lily, I'm feeling restless..ready for the next big thing, chomping at the bit-all the while clinging to what I know-yet fighting it at the same time. The ground is shifting and I don't know where to put my feet. *sigh*  I have got a big case of "I.M.S." (irritable mother syndrome). Sometimes , when I'm still...I fantasize about running away from home-"Due to her sudden disappearance, the role of "Mama" will be played by (insert name here)..But then something of the kids will come rushing in to announce something exciting or wonderful -so exuberant to share it-and it HAS to be with me-ME!..Or Oscar will walk by and brush his lips across the top of my head for no reason other than love.  These delicious tiny moments that I would not-could not trade for anything-.They keep me steady..and responsible...even when I don't really care for the responsibility of it all..

"Sometimes I find it really hard to like you, Responsibility!" "That's o.k., I'll ALWAYS look out for you anyway, Kathleen." "Oh- shut up!"  "No."..."You know, you aren't always going to win! The kids are going to get older-You won't always be able to tell me what to do!" "We'll see." "Yes we will! You just wait!  When I'm eighty-I'm buying myself a Harley..what are you going to do then?" "Keep you company while you wait for your broken hip to heal." *sigh*....


Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Kathleen Leopold Memorial Cobweb..

~"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."~ Oscar Wilde

 I was sitting on the couch the other I do most mornings before the kids get up. I call it my "drink coffee and stare at nothing" time. An essential part of a balanced breakfast of coffee, coffee and more coffee-especially if I'm going to get four kids up and ready to catch the bus-an intricate dance that requires finesse-skill...and sometimes nerves of steel. So, as I sat gazing at eyes happened to focus on a very long cobweb dangling from my ceiling., This isn't the first time I have noticed it. No.. this particular cobweb has been around for a while. (Holidays, birthdays..seasons) The sad thing is-for as many times I have noticed it-AND thought about doing something about it...I never seem to get around to it. It's like the cobweb has mystical abilities to make itself unnoticeable whenever I am cleaning. I will vacuum..I will dust..I'll plump couch pillows...and I always seem to forget the cobweb...that is, until I am sitting on the couch during the early morning hours with only enough energy to raise a coffee cup to my mouth. At this point- I'm thinking of naming it...or claiming it as a dependent on my tax return.

  In an odd way, I find comfort in that cobweb..I admire its endurance..its stamina..its sheer determination to hang on on.  Or...I am just too lazy to do anything about it. Either way-it hangs there, it will continue to hang there and it will probably still be hanging there long after I am gone. Hey-maybe I'll make it my legacy! Something for my kids to remark on long after I am gone. Because, I know without a doubt-they will NEVER get rid of has been part of their lives for far too long-and none of them particularly like change or you go. "I officially dub thee "The Kathleen Leopold Memorial Cobweb"". that that is arranged...I can officially die...except I can't.

I never used to worry about my mortality. I always thought that life was a grand adventure...until it was over-and then you went on to the next grand adventure-or not.  It didn't really matter. I lived in the moment for the moment.  Leaping before I looked, laughing in the face of danger-haha!  making a lot of way too many mistakes and maybe probably definitely hurting some people along the way..(although I have learned to forgive myself-I still carry it). I could have been the poster girl for irresponsibility.(Would have been- had it paid) There was a time that I (along with quite a few others) didn't think I would see thirty.  Yet, here I am today celebrating my fiftieth birthday.  Fifty!  Holy crap!  How did that happen?  I JUST turned thirty! Where did those twenty years go?

Mostly kids.  I really think that once kids enter the picture, time simultaneously both flies and loses sense of itself.  If someone had asked me yesterday "Hey-what have you been up to for the last fifteen years?"  I probably would have said "Going to IEP meetings and looking for my kids shoes." and I would have meant it. (Seriously, if there were some sort of graph that measured the amount of time I have spent in meetings and shoe finding missions-it would probably add up to years,) But today, as I was walking out the door with Omar-I realized something.
 I was walking out the door with Omar-ALONE!  

Not only that-I was fully and appropriately dressed! In clean clothes.  My hair was brushed. I had had eight hours of continuous sleep. I wasn't worried about the school calling and asking me to come and get one of my kids. I stopped to catch my breath. literally stopped in my tracks.  These seemingly small things..these tiny little miracles-were the result of those past fifteen years.  Not only has the time flown-but so have my kids. I have to remember that. To revel in it Especially because there was a time that I never would have imagined these things possible. Especially because.  

  I'm not going to lie and say that this epiphany has ceased all of my worrying. Nope.  Not a day goes by that I don't worry about my kids. Sometimes, I worry myself sick .Thinking about the "what ifs" and "can't do's"..fretting over what may or may not happen and the "who may be able to's" and "who won't."  That's never going to stop. But I am going to pay more attention to the little victories..Because when you add them all up-they make for an amazing (albeit bumpy) fifteen years.My kids are at just the beginning of their own grand adventures, and I am beyond joyful that I am here to fly along beside them....(and that they want me to!)

  So, today-in honor of my half century mark(again-holy crap!) I am going to spend my morning on the couch-sipping coffee and eating as many homemade chocolate croissants (thanks Omar) that I want to.  I may even look into having that cobweb rush though-I'm sure it will be there next year when I turn fifty one.