A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Love’

I’m not “Super Mom”

A few days ago we had a play date with a few of Cole’s preschool friends. I love that this class is getting together outside of school. At his prior preschool, we were not asked to do any play dates, and the couple of times I reached out to other parents, there were conflicts. I love being able to chat with other moms as our kids play together. The best part? The kids run the gamut from typical to very much not…and yet, they all treat each other with respect. The ones who are more able help the ones who aren’t…and they encourage the ones who have weaker skills to keep trying. No one has been left out. They all play together. It is heartwarming every time.

Anyway, the discussion turned to IEP’s and meetings and goals. I would chime in occasionally to suggest a contact. Or a phrase to use when asking for services. Or a way to find an outside therapist who could give the team some valuable information. I used “the lingo” of special education. Someone asked me if Cole had an IEP. I clarified that he does not, but that his brothers both do, and that we’ve been working with the special education folks for almost 7 years. We talked about being prepared. We talked about doing research, reading and reading and reading, and consulting with specialists. We talked about getting an advocate, when necessary.

After a while, I mentioned my “binder of power” for each of the boys. I talked about how I color coordinate the binders, and folders and notebooks, so that each kiddo has his own color. Another mom looked at me with awe. “You are super mom,” she said. “I feel so incompetent compared to you.” I stopped. I could feel the color rush to my cheeks. I’m definitely not “Super Mom”. I definitely do NOT have my shtuff together all of the time. I definitely feel very incompetent often as we tweak goals and plans throughout the year. I assured her that I was not “Super Mom”, not by a long shot!

I was suddenly transported back to Jake’s first IEP meeting. The school SLP was going on and on in a language that was foreign to me. What the heck was pragmatic speech? What did she mean by Expressive/Receptive Language disorder? I was there because he sounded like he was speaking Swahili sometimes because he didn’t pause between words. He just rambled on and on and on…and he had some formation and articulation issues, too. What the what now?!

I then told the group that I have been through so many evaluations now, filled out so many forms, read so many blogs, specialty websites, and books, that my head spins. I’ve researched Wright’s Law. I learn something new, almost daily, about special education, the disorders my children have and how to attempt to help them, and how to get a FAPE for my kids. I assured the mom that she’d get there. And I offered to help out if she wanted any help. Even if it was just to bounce off some fears and frustrations…she thanked me.

So many people think, “I could never do what you do.” I hear it often. Yet, if it were their child, I know that they would do it. You just…do. I am not “Super Mom”. No….but I’d like to think that I’m a mom who has worked her butt off to learn as much as she can about what makes her kids tick and how to help them. I have PHd’s in my kids..and that’s what matters. It isn’t a “Super Mom” thing…it’s a Mom thing. We become experts on our kids…and we will do whatever it takes to get them what they need to succeed in life.

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Seven.

Seven years ago today I went to a routine OB appointment. Seven years ago today, I found out that my second son was coming…three weeks early, ready or not. Seven years ago today I realized that Tate was going to do things on his own time–and that was okay.

I am so incredibly blessed to have the privilege of being his mom. His zest for life is unmatched…and is inspiring. He finds beauty and pleasure in the smallest of things (Spinning ceiling fans! The frosting on a cupcake! A stick! Music from his favorite show!). He is incredibly caring and loving, especially towards those who he knows well. (“I need to hug you now.” “Don’t be sad.”) He is bright (both cognitively and in disposition), and happy, and steadfast. No matter what challenge is presented to him, he works his butt off to try to achieve. He never gives up. Ever.

Thank you, Mr. Tater, for showing me who I want to be when I grow up….you have a forever fan in me. Love you…and Happy 7th Birthday!!!

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Tate dancing to Doc McStuffins songs on my phone, while holding one of his favorite “sticks”.

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Tate this morning, on his 7th Birthday. He was in constant motion, so it was hard to capture a clear picture…but he is a blur of positive energy…so it captures his essence.

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Look at that smile! He was pretending it was his birthday, with a cupcake made by his grandma…with his favorites–Doc McStuffins and Lambie on top. Perfection.

Sweetness

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Photographic evidence of our first date.. 2/14/1998

A little over fifteen years ago (dang, I’m getting old), my roommate dragged me out on a Friday night. I was completely ready for my date with Ben & Jerry and some bad Friday night TV. I was in sweats and had no makeup on. I was kind of having a little pity party for myself.  But, that all ended when my roommate burst into the room, asking if I would go with her to a local establishment. I protested, but she said it was our duty as 2nd semester seniors to go out and have fun. I reluctantly agreed. I threw on some jeans, my favorite “going out” sweater, and a little eye makeup. I ran a brush through my hair and we were off.

We met a few of her friends out at a place called R&R’s. It wasn’t very late, but her friends had been celebrating the weekend for quite a while by the time we arrived. There was this one friend of hers who came up and greeted her with a big hug. “Who’s your friend?” “Boy, this is Lisa. Lisa, this is Boy.” We started chatting, first in a group, and then as the time went on, Boy and I chatted on the sidelines. He was friendly, outgoing, and cute.

Eventually we had to leave to go to a party at my roommate’s coworker’s apartment. We said our goodbyes, and headed for the door. As we were about to walk out, I doubled back and thanked Boy for the drink and conversation. He smiled, waved, and that was that…. Until about a week later when my roommate asked me if I had any Valentine’s Day plans. I didn’t…just my usual wearing black and maybe I’d have that date with Ben & Jerry, which I had postponed. She asked if I’d want some plans, as she knew her friend was interested in asking me to his fraternity’s Valentine’s Day dance. I hesitated… I didn’t want a relationship, but thankfully my roommate and my mom both pounded into my brain the fact that a date did not equate a relationship…so, upon the recommendation of my roommate, I accepted Boy’s offer.

He came to pick me up on Valentine’s Day evening. Before we were about to head out the door, my roommate snapped the picture above, so that my mom could see me “all dressed up with someplace to go”. Boy and I were having dinner with two of his fraternity brothers and their dates. During the dinner, it was quite obvious as to why my roommate referred to the three of them as “The Three Stooges”. In spite of their antics, we had fun, and it was nice to get out. One of the first things I truly remember Boy saying to me was, “How ’bout them Bears?” when the others in the group were getting into their own conversation about ROTC, a group to which neither Boy nor I belonged. I retorted, “They suck.” It was on….

Later in the evening, while we were back at the dance, Boy and I talked a lot. I felt at ease with Boy. I felt like I could talk to him about anything, really. Strange, that, considering I was usually very quiet around new people. When we sat down and he put his arm around my shoulders, I didn’t retreat back or move out of his reach. It was just “right”. It wasn’t love at first sight or anything…but he made me feel safe, comfortable…at ease. I loved our banter.

Eventually that date ended…and it lead to another…and another…and before I knew it, I found myself in a relationship, right when I didn’t want one. Call it fate, karma, a greater plan, what-ever, Boy became Boyfriend, who became Fiance, who finally became Hubz. And you know what?? To this day, I still feel safe, comfortable, and at ease with him. I enjoy our banter, and I still get a little flutter when I see a message from him on my phone. He is the Ross to my Rachel, the Han Solo to my Leia. And I’m ever grateful that my roommate dragged me out on a cold winter’s night so many years ago….

Let it Grow…

11 years ago, today, Hubz and I got married. It was a sunny and perfectly crisp fall afternoon. In fact, it was quite possibly one of the top 10 most beautiful days of my life. We were so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends as we said our “I-do’s”. It was my princess moment.

At our reception we danced our first dance to Eric Clapton’s, “Let it Grow”. Looking back, I think it was very appropriate.

In the past 11 years we have added 3 beautiful, quirky, and can’t-imagine-life-without-them sons. We moved into a bigger house. We weathered my layoff, and career changes. We have said goodbye to loved ones. We have gone on some big, memorable vacations. We’ve survived home improvements. We’ve muddled through retirement planning (and have lamented that we may not ever retire) and financial decisions. We’ve had a preemie in the NICU. We’ve gotten through an Autism diagnosis for our son. We’ve worried about our oldest son’s learning struggles. We have celebrated numerous blessings. And we have sat through our fair share of pee-wee sports and little league games.

And through it all….the big, momentous “game-changers” to the little, mundane everyday in-between moments, Hubz and I have grown. We’ve grown as individuals, we’ve grown as parents, and we’ve grown as a couple.

I know that there is no one else I’d rather have in the trenches of life with me. The way he stands by me, and our boys, the way he wants to be there for us and with us, the way he almost always knows exactly what to say…it gives me joy…and hope for a great life together now and always.

Love you, Hubz….here’s to many,many more wonderful years together!

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