Category Archives: Family

MIA For Awhile…


Watch out, or your face will FREEZE that way

Wow… seems that some people HAVE been reading~!  Aw, this is my little guy towards the end of 2006.  Oh wow, that made him a few months shy of two years old.

Sooo, thought I’d do something that I’ve never done before.  I’m letting you know that I will not be anywhere near the internet for the next few days, into next week.  My antenna will be up and hopefully I will return here with a post or two.

I’ve come across some amazing blogs lately and I will miss reading them, but looking forward to catching up when I get back. No major vacation or anything.  We’ll just be in and out, visiting with family, like my dad who is only in Pennsylvania but might as well be in the Tasmanian desert, under a rock.  We tried to get them connected, if even with just an email gadget to send/receive pics and keep in touch with email.  Two months ago my dad FINALLY bought a laptop, but returned it TWO days later because he got frustrated getting the cable connection hooked up… Whaaaaaat?  ugh.  He really should’ve called someone who could walk him through this.  Now he’ll never get one, grrrrrrr!

Tomorrow we will be visiting some of the in-laws.  They are really nice people and we so rarely see each other.  Just found out that one of the grandchildren has gotten bitten by the knitting bug.  Knitting, crochet… all the same.  It’s all fibery goodness. If you remember, I said that I needed to drastically cull my stash.  This has proved quite the opportunity.  So much I feel that I cannot part with, but because it was going to family, and a young person at that.  Anything to nurture the craft.  It was so easy to pick out yarn, the more expensive stuff.  There is still a lot, I realized today, that I simply could not part with and I told myself, “I don’t know what she likes. I don’t know what colors she likes. I don’t know what weight yarn she likes to work with,” and well, you get the picture.  I could go on and on rationalizing why not to put more in the box.  I can’t wait to talk to this girl who I have watched grow up, but have never really spoken to.  Her family has SHEEP on their farm, the dad is a master beekeeper…Biology~! Now THIS is the stuff I love to talk about.  My brain will be tickled pink and I will be loving it. Yeah, I’m even bringing some knitting books.  I just wish I knew remembered this sooner.  I only had a couple hours to ransack my stash, but I have tons of patterns I could give her. Will just have to wait for another time.  If I knew what tools she needs, I could also have put some of those aside.  Yeah.  Again, I am putting myself into the hero role… You know, like I’m the only one who can make this happen.  You know, it’s ALREADY happening because she’s already knitting and maybe doing crochet. I hate my ego sometimes.  Well, the times that it’s so obvious that I can’t help but see it.

One thing I want to see if I can do while away, but doubt it without the internet, is attaching photo credits to pics that are not mine.  I never thought much of using someone else’s pics, but I realize that it’s just not right.  I figured it was okay because the internet is so open, and I never claimed them for my own; but I was thinking today about how I never post my poetry for just this specific reason and it just hit me that I was doing the same thing and how wrong it really is to post without at least linking to the original site.  Monumental task since this blog has been around since 2005.  So, I apologize to everyone out there who has had their content stolen and credit misplaced to a stranger.  I’m going to try to right the situation and will probably replace some pics with my own.

Have a great rest of the weekend and into the week.  Meet ya on the other side…

Next Stop, California


Daily Prompt: Far from Home

Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home.

This story would be exclusively from memory when I was five years old and from one very clear in my mind image of a photo that was taken during that trip.  Otherwise, I’ve spent my life in NYC and Central NJ and have never traveled anywhere to speak of, aside from sort of local family day trips during the summers while growing up.  So, I’ve never thought of myself as a traveler, though I long to see more of these United States and Australia, Austria, Iceland, Alaska, and well, get the picture?  I’ve no desire to see foreign urban areas.  I long to see the majesty and beauty of this planet.  Oh man, especially the glaciers while they still exist.

All I remember from my “big” trip is that one day we (my sister and I) were told to get into my mothers’ aunts’ car and we all started out for California…. without my dad because he had to work.  It took us seven days to drive there with my two aunts driving, but not sure if my mother drove.   I remember my sister and I playing with those slide puzzles we got at rest stops and mine was a line drawing map of the Continental United States.  Of course I mastered that sucker right away!

The original Wooly Willy was manufactured by t...

The original Wooly Willy was manufactured by the Smethport Specialty Company in 1955 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember playing with that “Wooly Willy” man game where you used a magnet wand and created and placed the “hair” on Willy.  That was fun.  I remember stopping at various places to stay for overnight.  One was somebody’s house.  I remember my sister and I being left alone while the adults conversed outside.  I did not like that feeling of being left alone in a strange place and could not sleep… and this is how it was for the seven days of traveling.

When we finally arrived at our destination, a home in San Francisco, CA.  I was terribly shy and didn’t know these people, but they were my mom’s aunts and uncles.  I remember they had gifts for my sister and I.  One I can remember is almost exact same dolls, but one was blonde (and white), while the other had black hair and dark skin.  Ugh.  They thought that they were treating us equal.  I have very fair skin and my sister took after the Mediterranean side of the family.  This is how it always happened.  My parents had the urge to get the same item for us, but the difference was always either the hair or the skin… or like one Christmas it was a blonde PJ (cousin of Barbie) and Julia.

 

thingmaker1

My Creepy Crawlers to my sister’s Flowers and Things, those toys that created things like bugs and flowers.  You poured the goop into metal molds, then “cooked” it all up in tiny ovens (mom/dad supervised).  Anyway, I remember these dolls were very tall and they “walked” if you held their hands and sort of pushed them along.

There was a picture taken by our uncle out there, and I remember it vividly.  My sister and I sitting on a stoop outside, each of us holding a Sequoia pine cone.  I remember:  Tremendous.  So big, or so I thought, that I thought that I hid myself behind it as I hated to take pictures because I thought I was too fat.  Ugh.  I look at this picture now, and think I was definitely NOT even a bit chubby.  Just WHERE did I get that idea in my head?  I know, now, but that story doesn’t belong here.  I look at that picture and don’t see any evidence at all in my face of the turmoil I was experiencing… sigh.

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I also remember going to the San Diego Zoo.  I remember my sister and I sitting on a big boulder…… YEAH, that started moving!  It was a gigantic tortoise!  Might have been a Galápagos tortie, but not sure… but it was HUGE~!

I guess that’s it.  The next time I traveled was on my honeymoon when we took Amtrak down to Florida to visit more family.  We had a sleeper car and that was an adventure unto itself!  A couple of years ago, we again took the sleeper car but with our six year old son to visit the same relatives, but that was a different adventure.  He loved it.

 

Will You Remember Me ~ Daily Prompt


Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation

If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?

I’m so tired but I can’t sleep
Standin’ on the edge of something much to deep
It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard 

I will remember you, will you remember me? 
Don’t let your life pass you by, 
Weep not for the memories 

Again got drawn in by my own thoughts on the subject.  I read “Will You Remember Me? over at Cheri Speak. Sorry about copping your title, but Sarah MacLachlan‘s haunting voice drifts through my mind when I think about the legacy I want to leave my boy when I’m gone…. Will you remember me?  It speaks to the part of my soul that wants to be remembered for something……. good.  

I’m wondering if he even knows that I write, that I love writing.  Would he be interested?  Would he care?

The reason I started this blog was so that my son who was born later in my life than I’m comfortable with, has access to his mother after her demise, whenever that should occur.  I had forgotten that somewhere along the line, but I suppose that the goal will always be met as long as I continue writing.

“If one experience of life change results from what I write in my blog,” it would be that my son reads this blog and something I say will influence him from beyond the grave to become a better person at some future fork in his life.  Wow, that could be a premise for a movie, no?

 

Disney and the Lone Ranger


imgres                                     imgres-1

It’s after midnight and I’m fuming.  I vowed to write a post, but I’m so tired.  I’m so upset about the Lone Ranger movie.  I’m sick.  I promised Gabe that we’d go see this movie… I was looking forward to it, myself.  It was produced by DISNEY and I automatically felt it was safe to assume it would be appropriate for my boy.  Oh how I was wrong.  I just found out about the extreme violence and the scene where the villain of the movie slices a heart out of a living person and (gulp) eats it.   What the heck?  Where’s the decency?

Yes, as a parent I really should have checked more into this movie, but shit, I’ve been into watching the trailers for weeks now.  I never saw the violence spoken about in the reviews.  Disney’s reputation lulled me into false security.  You know, the almighty Disney Image of princesses and the princes that sweep them off their feet.  I’m boycotting this movie, even though I know full well that I can see it without my son, on the sly.  I would not feel good about that and I’m not about to betray him in that way.  What the heck am I going to tell him after discussing this movie with him for weeks?  After both of us conveying our excitement to each other during those weeks?

Another reason I am pissed is that Disney marketed this violent adult movie to young kids.  Kids that play with Legos.  Lego kids. imgres-2imgres-3

Need I really say more?  Well, I’m making a hard parenting decision and will risk my child’s wrath and severe disappointment– something I try my absolute best to avoid, by somehow explaining why we’re NOT going to see this movie.  At this point, I really wish that I had a much larger readership.  I feel I want to get this out as far and as wide as possible.  Yes, I’ll even pull the “Autism” card.  It’s much harder for autistic children to adapt to changes and I’m quite sure that he’s feeling pretty set that he will see this movie and soon.  He’s smart and knows that July 1st has come and gone…. I PROMISED!  So many things going on right now, did this really need to be one of them?  Today is his dad’s birthday, so maybe he’s be preoccupied with that and some kitchen cooking things I’ve got lined up for the summer.  A reunion picnic coming up, we’ll see how that goes.  One thing I have going for me is that there are a couple of other movies coming out like “Despicable Me2″and “Turbo.” imgres-4

One commenter stated, “My mother let me see the ‘Exorcist’ when I was six and I turned out all right.”  Um, yeah, really?  BTW, how are we supposed to know that you’re “alright?”  Your word is not enough for me.  Yes, this world is changing, but where is it going?  Nowhere I want to be.  I don’t care if there is a lot, OR “just a little” violence.  Violence is nothing different than that and I’m NOT down with my kid being exposed to it at his present tender age of eight years old.  I should’ve known something was up when I realized that Johnny Depp had top billing and that his name is set over Armie Hammer’s name, meaning the main character is Tonto and not the Lone Ranger.  Whaat?  I want the legendary hero and not a caricature!   I also should’ve known something bad was up when they changed the Lone Ranger’s outfit from white (really a light blue when seen in color) to black.  We’ve been showing Gabe the old LR episodes and he’s expecting that… I should point out, however, that he DID point out the difference in the two Tonto’s.  Also, Disney there are so many Native American actors out there who would’ve been better choices than Mr. J.D.  He’s got to wear a lot of blackish makeup to cover up the fact that he’s got white skin… geesh.  I’m not reflecting what critics are saying.  Yes, I did read a few reviews, but as you can see, I have plenty of my own reasons to complain.  I have provided a few random links below and I’ve not read them, so there are no hidden personal agendas regarding reviews.

This is where my kid spends time, in anticipation of going to see the movie, the LEGO Lone Ranger site:

LEGO LONE RANGER home page games to lure them in and products galore to buy.

Oh geez, I’m going to publish this probably too soon, as I often do (AND DID).  Then I’ll spend tomorrow editing and adding stuff I forgot about…. OR maybe I’ll do the right thing and wait.  One thing is VERY sure.  I will be boycotting this movie, and the Lego sets associated with it.  I would boycott Disney, as well, but we really can’t afford to go to Disney amusement parks or purchase special novelty items, so it won’t be too difficult to just  continue to stay away.  My kid will hate me, thank you very much.


I thought I would take the opportunity today to talk about the added significance of this Federal Holiday. You see, it’s a personal holiday for me, too. This is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The day we commemorate a great man who gave his life so that EVERYONE could be truly free in this “free” country of ours called the United States of America. A man whose life was wasted, taken away from him, BUT his life was not wasted. This country started out with a great foundation, but those ideals were actively held back from the population of this country who were not white. The black people who had helped make this country what it was. Black people who fought along side the whites so that this country could be free from British rule, but they were also fighting for their own personal freedom.

As I said earlier, this is also a personal day, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday of Jan. 2005 will never be forgotten by myself or my family. This was the very day that we found out about my “late” pregnancy. A day that is written in our history and in my soul. I am reblogging a post that I wrote way back when as a private post, then made it public but did not tag it to sort of keep it under the radar. Today I reblog it with categories and tags because, well, it’s my contribution for the day. I couldn’t ask for a better day to have the door to my future open up wide and loud. It was this day that God’s plan started to unfold for me, my purpose in life was finally revealed. Now that I look back, so appropriate that his name would be Gabriel.

Back in 2005, I read somewhere that the definition of Gabriel was “strength of God.” Very simple. But if you think about it further, it was the Archangel Gabriel who came to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, he appeared to Zechariah to announce the birth of John (the Baptist). I am reassured I chose the perfect name for our little Life-Changer.

So without further ado, I present our birth story:  (oops, the link is above)

DragonMommie's World

August 23, 2005 ~ Written in Yahoo 360 blog

It’s 11:50AM and I am expecting Gabriel to wake up from his nap any minute. Nothing out of the ordinary today; but later we will go shopping for a crib. Gabriel has almost outgrown his cradle, the one in Ed’s family for a generation. All his brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews have been in it, and now, our son. We hope the tradition is carried on by the kids. This weekend we will be going to Ed’s sister’s house, so I probably will not blog over the weekend. We want to bring back the cradle when we go, hence the crush to get a crib this week.

Gabriel has been such an unexpected blessing in our lives.

First of all, we didn’t even find out I was pregnant until I was almost 7 months along. I experienced no symptoms…

View original post 1,737 more words

His Name is TONY, Dad~!


First and foremost, this is amazing to me, and that I caught on to it.  This morning we were free to head on over to our diner for breakfast.  I say “our” diner because this is the one that DH has the school discount for.  He always goes there to, 1:  Support a local business, and 2: the school discount gets him 15-20% off the bill…. also, it’s very close to us and that’s a plus.

So we were there today, waiting for our breakfast and I sort of hear, on the peripheral, a conversation happening between the hostess and a man.  I don’t see them, but she calls him ‘Tony’ and all of a sudden Gabe pipes up (he must have been listening, too) and blurts out, “His name is Tony, Dad!”  He was so excited.  I still don’t really know who the guy is and just let it go and never turned around.  I mean, give those people their privacy, right?

So then later on the manager comes over and he says hello.  He always says hello.  Then Gabe says, “Hi, TONY, how are you?”…. and blah blah’s of other stuff he talks about, but then it just clicked that my little guy, who’s been talking to this manager like forever, but I guess without knowing his name, picks up on his name, then immediately uses it in a greeting.  How cool is that!  Now, this might seem trivial to most of you, or all of you; but it’s a pretty BIG damned thing for me. First, I feel so blessed to be able to actually see this in action and then put two and two together, myself.  Usually my boys are out together, but without me to  save some money here and there, but big guy wanted us all to eat out this morning.  Second, part of Gabe’s disability is that his social skills are/were practically non-existent.  I can’t wait to tell the supervisor of the social skills group… I think it’s working!  It’s so wonderful to see this progress in action and taking hold. This coming week is the last week, but then it starts up again when the summer semester at the school starts.  Gabe is also starting to hold the doors open for me and even gesturing with his hands and saying, “come right this way”…. LOL.

Oh, another biggie thing happened at breakfast.  Gabe made an actual egg sandwich all by himself…. what?  Up until now, he always refused a sandwich and has not had eggs in a very long time, since being a toddler.  Out of the blue, he orders an egg, then proceeds to make a sandwich with the toast that was served.  I suspect that he saw me modeling that behavior because I always get scrambled eggs and rye toast, then make a sandwich out of it, which I also did today.

Okay… I just wanted to write that down.   Every year he is making progress and it’s pretty exciting.

Oh hell, am I too “mothery” and not realizing that he’s growing up and can do a lot more than I thought?  I’ve been told that I baby my little guy and I try to keep that in mind, but there are still a lot of things I won’t let him do by himself.  I have no other children to know what is supposed to come next, and then I see all these new things… Just wondering.

What Can We Bring?


Yep still in Lorax mode... Hoping to pull it off this weekend.

A quickie post to note that even though last weekend was Little Drake’s birthday, THIS weekend will be the celebration.  He’s been asking about all his cousins prior to last weekend AND this week.  He’s so used to seeing his cousins for birthdays, for his birthday and it must be a little strange for him.  I get it.  Anyway, I should’ve gotten into the cleaning yesterday and today, but have not done a thing because of crampiness…. there, I’ve said it.  Tomorrow, is D-day, however and crankiness, fatigue, cramps-be-damned, I’ve got to clean (do I have to?)  Yes, dammit.  Oh, landlord working on the bathroom tiles sort of gave me a pass for staying out of there for two days, but again, tomorrow will be a different story.  Plus, I can never bring myself to clean for an event until almost right before people come.  Oh, I’ll declutter key clutter spots, put things away and stuff; but actually cleaning gets done last minute…. why is that?  Well, for starters, this place is a perpetual dust magnet.  I used to think that it’s like that because we live in the city, but all winter our windows are closed.  I’ve asked the landlord to check the boiler, thinking that maybe soot is coming up from there, but I’ve been told that it’s fine.  It just seems that two days after I dust, it’s got to be done again, and shit, I’m not dusting every day.

 

To Do List for Friday:

  • Wash Floors
  • Wash Bathroom
  • Vacuum (late in the day)
  • Dust (very late in the day, scheduled for midnight)
  • Make Pita Chips and Dip

 

So last week, as part of his present, I took LD to see the Lorax movie.  You can read about that here.  He’s all Loraxed up, wanting everything Lorax.  Another planned birthday gift was getting him the Lorax book, so we made a little excursion to the bookstore.  He totally enjoyed that because the book store has a Thomas the Tank Engine play table.  Listen for British accent, “Hello, Thomas!” 

Last minute change after all my planning via Pinterest:  convert Lego cake to Lorax cake.  Was planning on doing it myself before The Drake threw me a curve ball, the intention being to make it easier on me for party day, and ordered a sheet cake that was Lorax theme, but with a photograph as the focal point and well, that’s not my style.  I was planning on getting fondant and really making a nice cake myself, I was feeling it.  I AM doing it at some point.  So the weird thing is that locally, there is NOTHING Lorax out there by way of little toys or anything that I can use to accessorize this cake.  I thought for sure that the stores would be overflowing with Lorax merchandise… Target? Nope, Toys R Us?  Nada.  I have a feeling that if Target doesn’t have anything, that Walmart will not, either.  Something’s up and I’m wondering about it.  Don’t think there’s time to  find a free pattern and knit a lorax that small… just don’t have the time.  I’m actually thinking about getting some of that orange clay stuff you can put into the oven.. hmmm  Have no idea where to find cotton candy for the truffula trees… Might do pom poms, but I’m keen on cotton candy!  Maybe it’s just too close to the opening weekend?  Maybe the store companies weren’t sure how big the Lorax was going to be?  BIG, baby!  I loved it.

Oh, so getting to the title.  Friends and family, please do NOT bring anything on Saturday.  Plenty of food… unless you want to bring me chocolate, feel free to walk in empty handed… no that’s mandatory!

OH… so look what I just found:  Free Lorax Garden app in the apple store…. Still free, but price can change at any time.

oooo… Someone found cotton candy in the Easter Section… Look so cute!

 

 

So here I am, still up… well, actually, I had a kind of a longish nap today- around a three hour one.  Crampiness will do that to ya, and it removes the danger from your loved ones.

 

Memories Are Necessary


My mom and me Nov 1961 (left) My mother before the nastiness of early motherhood (right)

I posted a bit yesterday about a life lesson that I’m all caught up in right now, Some Life Lessons.  It’s been a long time in the making, but this will hopefully be a short follow up.

I just wanted to add another thought, something that I had forgotten over the years.  If you’ve read some of the earlier posts of my blog, you will have gathered that for most of my life I did not have a good relationship with my mother.  She was  distant, cold and definitely unapproachable.  I have come to understand how and why this was so; but that does not help the little girl inside who longed for and needed to be shown the love that I know (now) she must have felt.  I’ll try to be brief and describe a little background.

When I was born, it was 9 months and two days after my parent’s marriage.  All the women of the family were counting the days on their fingers from the day of the marriage and my birth, hence how I know the exact number of days.  That was back in 1961, she was 22 years old and the times were not as relaxed now about getting pregnant before marriage and, well, things were pretty stressful for my mom.  Add on to that the pregnancy was in danger with hemorrhaging and from the second month, my mother was on complete bed rest.  When I was born, I had stuff wrong with me.  The one I’ll talk about because I believe that it shaped my mother, and I can imagine hardened her, gave her a tough skin and eventually, she closed herself off to feeling, experiencing the hard emotions.  I was born with a condition, probably arising from my constant position in the womb, of my head and neck being scrunched down onto my chest.  The doctor told my parents that it would amount to a hunched back as I grew up if not treated.  I became part of an experimental treatment.. and I am even proudly in some medical journal somewhere.  It was prescribed that I would receive muscular therapy.  It was a very painful process of stretching my neck (and probably shoulder/back) muscles.  A nurse had to come to the house and teach my mother what to do.  She was to lay her infant (me) on the edge of the kitchen table, with my head hanging off of it.  She then had to proceed to gently twist my head from side to side.  I was told that this was very painful to me and I can imagine how my mother must have felt having to do this to me.  I can imagine the pain she felt and yet knowing that if her daughter ever had a chance to grow up “normal”, she had to inflict this horrible pain onto her.  I must have been screaming.  My mother was also probably alone in this because my dad was working 2-3 jobs.  Sometimes two, sometimes three.  There were other things, too, like a bright red, pot-marked area on the left side of my face and two clubbed feet, which were two inwardly turned feet and legs.  After I was born, I needed to have casts on my legs up to my hips in the (successful) attempt to straighten out my legs.  So, as you can see, I was born a literal mess.  Oh crud, it wasn’t until I became a mother in my mid forties I could not fully understand the pain and stress my mother went through with me and during my growing years.  To be honest, I was the source of a lot of pain for her during the eight years between my mid twenties to mid thirties.  So that is a little bit of background.

So, my mom hardly if ever showed us any affection.  To make matters a little worse, I was not interested in the typical things that bonded mothers and daughters, like talking about home decorating, cooking and the like.  BUT, one time, a year or so before she passed on, we were talking.  I was in my late thirties and our relationship had recently gotten a lot better.  I was able to communicate with my mother on the level of peers, not as mother daughter, or I should say not as mother, authority figure and blindly obedient daughter.  We communicated honestly and we respected what the other had to say.  It was a time I felt that I could honestly just say what I thought and had no fear of doing that… also, it was a time when my self confidence was on the upsurge, the first one in my whole life.  Well, on day we were talking and she told me that I was special and that I should never forget that.  I seem to remember that not being the only time she said that, but I don’t remember that time very well.  I remember this time.  I remember bodily freezing and fighting my hardest hold back the tears…. not like now.

I just wish that I knew then what I know now.   What pain she suffered just to make me a “normal” kid, girl, woman.  She was much as I am now.  No income of her own, though she worked before having me.  I am so much in debt to her for what she has done for me.  I can understand now how and why you became so cold and seemingly to me, unfeeling; and it’s that understanding that will lead me to be a good mom in my own right.  It was survival.  It was something that I’m sure was not an intentional thing.  I totally get that.  I’m glad now that you just did what you had to do to carry on the business of raising two girls in your tradition.  I understand and that comforts me.  I can’t sit here and wish things were different.  I’m really grateful for the time we had together during the brief years at the end of your life.   I’d want you to know that your actions have now given me the courage and strength to, in turn, do what I now have to do for my son, the grandson that you never got to know on earth.

Thanks so much, MOM.

Love Never Fails


1 Corinthians 13

 1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b]but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Whenever I think about or refer to this passage, I simply must include the whole chapter. Every time we hear this reading in church, we only hear From 13:4-6, and maybe 13:13. Everything else is eliminated.  Very sad because there is so much more to hear here that is really important.  The one time I had control over this was when the DH and I got married.  We had the whole reading included and that made us very happy.

I often wonder why we do not get the benefit from this beautiful passage and the only reason I can guess at is that church officials really do think we are sheep and maybe don’t have the brains to grasp and appreciate the full meaning.  Even I, with my limited understanding, understand that if I don’t have love, I have nothing.  I am nothing.  And that does mean that if nobody loves me I have nothing.  It means that if I do not have love within myself to give to others, I have nothing.  Hmm, very interesting.  Love seems to have more weight than even faith, which I find shocking, but there it is:

and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3

Amazing.  I can have the strongest faith in the Lord, but if I do not have love inside myself, love for my neighbors, I am nothing in the eyes of God.  Truly amazing.  I’m going to “amaze” myself out of readers if I keep this up, but the capacity for learning never ceases to amaze me (couldn’t resist that last one).

Anyway, this passage popped up today while I was commenting on another blog.  I was expressing my hope that my son will, later on in life if not sooner, will recognize the love we, his parents, have for him and how much it has influenced every bit of our marriage and our efforts on his behalf to make him a better life.  It’s our hope that no matter what happens, no matter what we do, he will know that everything said, everything done was done out of love.  We hope that our love for him will shine through all the disagreements and arguments, all the times we need to say “no”.  All the times we make him do his homework, do his chores, practice his social skills using the tools he collects along the way.  Well, it’s our desire for him to truly understand what love is. Can he feel it?  Yes.  Are we sure that he knows what it is, or ever will?  The jury is still out on that because we do not fully understand the traits of Autism, in particular his lack of empathy; and we certainly do not know how severe of a lack that is in him.  He can learn, or I should ask:  Can he learn about love just has he learns social skills? How can we, or CAN we differentiate these kind of emotional, age appropriate, milestones?  We hardly know what is age appropriate, let alone what would be age appropriate for an autistic child.

I find myself verbalizing a lot.  My new thing is to constantly ask my little guy to repeat back his understanding of different things, whether it be word definitions or emotions, or anything I get the impression needs work.

8 Love never fails.

But maybe sometimes we fail love.  Thank goodness love is without condition or I’d be a really sad person right now.  I am putting a lot, no all of my eggs in the basket of love.  I’m so afraid of failing my child.  Is this too much of an expectation to place on my love for him?  I am wondering, but even as I do, I know that I have help.  My husband’s love for our son is amazing and in some ways out shines my own.  His perpetual love and consideration is amazing and so matter of fact, as if he’s been doing it all his life, so integrated into his nature… so natural, no questions (or answers) needed.  When I picked this man as my life partner and as the father of my children, I not only picked a keeper, I picked a winner… so unusual for me… lol.  Thank God that for one time in my life, I made a good assessment of the opposite sex.

So where do I go from here?  First and foremost, never give up on love.  Love really does conquer all and this family is living proof.  Second, always trust my judgement , but also DH’s judgement.  He is a very deep person and his motives are not always apparent, and almost never verbalized…. which leads me to the next.  Always ask questions.  I’m always amazed at what I learn.

What a Day, and Still Grateful


Okay so today I had an Evaluation Planning meeting at school because to change an incorrect Eligibility Catagory, another evaluation needs to be done.  So we met today to plan what tests are going to be used.

So it was going along great, with me managing to adequately articulate what my son’s needs are and my concerns.  I advocated for a personal assistant and had favorable input from the teachers, and we even got him placed into a “pilot” social skills group being formed for Gabe and some other high functioning children in this class.  I really felt good.  I felt heard.  Amazing given a lot of the horror stories I’ve heard out there from the area.  I feel so grateful for this, these people who are making my transition from Mom 101 into Super Advocate Mom a seemingly easy one.  I say “seemingly” because I would be a fool to lower my guard and just trust everything at face value.  I’m never in the middle, I swing either totally one way or the other.  So, while I’m please with how this is going so far, I need to keep in the back of my mind to keep vigilant, ask questions… a lot of questions.  Get answers.

I’m sitting at the table, feeling prepared and in control.  I was dressed business casual, hair done, just the right amount of war paint makeup.  I mean, I felt realy good.  Suddenly I get side swiped from left field and went down hard.  Gabe’s special ed teacher asked me if Gabe had any friends outside of school, and friends at all.  Suddenly I was a bawling pile of oatmeal.  Sigh.  No, he doesn’t have any friends, no playmates.  This has been the situation from day one.  My husband and I are older parents and whatever friends we do have are our age with grown children.  My sister has grown children.  My brother has two daughters just the right age for Gabe, but they are out of state and inaccessible on an every day basis. I’ve been to a mom’s club before preschool started but I spent most of that time worrying about maybe my child hurting another child there and I never relaxed and never enjoyed the company of the other moms, well, most of the other moms. Then school started and I drifted away because we were not from the same areas. I chat up the moms at school, but none are from our grade and certainly none are moms of a special needs child.  Also, it seems as if everyone has such a hectic schedule.  So, I took the opportunity (again) at this meeting to talk of the need for getting these families to network together. The kids could be put into social situations, learning social skills, and the moms and pops can network, too.  At least I have the promise of the case manager to look into it and getting back to me.

The past three years we had our boy attend the local YMCA, but the one boy that Gabe spoke about, and I did attempt to get in touch with after getting an invitation to a party, and oh geez, didn’t see the invite until it was too late on Sunday night.  We still went out and got a gift and I called the mom to suggest a play date.  You have no idea what a big step this was for me, to reach out to another mom, out of the blue like that.  As it turned out, that this family was moving by the end of the summer, in a scant couple of weeks.  Can’t cut a break.

Yes, life and get crazy and I’m still getting used to mine; but I still find myself grateful.  Grateful that God has finally given me the words to be assertive because you can be dead sure that I will need this skill and I’ll need to be vigilant and persistent if I feel that I need to be.  This is my baby I’m talking about.  This is the pure joy in my life.  If he’s not happy, and obviously he’s not, I can’t sit on the sidelines and watch my precious boy be so sad and lonely, a feeling that I won’t wish on anyone.  He’s freaking lonely and that is eating me up inside.  I know what it’s like not to have a friend in the whole damn world.  I grew up without any friends.  My parents didn’t know what to do about it, not even sure if they “had” to do something about it, themselves.  While I know that I can’t pick kids off the street to be friends, I just HAVE to do something.

So, I have high hopes for this social skills group.  At least, my boy will have a chance and will learn how to make friends and how to keep friends.  What kinds of things are socially acceptable and what is not.  Yes, I have hope and I’m grateful for just that.  It’s a brave, new world out there and we’re all learning.

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